Review: Chew #32


IMG120702With Tony back in the saddle for lead of Chew, the quality has been high.  But John Layman and Rob Guillory may have crafted one of the best issues of the series with Chew #32.

The biggest strength for Chew #32 is how Layman writes Tony.  He has been through a lot the past few arcs, and he is slowly coming apart at the seams.  But not all the way, as he’s using all the bad things to try and better his life.  The scene where Tony calls Olive is really sweet, and makes you root and feel bad for him at the same time.  It’s that rich, nuanced story telling that makes Chew a must read month after month.  Layman also makes with the funny in #32, creating some insane scenarios for the FDA to fight against. If there is going to be a second Chicken Poyo one-shot, I’d like to see him go up against the giant gingerbread cookie.  The fight between Colby and Caesar shows how well Layman and Guillory work together as a creative team.  Layman knows Guillory’s strengths as a penciler like the back of his hand.

Chew #32 is the catalyst for a lot of long simmering plot threads.  It is a busy issue, but Layman paces it brilliantly.  Many past plot points are referenced and built upon here, which should please long time fans.  There is at least one major reference to each arc, even in the classic recap page near the beginning.  Considering that Chew is only going to be sixty issues, it is no surprise that big plot points start moving along.  We are at the half way point (roughly).  The only flaw in #32, and it isn’t a true flaw, is the amount of callbacks. It is something that could deter newer readers, but it could also spark them to go back and read the trades.  It is a gamble.  I’m the the latter of those two people, and deep references encourage me to start digging through past issues, so I understand every reference.

Rob Guillory’s penchant for humor is on full display in #32.  Every scene is filled with sight gags, so much so that I didn’t see them all after the second reading.  Characters are expressive, and full of life.  Each insane scenario that Layman things up, Guillory pencils like a champ.  He easily jumps back and forth between emotional, poignant scenes, and straight up slap-stick.  The opening splash page had me in tears, much like the character.  I’m usually not one for different style word bubbles, but Layman uses them well.  Chew is an over the top world, why not use over the top speech bubbles

Chew #32 is classic Chew.  Filled to the brim with call backs, while balancing humor and emotion brilliantly. Fantastic issue.

Chew #32 gets 4.55.

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