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A Novel Idea!: Chew

Chew: The Omnivore Edition

Struggled To Finish

Review by Josie Mae R.

Chew:The Omnivore Edition is a graphic novel done by John Layman and read by me because my husband, who is more interested in graphic novels and the more gruesome genres than I, has been asking me to read this for a while and the library’s summer reading program asks readers to get outside their comfort zones. While an interesting premise and certainly unique, I can still say this set of comics is not my cup of tea. The story centers around Chu, a detective turned FDA operative in a world where chicken has become illegal due to millions of deaths because of bird flu. Chu is a cybopath, which in this comic book world means he can almost immediately tell the history of everything he eats… everything… be it plant or animal. This leads to him often chowing down on putrid cannibalistic corpses to catch serial killers and bring justice to victims. The storyline has potential, not just because it is unusual and gruesome. The art is interesting and has some merit. This is graphic novels for adult audiences, but in the end, there is very little closure with each mystery, no real “good guy,” and not much to like about these stories. If we can’t identify with the characters, we can’t connect to the words that are on the page. The stories become jumpy, and as you get past the initial disgust at cannibalism and surprise at the unique premise, the comics end up reading like they were written by juveniles with no real heart, juveniles who revel in the gruesome and big-breasted female characters, rather than someone with a storyline.


  • Length: 264 pages
  • Published by: Image Comics 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607062936
  • Category: Graphic Novel