Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Chew, Vol. 6: Space Cakes by John Layman and Rob Guillory

Oh, look -- another comics series I'm still poking my way through, a year or so after it ended! There are ten volumes of the collected Chew, so I'm three or four years behind at this point. I don't see any particular reason to be concerned about this -- not reading a book right when it comes out doesn't harm anything, or cause a single problem -- but I do seem to be doing a lot of it lately.

Anyway: Chew, Vol. 6: Space Cakes. Right smack-dab in the middle of the weird alternate-world detective story by John Layman (words) and Rob Guillory (pictures). See my reviews of volumes one and two and three-through-five (during one of my periodic reviewing bankruptcies) if you care; don't if you don't.

This is a comic-book world, coming out regularly in pamphlet form from a major publisher. And that means that, even if this isn't officially a superhero comic, it will tend to bend in that direction, as a tree growing in a continuous wind will be bent. So this world is, by this point, chock-full of people with weird powers, all of which (this is Chew's particular shtick) are food-related. We started with Tony Chu, who can read the history of something by eating it, and this book focuses on his twin sister Toni, who can see the future of the things she eats.

She works for NASA, another one of the super-powerful government agencies (along with the FDA and USDA) in this alternate world. And she's bubbly and goofy, as befits this goofy series. So, while Tony is in a coma (more or less) Toni takes over for a few issues of culinary mayhem and derring-do. The usual supporting cast runs around doing their thing -- including an included one-shot of the murderous rooster Poyo -- but this is Toni's story.

It's not exactly a good story for her, in the end, but saying more would get into spoiler territory. And the last few pages imply the book will go back to being about Tony, as we'd expect. So this is a big chunk of middle, though it's chewy, flavorful middle, in a banquet where we know exactly when the dessert and brandy will be coming.

Sidebar: Hey, I haven't complained about anyone's ONIX feed for a while! This book was published in January of 2013, and the publisher, Image, still hasn't managed to upload (to the major online stores) a version of the cover with words on it yet. This is appalling, and if I rated books on some kind of a scale, they'd definitely lose points for that.

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