Written by Tim Midura
on Wednesday, January 22 2014 and posted in Reviews
The funniest and most original comic trips onward!
From Image Comics, the Family Recipes arc continues with Chew #39, written by John Layman, with art by Rob Guillory and color assists by Taylor Wells. Guillory's heavily green-themed cover of Amelia quizzically eyeing a gallsaberry matches well with her shirt as it states, "Eat More Greens.”
Tony is still catatonic after Toni’s death, so his girlfriend and daughter, Amelia and Olive, respectively, hatch part two of their plan to wake Tony out of his funk: use the recipe Amelia stole from Toni before she died. Told through flashback, Olive impersonates her father to get access to secret F.D.A. archives and while there, the F.D.A. is attacked by the terrorist organization, E.G.G. The secret ingredient mixed with the gallsaberry sends Tony into a psychedelic trance.
The majority of the issue is sandwiched between the moments directly before and after Tony eats the gallsaberry. John Layman writes a fun buddy team-up story between Olive and Amelia linking the bookends. We’re introduced to the science fiction novel Amelia has been writing under the effects of the gallsaberry, which is basically an alternate universe with Tony still as a detective. My favorite background gag of Layman’s is the poster in the F.D.A. office, which changes every panel ranging from, “You have the right to be chokeslammed,” and “You have the right to be uppercutted,” to “You have rights?”
The bizzaro-world featured in Amelia’s novel is colored in wild neons by Rob Guillory to differentiate it from the main universe, while the characters are based on ones we’re already familiar with, but with an alien twist. Guillory’s action-movie style camera angles show a sense of urgency when used and the F.D.A. fight scene shows why comics are the most unique storytelling medium as Olive bounces from panel to panel attacking E.G.G. members. I can’t mention Layman’s gags without making note of the return of my favorite Chew gag, which are the posters in Olive’s bedroom of Robert Kirkman’s head on male models’ bodies. I also love the ode to other grat Image series as Olive's wardrobe is from God Hates Astronauts, Ghosted, and Saga.
Nearly wrapping up its eighth arc, Chew #39 is still a great issue to jump on board with as it recaps recent events. Get into it as Chew trips onward!
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