Chew by John Layman & Rob Guillory: It’s gross, but that’s the charm!

June, 2009
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Colorist: Rob Guillory, Lisa Gonzales, Steve Struble, Taylor Wells
Letterer: John Layman

What can I do to talk about this book? It’s…interesting, to say the least. I started reading it because I’ve heard about it over the last few years, not so much to what it’s about but more just that it’s a thing. I recently started using Comixology Unlimited and this is one of the titles available so I figured “why the hell not?”

I was not prepared for what I was about to read.

The art style throws a lot of emotion and expression at you and is very animated, which matches the style of writing in the book. At it’s core I would say “Chew” is a detective series that attempts to one up itself without pulling you out of the story.

Kenric and I figured we would use the blog to review books that we didn’t fully want to discuss on the show, because if we talked about everything we read on the podcast we would never stop recording! Initially I figured Chew would just fit into the “I’ll just write about it because while I don’t dislike it, there’s nothing pushing me to want to dedicate an episode to it.” That was until I finished the first volume and found my self diving RIGHT into volume two.

If you don’t want any spoilers for what this comic is about, stop reading here. 

You have been warned. 

Tony Chu is a cop, with a gift. He is a cibopath. “What the hell is a cibopath?” I hear you saying. Well, it means whatever he eats (unless it’s beets) he can see that items full history. If it’s a fruit or vegetable he will know where it came from, what pesticides where used on it and so on. If he eats meat, he knows how it died and everything about it.

This also works on human flesh and blood.

Gross, I know. But it works. Essentially Tony lives in a world where the bird flu made all chicken meat illegal to serve so the FDA is now an organization that hunts chicken farmers and anyone who serves it. Tony gets recruited by the FDA and has to eat the grossest shit imaginable to solve cases and move the plot along. I bet John Layman sits back and goes “Ok, Tony ate a rotting finger in the last issue, let’s have him eat some rancid pile of shit in this one to top it!” then weaves a story around that where it is believable (in this world) and comes off as clever.

This story is not for kids. Not. At. All. It is for anyone who likes to be grossed out with an interesting story. I know originally I thought I wasn’t going to want to do an episode about this book, however I am going to get Kenric to read it and reach out to John Layman and Rob Guillory to see if I can get them to come on the show to talk about this thing they call Chew.

Pick up volume on amazon at or on Comixology.

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