Tony Chu, cibopath, suffered a major loss at the midway point of writer John Layman and artist Rob Guillory’s 60 issue Image Comics series Chew.
But in a world where food and psychic powers combine, can even death be that final? The eighth volume, subtitled Family Recipes, says that no, death may not be the end.
Tony Chu can see the past of anything he eats (except for turnips). His twin sister Toni could see the future of anything she ate (turnips did something else to her). Knowing she was going to die at the hands of the Vampire/Collector, she ate nothing but turnips to prevent him from gaining her powers. But before she went, she left something behind for her brother, something to help him gain some measure of justice for her death: she had chopped off a toe and left it in Tony’s freezer. With that, Tony can get his sister’s final message to him, giving him and the reader a lot of valuable information about what’s been going on all along…sort of.
It’s not as if Layman and Guillory have given away everything, but the reader knows a little more, and they’ve been good about parceling out information. Toni’s final message isn’t the only thing going on here, and we do see some characters learn more without necessarily telling the reader, say, the cause of the avian flu that supposedly led to the ban on chicken in the first place. Likewise, Tony is told he will be able to do something he doesn’t think he can do, but that sort of plotting is there to entice the reader, and the creators of this series do a fine job of it. I always come back to this series when I can because it’s just so much fun, a nice mix of humor and sci-fi weirdness, unique out of just about every American comic I semi-regularly read. If you haven’t tried Chew and you love comics, you should definitely check it out. 9.5 out of 10 very psychedelic meals.