Review by Alexander Moser
How long has it been since we last saw an issue of Chew? This fantastic series may not come out on an exact month-by-month basis, but every issue is extraordinarily worth the wait.
Tony Chu, agent of FDA takes a backseat in this comic, making room for his girlfriend Amelia and daughter Olive. After finding a special recipe (hence the title, Family Recipies), left behind by Tony’s deceased sister, Antonella, the two plan on getting Tony back in action by preparing the special dish.
The first ingredient is the mystical Gallsaberry, from the tropical island of Yamapalu. The next ingredient is something more complicated, so Olive and Amelia, who make an amazing team-up, sneak into the FDA, taking out terrorists and evading security officials to achieve their goals. The comic ends with the dish prepared, taking Tony to places we’ve never seen before.
John Layaman may not be writing about Tony, but he has not lost his witty charm. Olive and Amelia make a hilarious pair, and their interactions with the rest of the Chew cast are hilarious. The use of the Family Recipe in the prologue is a great way to introduce a new angle to a mystery that we thought we already knew the answers to. Layaman’s seemingly simple script has turned out to be much deeper than originally thought. This, combined with the usual hilarity, makes Chew a great read.
Man, does Rob Guillory knock the ball out of the park with this one. Every page is downright hysterical, whether it comes from Tony’s boss eyeing Olive, or the disgusted look on Tony’s face near the end. Guillory goes beyond his usual range as well, drawing sci-fi scenes in the beginning, and a rare action scene. Olive uses her secondary ability as a xocosclapere, in addition to being a powerful cibopath, to take down numerous enemies in a high-kinetic, fast-paced action scene. It’s a shame there isn’t more of this around, because Guillory is about as talented as it gets when it comes to comic books.
There’s a reason why Chew has won so many awards. Even in an issue that doesn’t feature the main character, it is still the most entertaining book of the week. You’ve got humor, action and intrigue. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a comic book.
Oh, and new readers, if you’re trying to jump on here, I wouldn’t suggest it. While Layaman and Guillory always do a terrific job in introducing the major characters to the reader in each issue, you’re missing out unless you start at the beginning of the story arc, or even better, from the first issue, to enjoy Chew in it’s amazing glory.
-Great blend of humor, action, and mystery
-Guillory’s artwork is superb
-Leaves you wanting so much more (for good reasons though)