Chew/ John Layman & Rob Guillory

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Had to borrow these since the title sported my family name!

It did not disappoint.

Tony Chu is a “cibopath” investigator for the US Food and Drug Administration, one who can get psychic impressions (past sequence of events) by taking a bite into things. Some things include corpses.

What a oddly different class of super powers.

Plus a really weird storyline that’s so quirky and somehow believable, in a comic book way.

The FDA is a powerful agency namely because if the Avian Flu outbreak, resulting in a global enforcement of a chicken and poultry ban.

Add some high-powered (money and/ or similar new superpowers) characters — baddies and sidekicks — in a unfolding conspiracy, plus Alien writing in the sky.

So very X-files.

Chew. [Volume 3]: Just desserts

Chew. [Volume 4]: Flambé


Stephen King’s The Stand: book 1 Captain Trips/ Aguirre-Sacasa, Perkins & Martin

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This isn’t “horror fiction” per we. Not like the written work. Good primer and intro to Stephen King’s seminal work though. I’ve not read the book, though I understand this graphic novel adaption takes the reader through how the plague started, introducing the main characters who are somehow immune to it, as well as the mysterious Walk’in Dude.

This work collects issues 1 to 5. Made me want to read book 2.

The Losers: book 1/ Andy Diggle & Jock

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This is like The A-team meets Mission Impossible.

You can expect guns, explosions, heists, stratagems within stratagems — that sort of thing.

The Losers are a group of ex-military Special Forces, trained in covert ops. Basically the agency sold them out and wanted them dead (part of the plot is in discovering the reason). The team faked their deaths and are now on their secret mission to uncover the truth of why the agency wanted them dead.

No wonder it’s been made into a Hollywood movie.

The graphic novel is great. Plot is interesting enough to make me curious about how the series will end. Nice gritty feel to the dialogue, pace and visuals.

The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the bogus identity/ Mike Carey & Peter Gross

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I think this is book one of the series. It does answer the question (for me) why Tommy Taylor was incarcerated in the story I read earlier.

This is one of the more complex graphic novel stories. Taking in the visuals and narrative, I get a sense that something is about to tip over, and I am carried along for the ride. Kind of like Twin Peaks weirdness and pace.

Tom Taylor is worshipped as the same-named character in his missing father’s acclaimed novel (did you get all that?)

It’s like Harry Potter made real (as perceived by fans). Tom is treated as the literary incarnate, with the same magical abilities and all. Which Tom finds himself both wanting and hating his association with the novel’s character.

But slowly Tom discovers forgotten memories about his father and his own past. I’m led to suspect that Tom has no real past, and there is about about the literal power of words to make things real.

To use the Harry Potter parallel, it’s like a real world Harry discovering the literary figure is real while he isn’t. Or so it seems to me.

Mind bending stuff.

The unwritten: Inside man/ Mike Carey & Peter Gross


The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man
ISBN: 9781401228736

“Suggested for mature readers”.

Quite a complex fantasy story in a contemporary setting. I consider this one of the better showcase of the Graphic Novel format, where the story is intellectually and visually fleshed out between texts and illustrations.

The mood, plot-twists and tone is like “Fables” but without the fairy tale association. More contemporary and storyline is deeper, with overlaps of fiction and reality

This overlap even extends to the reader, by featuring realistically portrayed web articles, news casts and blog posts that follow Tom’s imprisonment.

Parts of it seem to borrow from the real life controversy over the Harry Potter series.

Tom Taylor is framed for murder, it seems. He is jailed and there’s a murder attempt on him while in prison. He escapes the prison with a magical door knob (a legacy of his father), only to find himself in Nazi Germany, before the outbreak of WWII. As a reader, I’m also brought along the journey, discovering a hidden quest of sorts with the protagonist.

The Question: The five books of blood/ Greg Rucka et al.

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The Question: Five Books of Blood
ISBN: 9781401217990

Contains adult-themed storyline.

The Question is a masked avenger/ vigilant. Renee Montoya tries to uncover a hidden cult whose religion is murder and whose influence extends to all segments of society, private enterprise and government. The Crime Bible is apparently being circulated, whose text preaches murder and mayhem. But Renee has some demons of her own to fight. And her intimate knowledge of the purpose and earlier versions of the Crime Bible puts her in danger of being the inadvertent disciple of evil.

Lost Squad/ written by Chris Kirby; art by Alan Robinson; lettered by Kel Nuttall

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Lost Squad
ISBN: 9781932796414

This is like “X-files” meets “The A-team” meets “Indiana Jones” meets “Hellboy” meets “X-men”.

Enjoyable stuff. Got me turning the pages to discover more quirky juxtaposition of ideas and Good Vs Evil action.

It’s the beginning of World War II. The Nazis use of technology and arcane knowledge is winning the war: Nazi mages command demons and zombies, rocket-propelled shock troops and armoured spider tanks. They are also seeking historical artifacts that could enhance their occult powers.

The Lost Squad is a specially assembled motley crew of soldiers, with special training and/ or abilities.
They are led by US army Captain Boudreau, an ex-priest (who has to dig deep into his faith again, to save a young girl and his comrades).
Major Smithenry, a British on attachment, is a powerful mage and is hinted to be very long-lived.
Corporal Berg, demolition expert.
The Kansas Kid, sharpshooter and has the ability to read minds.
Sergeant Lymangood, seasoned veteran and wildly unpredictable, with a personal baggage he needs to rid.
Jose Morales, an ace with a bazooka.
The “Chicago Boys”, Chance, Tinker and Evers. The three seems to look alike and have fast healing powers (clones?).

Wished there was more. The last chapter killed off most of the lost squad members.

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