Review: Chew #34

Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North I don’t know if it’s the adult cartoon aesthetic that’s what makes me love Chew so much. That perfect melding of humor and style that makes me want to call up Adult Swim and tell them to take notes. Maybe it’s the story itself, which it one of the very few pieces of work that I can with a pinched bridge of the nose and an almost reluctant chuckle can call dumb as f$#k and mean it as an absolutely sincere term of endearment, but boy do I love it so.

This issue tackles the dossiers of the elusive Mr. The Vampire’s list of victims, which is ever growing and his once and for all run in with our beloved agent Tony Chu.

Tell me you’re not entertained as this book ribs you in this side as it goes down The Vampire’s hit list, taking us back in time to charming locales like Ye Olde Dusty Taint Inn or treats you to the image of a man’s fingers on a kebob. Just a blast.

chew34_coverAnd then we have State Senator Eccles... oh State Senator Eccles. Nary have I slapped my forehead as I did at the revelation of your character, nary have I felt as low-brow as I did when I realized that at the same time I was laughing out loud. This man’s head is a cheese burger. Or at least it is until he eats something else. That’s his deal. Yes really.

None of this would work if the whole thing didn’t feel like a wonderful satire with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. You need only see the sign of the bum in the crowd Eccles has drawn to glean this, “The end is nigh. YOLO.” Where’s my T-shirt Layman?

And none of THAT would work so well if John Layman and Rob Guillory didn’t feel like they were meant to work together. Who else do you know in the industry who could draw this story to life and not have it fall flat, and vice versa? The art of Rob Guillory could only feel at home alongside a story that feels like it could have been written by the kid that carved AC/DC into the desks at middle school. This thing is so smooth it pulls out into a different dimension of the medium and often I’ll find myself in the same mental territory as if the book wasn’t a book at all, but a slick 30fps deal playing out to me on my screen like a perverse TV program.

This issue is all about the buildup as Tony finally faces off against his most fearsome enemy yet and FDA agent Cobly and former FDA agent/super villain mastermind Mason Savoy pair up to take on a political scandal. The latter is a cool B-plot that sees two interesting staple characters tackle a ridiculous fresh face (can you call it that?) in the senator. A scene where the two who, up until this point had been at odds, bond over telling the senator whose been caught red handed—and chicken headed-- consuming some of poultry’s finest, is golden and also as ridiculous as it sounds.

Another high point happens at the very end where an evermore badass Tony Chu, given all the reason in the world to get the hell out of dodge or lay down and die, looks his guy (vampire) dead in the eye and with undying confidence proclaims, “There’s only one way this ends. I am going to kill you.” I don’t doubt you Tony Chu. Don`t doubt Tony and NEVER doubt John Layman and Rob Guillory... unless you were one of those weird kids that carved ABBA in your middle school’s desks instead. In which case, Angus Young probably wouldn’t have liked you much anyway. So go to hell.

Score: 5/5

Writer: John Layman Artist: Rob Guillory Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 5/29/13