By John Layman and Rob Guillory, Image Comics
Delightfully demented, wonderfully weird and alliteratively awesome. Chew is a book about detective turned FDA agent Tony Chu who is cibopathic. A cibopath is a person who receives the psychic impressions and from whatever he eats: from plants a sense of pesticides, from meat the manner of their slaughter and from people, or their corpses, their skills and memories. From beets: nothing, they are inscrutable. Chu's adventures take place in a world where, due to an apparent outbreak of avian flu, poultry is illegal and illegal fried chicken is big business which the FDA is tasked with cracking down. The overall plot of Chew is built around exploring Chu’s cibopathy by constructing increasingly elaborate and ridiculous situations for his talent/curse to be useful. Oh, and there is an overarching plot about a possible conspiracy concerning the chicken ban. The resulting script, coupled with Guillory’s vividly cartoony artwork, is this offbeat and clever book that is also incredibly weird. I mean, it's a story about a psychic cannibal detective whose adventures pit him against chicken smugglers, an alien fruit that tastes just like chicken, mutant chicken-frogs, space writing, a vampire, and Poyo the greatest fighting rooster of all. It’s also hilarious, filled with a brilliant array of absurdity and jokes that are genuinely funny instead of the usual quippy. If you’re looking for a fiercely original book with some solid laughs, Chew is definitely worth checking out.
Word count: 236