Why is Amelia Mintz wearing an Elvis jumpsuit and carrying a Civil War bayonet? You will have to read the new Chew to find out. Image Comics presents Chew #25, part five of five of “Big League Chew” this month. Once again, John Layman (story, lettering) and Rob Guillory (drawings and colors) offer up something unique and surprising. Chew is just one of those things in life that can bring a smile to my soul and tickle my funny bone with the reading of just one page. This issue is no exception.
Issue #25 takes a break from aliens, chogs, vampires, Chu family issues, and gallsberries. Tony has disappeared after spending time in Area 51 and it is up to his girlfriend, newspaper food reviewer Amelia Mintz, to play detective and find her missing man. I will not divulge any spoilers except one that will entice you to pick up this issue ASAP- the return of Poyo. I will not say how the beloved cock-fighting champion of champions turns up, but it is awesome and unexpected.
Guillory’s drawings are fun and imaginative and Layman excels at writing the snarkier sides of the various characters. Chew is a joy to read. And it takes about twice as long as the usual comic book because of all the little clues and jokes the fellows put in the backgrounds of scenes. My favorite in this issue are the framed poster in the news office that says “No Berets.” I have no idea what it means, but the absurdity makes me giggle.
If you are not familiar with the world of Chew, it is set in a time where the USDA has enforced a poultry ban. Meaning chicken and eggs are highly sought after black market contraband. There are also people with special abilities. Tony Chu is a “cibopath” which means he has the talent of eating anything and getting psychic impressions from it. Eating is an overall unpleasant experience for Tony and even worse when he has to use his talent for work, doing such things as taking a bite out of the dead. So, obviously Tony has issues with his gift. His girlfriend Amelia is a “saboscribner” and her talent is writing so detailed about food, the reader can taste it. Throughout the comic we have met a lot of different characters with various abilities. Some have assisted Tony, and others have caused more problems for him. All are entertaining to read about.
If you have not picked up this Eisner Award winning comic book, it is not too late. Beginning in June 2009, Chew is still a reasonably young comic book so there is not an overwhelming bunch to get caught up on. News reports say Showtime bought a pilot script for a cable TV show based on the series, so you should get in the know before it becomes the next big hit. Grab an issue today from your favorite local comic vendor, then hop on by the official Chew website, follow Rob Guillory and Lego aficionado/ kitty lover / scorpion assassin John Layman on Twitter, and do not forget Guillory’s own blog.