It’s actually quite impressive that Chew has passed the forty issue mark. It’s a series that I’ve struggled to keep up with because I started out behind on it. Thankfully Layman has managed to give us a standalone issue which is a great jumping on point for new readers or lapsed readers like me. The thing about Chew is that it’s one of those series that you can always catch up on. Sure you might be missing some facts, but I have largely missed the last two-story arcs of the series and was able to pick up with this issue like riding a bike. What’s our standalone issue about? It’s the FDA’s Annual Law Enforcement Sympoium in Vegas which means it’s a bullshit time off from the job. And who needs that more than Tony and Colby? Speaking of which Tony and Colby are being viewed as heroes due to their big bust in the last issue and Tony’s gal pal has tagged along as well. After being congratulated on the bust, Tony and the gang hit the bar and strangely enough they only have beet vodka. The next day Tony solves a case that makes him look good in front of his boss’ boss and people get married. I mean its Vegas why wouldn’t people get married?
I laughed, I cried, I knew what the last joke would be, but it still fucking got me to chuckle. John Layman has never thrown this series into auto-pilot and after forty issues I still don’t know what to expect from this series. You think you do, I’m sure everyone does, but the truth is when people get ahead of the writer they stop reading and Chew always keeps the reader on their toes.
This is a very successful one-shot. It reintroduces the world, the characters and plants seeds (lays eggs?) about its future. All in all, it takes a break from the heavy stuff that happened in the last arc and that’s one of the many reasons this series is great. Not many series can take a break from its main plot line, but the ones that can produce great issues like this one.
There’s nothing left to say about Rob Guillory’s style, everything that can be said has been and much like Layman he’s far from phoning it in. The visuals I will talk about are all the extra details that Guillory crams into the series and this issue in particular. First there is of course the cover “Lose $2.99 Instantly!” is the best price display I’ve seen on any comic… ever. Aside from that though there is the gambling warning that is also a fun read.
It doesn’t stop there as we have not one, but two Jacuzzi sign gags in the issue. All of the signs are worth paying attention and reading due to the extra entertainment they provide. I’ll never get over how detailed Guillory is. It’s the small things like pit-stains that make him stand out to me. Seriously, pit-stains, that’s the shit I pay attention to.
You might wonder why I’m even bothering with a review for this issue considering its sales success and the long running nature of the story. Well in comic books there’s this assumption that everyone reading a book will continue to read it, but as I’ve already proven that’s not the case. Sometimes people need a reminder that they just because they fell behind on a volume that they can just jump back in and catch up later. Others may feel like they’ll never be able to jump on and this is for them as well. Jump on here. It’ll give you a great idea of what you can expect the series and it’s an entertaining read at that.
Writer: John Layman Artist: Rob Guillory Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/30/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital