Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory

I do not read that many graphic novels but I picked up the Chew books due primarily to their heavy food content. The main character Tony Chu is a F.D.A. Agent who is also a Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. The graphic novels are set in the future, where chicken is outlawed due to the deaths that resulted from the avian flu. The first volume entitled “Taster's Choice” is basic and sets out back story of Tony Chu and his move to the F.D.A. The second volume “International Flavor” sets up the stories of the villains in more detail.
The villains in the Chew graphic novels are fun because they are food based. The first villain presents as a vampire but is actually a Cibopath, as he can learn as much from blood as he can from flesh. I enjoy the speciality talents that revolve around food in the Chew books. One man is an cibolocutor which means that, as a mute, he communicates solely through his cooking. Amelia Mintz (later to become Chu's girlfriend) is a Saboscrivner, which means that she can write about food so accurately and with such precision that people reading her words get the actual sensation of taste when reading about the meals she writes about. 

The later volumes of Chew are more fun than the first volume because they include more surprisingly violent scenes. In the later volumes almost all of the villains and allies have food related skills. This makes the graphic novels more interesting to me. In general I find these graphic novels refreshing and interesting. They would make an interesting addition to any food lover's bookshelf!

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