Tag: John Layman

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    Review: Chew #56 — Savoy’s Ghastly Gastronomic Revenge

    Review of Chew #56

    Chew #56 coverHey, remember that time Tony had to nibble on the toe of his dead sister so she could tell him how to defeat the Collector? Well, he’s found himself in a similar situation in Chew #56 with Savoy, who himself has abruptly departed the corporeal realm. The difference is Savoy hasn’t forgotten about Tony’s stubborn refusal to work with him, and he’s devised a particularly unpleasant means of comeuppance. By ingesting a large amount of beets before offing himself, Savoy has made sure Tony will have to work to get the information he needs. In other words, Tony’s in for one big, not-so-happy meal.

    What’s more, the door of psychic communication he’s opened with Savoy is proving to be a disruption at work, with the fat man popping up and commanding his attention at the worst possible times (might help if Tony quit snacking on the job…). At one point, Tony’s mental absence nearly gets Colby killed, but luckily he snaps out of it just in time to “ice” the felonious food freak of the day.

    As Tony realizes he’ll need to eat a lot more than Savoy’s ear to get what he needs, Colby recommends having his brother, Chow, fix the fat man up Poyo-style. Tony is hesitant, but as it turns out, Chow himself is in need of a favor. Their sister Toni’s former fiancée, Paneer, has shown up drunk at Chow’s place, blubbering about the imminent end of the world. Based on NASA’s telescopic observations of late, it appears any planet around which the cryptic skywriting appears is doomed for an explosive end, which means Earth’s days are numbered.

    If there is a way to stop the clock on Earth’s demise, the only one who knows it is Savoy, which means the only one who can uncover it is Tony – which means it’s time to get eatin’.

    Chew #56, Image Comics, released July 2016, written and lettered by John Layman, drawn and colored by Rob Guillory, $3.50.

    Review by James Florence.

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    Review: Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1 – The Mega-Crossover

    Review of Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1

    predator vs judge dredd vs alien #1We’ve seen Judge Dredd take on a Predator before. We’ve seen him take on Aliens before. Well, the ante has officially been upped. Welcome to a sci-fi geek’s wet dream: It’s Predators Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens!

    The stage for this epic showdown is set far from the walls of Mega-City One—Alabama, to be precise (and if you thought Alabama was weird now, try the dystopian future…). Dredd and his posse of Judges are motoring across the Cursed Earth wasteland in pursuit of a robotic messiah and his fanatical followers who left half a city block in ruins. After stopping at a shady desert saloon for a quick skirmish, the Judges’ chase takes them into a zone where the locals dare not tread: the Alabama Morass.

    The Morass happens to be the territory of a gang of animal-headed mutants, led by their creator, Dr. Reinstot—a sort of backwoods Dr. Moreau, if you will. Earlier in the episode, Dr. Reinstot’s cronies had captured a Predator who was trespassing on their turf. Always looking for fresh bodies on which to perform his gene-splicing experiments, Dr. Reinstot is particularly excited about this new specimen, for whom he has some special plans.

    As the Judge convoy speeds through the swampy jungle, they are unaware that their presence is being monitored by Dr. Reinstot, who is keen on adding these intruders to his experimental queue. However, right about that same time, another group of trespassers arrives. Turns out Reinstot’s prisoner left behind some sort of homing beacon before being captured—and you’ll never guess who’s coming to the party.

    With John Layman (Chew) on the script and Chris Mooneyham (Five Ghosts) on pencils, the series is in more than capable creative hands. Not to mention dutiful: If the first issue is any indication, fans of the representative franchises can rest assured of the characters being treated with the utmost reverence. And though we haven’t seen an Alien yet, we’re sure as hell going to, so strap in and get ready for a gruddamn good ‘n’ gory time!

    Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1, Dark Horse/IDW Comics, Released July 27, 2016, Written by John Layman, Art by Chris Mooneyham, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Letters by Michael Heisler, $3.99.

    Review by James Florence.

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    Review: Chew #55 – Get Ready for a Shocking Change!

    Review of Chew issue 55

    Chew #55 CoverIn Chew #50, the exhilaration of final triumph over the Collector is undercut by an ominous epilogue: a muted image of Tony holding the battered (deceased?) body of his wife, Amelia. With only ten issues left in the series, we knew this event, whatever its actual severity, was going to take place soon. However, if Layman and Guillory have a penchant for subverting readers’ expectations, they’ve really done it this time. Even when I anticipated their bluff, they still managed to blindside me with an entirely different bombshell. I want to avoid spoilers, so just take my word for it: some sh*t goes down.

    Much of the issue consists of an ongoing monologue by Savoy, who reflects on his wife’s death and his subsequent quest for the truth behind the avian flu. He talks of the “singularly awful” things he’s had to do for the sake of his charge, and hints at some equally awful things to come. He knows Tony will come looking for him soon, and he’s prepared for what he must do.

    Indeed, following the incident at his apartment, Tony is looking for Savoy. He enlists the help of Caesar, who’s in the midst of dealing with a villian with a deadly penchant for carrots (easily the closest we’ve yet seen to a character from The Tick). Over the phone, Savoy instructs Caesar to lead Tony to him. When Tony arrives at Savoy’s location, he finds himself faced with what will be his most unappetizing meal yet… which is saying something, considering this is a guy who once ate a rotting rooster carcass.

    Chew #55, Image Comics, released February 2016, written and lettered by John Layman, drawn and colored by Rob Guillory, $3.50.

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    Review: Chew #54 — Ray-Jack’s back: Enter Chog-mania!

    Chew #54 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

    Chew #54Mason Savoy is pissed, and understandably so. He’s gone to great lengths to convince Tony Chu why they should join forces to uncover the truth behind the bird flu cover-up. But not even a trip back in time to the Cretaceous period (see issue #53) can persuade Tony. Tony’s mind is made up: He is NOT going to work with Savoy, period, end of story. (Sheesh, you bite off a guy’s ear one time and he never lets it go…)

    As it becomes clear to Savoy that diplomacy isn’t going to work with Tony, he resigns himself to the fact that more extreme measures will be necessary.

    Meanwhile, Amelia continues to hit a wall with the ending of her celebrated sci-fi novel series. However, it isn’t writer’s block she’s struggling against—after all, she’s not conceiving the story so much as channeling it from an unknown source. After repeated attempts to circumvent the seemingly inevitable conclusion (The world goes kablooie!), she finally manages to channel a new one. However, this alternate ending isn’t any more auspicious, and leaves her with a particular sense of unease.

    Amelia calls Tony to relay her new premonition, but Tony’s not picking up—he’s working. There’s been an incident over at Montero Industries, and he and Colby have been sent to investigate. Ray-Jack Montero, genetically-modified food-turned-genetically-modified-creature tycoon, is back from his abbreviated prison stint, and is wasting no time making the most of his laboratory’s capabilities, adding to the Chog family such creations as the Chonco and the Orchog (take a guess…). However, when one of his researchers’ experiments goes catastrophically awry, Ray-Jack finds himself once again in hot water with the FDA.

    After wrapping up the Montero situation, Tony returns to his apartment, where he makes a disturbing discovery…

    Chew #54, Image Comics, released January 2016, written and lettered by John Layman, drawn and colored by Rob Guillory, $3.50.

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    Review: Chew #50

    chew #50 coverChew #50’s wraparound cover leaves no subtlety as to what’s about to take place. At last, we’ve arrived at the denouement to the series-long conflict between Tony Chu and the Collector, giving our protagonist the chance to avenge his sister’s death. In order to be a match for the Collector, whose accumulated powers have made him practically invincible, Tony has picked up a performance-enhancer of his own: he has feasted on the flesh of Poyo and absorbed the rooster’s unfettered badassery, a transubstantiation that turns him into an efficient vehicle of vengeance.

    It’s unlikely any fan of the series wasn’t upset by Poyo’s abrupt demise in issue #45. However, even if unnecessary on a logistical level (Couldn’t they have just sent Poyo in to take out the Collector?), it’s nonetheless vital on a thematic one. No one but Tony can face the Collector, and, as his departed twin sister affirms during their psychic encounter, this is the only way Tony can defeat him. Fortunately, Layman and Guillory make it a point to pay tribute to the Poyo throughout the issue, giving a sense of his presence that even the most rankled reader should find satisfying.

    The final showdown unfolds in a fairly straightforward and ultimately satisfying fashion. However, I was troubled by the ominous epilogue, which comes out of nowhere to leave things on a needlessly sour note. Then again, Layman and Guillory have a knack for uniting seemingly loose ends later on, so who knows—maybe by issue #60, it’ll seem more fitting.

    Chew #50, written and lettering by John Layman, art by Rob Guillory. Published July 2015.

    Review by James Florence.

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Lois and Clark, Chew, Black Magick & Daredevil

    So many terrific books came out this week! The action picks up in Superman: Lois & Clark, huge things happen in Black Magick and Chew, and Daredevil continues to thrill. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. Check out our other New Comic Book Day blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

Superman Lois & Clark comics at TFAW.com Superman: Lois & Clark #5
    By: Dan Jurgens, Lee Weeks

    Superman: Lois And Clark is everything that is going right with the world right now! This has to be the best pre-Flashpoint Superman story line that’s out. With the latest issue, we see Superman’s daily struggles: being a good husband, being a better dad, and oh, well you know . . . defeating all his major foes in battle!

    Superman never ceases to fight for what is right, even if that means taking down Blanque. The whole fighting sequence makes this issue worthwhile, but the cliffhanger has you anxiously waiting for more. With Jon and Lois by his side, this Superman can take on anything! I’m anxiously awaiting issue #6 now! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

    Black Magick #5
    By: Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Chiara Arena, Jodi Wynne

    Everyone knows by now that Greg Rucka is a brilliant writer. This issue continues to confirm that. However, the rest of the Black Magick creative team (Nicola Scott (art), Chiara Arena (colors) and Jodi Wynne (letters)) also needs to be commended. I found myself on the edge of my seat as I read through this issue. The main character, Rowan, goes on a journey from an everyday caring human being to a magical powerhouse — it is a wholly satisfying read on so many levels.

    The series itself has been well-written but issue #5 really sets the tone for the book moving forward. We finally get a moment to see how close Rowan and her partner are. We get to see how caring she can be, but we also get to witness her strength; blended together with not only the proper words, but facial expressions and colors as well.

    Investigations continue on both sides but this issue is full of reveals. STAY TUNED. It just got real! [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

Chew comics at TFAW.com Chew #55
    By: John Layman, Rob Guillory

    Whoa, some big things happen here, and funny ones too, I mean it’s Chew we’re talking about. Now it’s going to be hard to talk to about this with out spoilers, so, I’ll do my best.

    The issue opens up with Tony Chu finding another major character dead. After that, Savoy takes over the narration seemingly breaking the forth wall, or just talking to himself (which is kind of the same thing right?).

    I can’t talk anymore about this issue without spoiling it. So I’ll say this, if you haven’t been reading Chew, this is not the issue to pick up and start. That said, if you haven’t been reading this one, you should. It’s a great series with 10 trades in print (as of press time), and there has been talk of a television show. It’s got great humor and a lot of heart. We’ve been fans from day 1, and it hasn’t missed a beat since. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Daredevil #4
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Goran Sudzuka

    What will happen when Matt calls Steve Rogers? Will it be for help against the nefarious Tenfingers? Or is it just to clear his conscience and let him know who he is?

    In this issue, we find out more about DD’s mysterious “sidekick.” Is he friend or foe? Does he have an alliance with the gang of Tenfingers, or is it a ruse to get closer and take it down for the the betterment of Chinatown — to make his small part of New York safer, like Matt tries to do every day for Hell’s Kitchen. Will the Hand come and take care of Tenfingers before Daredevil and Blindspot can do it themselves? You’ll have to get this exciting issue of Daredevil and continue this amazing run of one of the truest heroes out of New York.

    Charles Soule makes yet another big mark in the Marvel universe, and Ron Garney and Goran Sudzuka’s art brings one of the most unique styles we’ve ever seen to the world of Daredevil. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below! Be sure to share these posts on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to continue this series of posts. 🙂

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    Chew #18 Review + Preview

    I’m always surprised at how John Layman and Rob Guillory can draw me in to each month’s issue of Chew. They never seem to miss a beat. That’s why these guys get my money every month.

    This week’s release of Chew #18 (yeah, it’s been 18 issues!) is no exception. The prologue starts us off and then they boys kick us right into the action. Before I knew it, I was staring at the last page with my mouth agape at the awesomeness. (I’m not going to spoil it for you, but trust me, it’s great.)

    We’ve encouraged you from the beginning to check out this Cinderella story of the comic book world, but if you haven’t been following the adventures of Tony Chu up to this point, I’m here to tell you that this issue is a good spot for new readers to jump into the series.

    Don’t take my word on how great Chew is, though. I’ll let our 5-Page First Look Preview of the issue and last year’s Eisner Award for Best New Series speak for themselves. 😉



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    Chew Comics Coming to Showtime?

    Tony & MasonIt sounds like we may have a little more of John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew to look forward to in our future! According to Deadline Hollywood, Showtime has purchased a script written by Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer (Eureka).

    Stephen Hopkins (24, Californication, Shameless) is attached to direct and executive produce the 30-minute show from Circle of Confusion, the production company behind AMC’s The Walking Dead.

    I’m excited that Showtime may be the new home of our favorite cibopathic FDA agent Tony Chu. I think could be a really good fit. I count myself among the many who hope that the stars align so we can see Ken Leung in the lead role.

    What do you think of the news? Are you optimistic about the small-screen adaptation? Who would you like to see play Tony? How about Amelia and Savoy? Post your thoughts below.


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    Exclusive 22-page First Look of Chew Vol. 3: Just Desserts

    Chew Vol. 3 at TFAW.comWe’re really excited to announce our exclusive 22-page first look preview of Chew Vol. 3: Just Desserts!

    Things are looking up for Tony Chu, the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from the things he eats. He’s got a girlfriend. He’s got a partner he trusts. He even seems to be getting along with his jerk boss. But his ruthless ex-partner is still out there, operating outside of the law, intending to make good on his threats against Tony and everybody Tony cares about. It’s just a matter of time before their investigations collide, blood spills and—inevitably—body parts are eaten.

    You gotta check out this comic series about cops, crooks, cooks, cannibals and clairvoyants (which also won the Eisner Award for Best New Series this year, BTW). It’s definitely my favorite ongoing series right now.


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    Chew #13 Going Back For Seconds

    Via Image Comics

    Chew #13 Second PrintingYou can’t stop the Eisner Award-winning series CHEW, written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory. The first two trades were instant bestsellers, and the individual issues of CHEW are just as hot! CHEW #13 has sold out across the nation, just like previous issues in the Just Desserts story arc, and Image Comics is taking the issue back to press with a special variant cover!

    “I had a feeling #13 was going to go quick,” Layman says. “Even when we were putting this together, the cover just jumped out at you, even more so than Rob’s other excellent covers. Normally, I’m against slapping variant covers on reprints as exploitative and gratuitous, but we had an idea for a second homage cover that would really complement the first, plus I think readers would think it was really cool. At least *I* think the idea was really cool, so we decided to do it.”


    CHEW #13 is part three of the Just Desserts story arc–Unlucky Number Thirteen, in which we see the return of rogue cibopath Mason Savoy, a double agent is revealed, and a narrative dirty trick is played upon an unsuspecting readership! Plus: Fricken Chogs!


    This cover looks pretty epic. Are you planning on picking it up? This guy will be.

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    Chew Wins Best New Series Eisner Award

    Photo by Philip Simon

    John & Rob with their shiny new awardAt last night’s Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards event, Chew was recognized as the Best New Series. To the right, John Layman and Rob Guillory accept their award.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Chew, the book follows FDA Agent Tony Chu as he tries to put an end to the black market poultry game after the Bird Flu caused a Poultry Prohibition. Tony is a Cibopath, which means he gets a mental image from the foods he eats. He can tell where crops were grown and where animals raised (and slaughtered). Tony’s abilities make him an invaluable agent as he can solve even the most difficult cases by nibbling on an ear or two.

    We want to congratulate John and Rob on the well-deserved success that Chew is getting. Also, a little birdie told us that their book has been optioned as a TV Series. More on that later . . .



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