21 April 2011

Chew Volume 2: International Flavor...

This is the second installment of the soon to be cult graphic novel / comic series "Chew". I have never been a huge fan of comics. I have always loved good cartoons though and I am a fan, still, of "Thunderbirds". However, I am a fan of the work of John Layman and Rob Guillory.

I am not sure that the second installment was quite as good as the first. But, after a while and having digested it a little more, it certainly is one that grows on you. I guess the biggest challenge that Layman and Guillory face in the second go round is keeping it fresh. Once you get your head around the idea of cibopaths then the story runs the risk of just being a run around on the gratuitous violence front with some cannibalism thrown in for effect. Yet, to Layman's credit and Guillory's mastery of the art, this story is anything but a boring and bland cop story.

International Flavor takes Tony Chu to a small island in the middle of nowhere, Yamapalu (Western Pacific, if I recall correctly) whose claim to fame is a fruit that tastes like chicken, the gallsberry. The second installment introduces a few new characters and kills some of them off as quickly as they arrived. International Flavor leaves several of the previous story plot lines unattended and introduces a few new ones as well. The reality, much like a soap opera, is that the first two installments have introduced a lot of plot lines and subplots that can provide myriad of material for several installments to come. Interstingly the most obvious arch-rival to Tony Chu in the series plays an insignificant role in International Flavor as Mason Savoy has seemingly fallen off the face of the post apocalyptic bird flu world.

The other character in this story that has a really interesting back story is Amelia Mintz. Mintz is a saboscrivner. A saboscrivner, you ask? A saboscrivner is a person that writes so accurately about food that those people reading the review actually get the taste sensations associated with that food. Amelia Mintz is a Ciboscrivner which means she combines the talents of both a cibopath and saboscrivner.

All-in-all the second installment was worth the money to buy it and was well worth the read.

It is kind of hard to write a review without spoilers. Maybe the next one needs to have a spoiler alert.