Friday, 3 July 2015

Chew, Volume 10: Blood Puddin' Review (John Layman, Rob Guillory)


I think I’m done with Chew. 

It’s been fun but we’re now onto Volume 10 (with at least two more volumes to go) and shit’s become formulaic, boring, and messy in contrast to the fresh and exciting earlier books. 

I’m assuming you’re up on your Chew so if you’re not, spoilers ahoy! 

Plot-wise, not much happens and, this late in the game, that’s unforgivable. 

The fallout from the attack on The Collector is dire - Olive, Mason, Applebee and Caesar are in hospital and Poyo is dead. Tony and Colby are no longer bros and Tony gets partnered up with D-Bear for some reason. Middle middle middle and Tony goes up against The Collector.

This is what I mean by formulaic: John Layman basically has characters putter around for four issues and then gets back to the main story for the fifth and final issue to give the volume the semblance of an arc, before throwing in some random cliff-hanger on the last page. That’s what he did in the last book and the one before that (and probably the one before that but I can’t remember for sure). 

There’s more weird foodie powers, more time-killing cases, and the space fruit and fire-writing plotlines are ignored again. Also, Layman can’t tell a straight story and jumps around from random flashbacks and flashforwards (there’s a panel from Chew #60 which is how I know there’s at least two more books to go) to scenarios that aren’t real and scenarios that are but don’t have any connection to anything. 

And that last page comes out of nowhere - it’s a total non sequitur that annoyed me more than enticed me. It’s a jumbled crapfest of an approach. He’s always been a bit like this but after Blood Puddin’, I’m just fed up with his nonsense. Get on with it, man! 

Layman does finally get around to resolving one of the major story threads in this book but the way it’s been dragged out this long - with other storylines still untouched - has been insufferable. My impatience overwhelmed the sense of satisfaction I think Layman was going for. 

I still love Rob Guillory’s art though and the Poyo in Hell sequence was awesome, as are so many of the other pages in the book. Chew remains a really enjoyable visual feast. 

Several books ago, I was excited to see the resolution to The Collector, the space fruit and fire writing storylines but after 10 volumes, with only one of those storylines resolved, my interest in the series has completely vanished. And that’s really sad as I used to love this title! I’ll probably check out the remaining collections once the series is done but for now I’m out - stick a fork in this book! Don't string on the fans and deliver scraps when you promised us a meal! 

Blood Puddin’ is bloody ploddin’!

Chew, Volume 10: Blood Puddin'

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