Wizard Magazine is a useful little tool. Usually, I flip through the issue looking for articles about artists or writers that I admire, which are usually books from the Big Two. But as I was flipping through one of the older issues, an article about Image Comics's new series Chew basically said that this is one of the most amazing new series from Image, and that it was deserving of a look. So instead of doing my homework, I decided to give it a read.
And not "Wow" in that "wow that was cool" or "wow that was bad", but "wow" in such a way that after I finished the first issue all I could say was "Wow", and for someone that rarely is at a loss for words, I knew right away that this was something special.
As someone who is trying to break into the industry, I definitely have had my fair share of ideas that I thought would be cool but seemed to ambitious or writing that one amazing first issue that could pull my readers into a new universe that they've never known. Chew #1 did all of that and more. It introduces Tony Chu--a cop that suffers Cibopathy or the ability to know everything about what he eats--who hates his job as a low-end cop, but through a series of events, is offered a job of a life time. The aforementioned series of events is what comprises the plot of the first issue, and it does a phenomenal job of pulling the reader into the world. With every turning page, Layman forces you to keep reading, and with a world that no one has ever heard of, Layman always keeps you on your toes.
On the art end, Rob Guillory's cartoonish art style is perfect for the book. Because of the graphic nature of the series, a realistic approach from someone like Dennis Calero or Alex Ross would have made the world too real, too gory, too shocking. However, Guillory's art makes the character's of Chew real and relatable without being too horrific.
For a first issue, Chew establishes Tony Chu as a character that I relate to (extra plus for being an Asian American character that doesn't talk in an accent) and a plot that I can't stop thinking about. Chew is most certainly on my pull list, and I'll be heading down to the store to get caught up to date.