Comic Review: Chew Volume One - Taster’s Choice - John Layman & Rob Guillory

Release Date: December 8th 2009
Published By: Image Comics
Pages: 128
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he’s a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn’t mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. He’s been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.

Collects CHEW issues #1-5.

Review: Chew is a dark, gristly but humorous read that comes across as unassuming but had me hooked from issue one.

It took me a while to get around to reading this, and it was the hype from everyone who had previously read it that finally convinced me to pick it up. I’m so glad I did, because it’s quickly become one of my favourite reads for 2014 so far.

Imagine a world where chicken is banned, and just eating it could send you to prison, let alone the hard time those who “deal chicken” are up for. There was an avian flu which killed about 116 million people, and as a result, the consumption of poultry is now outlawed. That’s the world we enter in Chew.

Our main character is Tony Chu. He is a detective with a talent. Although his talents tend to gross people out a bit. He is a Cibopathic. What that means, in a nutshell is that he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It makes it really hard for him to eat normal food without knowing how his meat was killed.

The only food that Tony doesn’t get impressions off for some reason is beats. And so, this is all Tony eats.


The Special Crimes Division of the FDA get wind of Tony’s abilities and they want him on board to investigate some of the strangest crimes. They have become a huge force to deal with, and police all crimes to do with the consumption of chicken. Even murder. It also means Tony has to eat some really disgusting things to help solve murders… disgusting things as in body parts sometimes.

Not for the faint at heart, there’s some really gross moments in this comic, I won’t lie! But these scenes aren’t just thrown in to gross you out unnecessarily. The story line is well thought through - clever and well planned, and so I didn’t mind the gross parts so much because it was relevant and contributed to the story as a whole.

I absolutely loved the creativeness of this story, I can say hand on heart that it was such a one of a kind story, and the fact that I couldn’t even really compare it to anything else I have read is a good enough reason why you should pick this up and read it for yourself!

I will say if you’re a little queasy, it’s probably not the book for you. Keeping in mind though it’s a graphic novel and so the illustrations themselves aren’t all that realistic. If you’re not easily grossed out, give this a try. It’s one of those gems that you stumble across and think to yourself… wow. I am really happy I gave this a chance. It surprised me in the best possible way.

The illustrations themselves are quite cartoonish and there’s a look of dirt or a layer of grime about them as well that really adds to the aesthetic of the story itself. It’s quite visually appealing, I personally really loved the style of drawing throughout.

This volume collects the first 5 issues of Chew and left us on a huge cliffhanger!! It was an amazing read - definitely worth checking out for yourself.




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