Chew has been from the start a fun and funny book, full of life. John Layman and Rob Guillory’s sensibilities seem tailor-made for each other, as Layman gives Guillory wackier and wackier scenarios to put on the page, and Guillory keeps answering the challenges with spectacular results. But recently, Chew has felt like it is occasionally stalling, preferring to present strange, new situations instead of pushing the story forward.
The number of different food-based powers in the Chewniverse (not sure if that’s an non-official-official name for it, but it should be) has grown to be a bit ridiculous (as evidenced by the guide to different powers shown at the end of issue #40), and some of them are stretching the limits of disbelief a bit too far. This isn’t a huge problem, as Chew was always a series with a leaning toward the surreal, but when the story feels stagnant, small things tend to be a bit more bothersome.
Last issue we did get some new things to look for (as well as an indication that Layman hasn’t forgotten the weird alien sky-text plot point), as Tony and Olive both had exchanges that we weren’t entirely privy to. However, this issue felt like it was once again going slowly, providing good character moments and some funny plot points but not much as far as story progress is concerned. We’ve just been experiencing the “vampire” storyline for so long that it’s difficult to not be frustrated by the delaying of its climax.
Having said that, “Chew #41” had the usual charm to it, and Layman’s ability to create amusing scenarios in-story is enough to keep readers entertained. Guillory’s art gives life to the story and fully realizes Layman’s story’s potential (it really is difficult to imagine any other artist drawing Chew at this point). You also have to appreciate the fact that Layman does make the minor plot of this issue come full circle in the end, with the usual comedic twist.
“Chew #41” is a somewhat mundane issue, with only minor progress in the large-scale plot, but even mundane issues of Chew are worth your while.
Asaph Bitner is a staff writer for Capeless Crusader. His other activities include studying for a college degree and dreaming of visiting the Song Of Ice And Fire universe as a future-tech wielding Jedi secret agent. You can follow him on twitter at @AsaphBitner.