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Eisner Award – Best New Series – Chew, by John Layman

The 2010 Eisner Awards were recently announced. The winner of the award for best new graphic novel series was Chew: taster’s choice, by John Layman.

Chew is the story of a FDA agent who can receive psychic information from the food he eats. His special beat is solving bizarre food crimes.

(If this plot element seems to be somewhat familiar, it may be because Sam recently blogged about similar story lines in adult fiction.)

Here is Library Journal’s review of Chew:
Former police officer Tony Chu eats terrible things in the name of justice. Getting psychic input through his taste buds, he can nibble on a hot dog and tell you all about the poor pig that went into it. (Somehow, this doesn’t happen with beets, which quickly become his favorite food.) Suddenly, after a polite slurp of stew tells him that the cook is a serial killer, Tony is working for the FDA to solve bizarre food-related crimes. He has to chomp on some pretty disgusting body parts to get his clues, but that just makes Tony’s story even more yucky and entertaining. Layman sends his freaky premise off into a convoluted mystery, peppered (sorry!) with colorful characters: a portly British-y sidekick, a pretty and gifted food writer, yakuza, Russian vampire aficionados, and various weirdos.

VERDICT Layman’s plotting is top-notch, and Guillory’s skillfully grotesque color art makes a perfect medium for Tony and his grimy world. Plenty of unfinished business builds anticipation for Volume 2. With strong language and discreet sexual references; recommended for high school and up, including fans of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

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