Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reading Journal: Chew, Volume 1: Taster's Choice, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (2009)

The collected first five issues of this comic, about FDA agent Tony Chu, a cibopath - someone who, when he eats something formerly alive, (except beets, for no obvious reason), can see what they went through before becoming food. In the near future he inhabits, the FDA is the most powerful government agency in America, and after 23 million people are killed by Avian Flu, chicken has been outlawed and has consequently spawned a black market. Inventive and filled with betrayal, intrigue, love, and - of course - blood, this angularly-drawn world is original and uses lots of oranges and grays to its advantage. If it has a genre, I'd call it spec-noir, if such a thing exists - I suppose it does, i.e., Blade Runner - and though the writing's a little juvenile, the premise is interesting, the humour's cynical, and the arc it's building is full of promise... particularly in Issue 4, where some distant planet explodes without an explanation. It bodes well; I'll have to read on, now.

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