In line with my previous post about Marvel’s current pricing schemes Bleeding Cool had a short but entertaining break down of the value of of the Dark Avengers annual that came out this week with the hefty $4.99 price tag. I do kind of feel bad for the talent involved in that Dark Avengers book. It is not up to them what price goes on the book, but they end up looking bad when people like me scoff at the price. I’m a long time fan of Chris Bachalo, the artist on the annual, going back to his days at Vertigo (I still wish he stayed there), but even that is not enough to get me to look past the price tag. The Bleeding Cool post also mentions the recently released trade that collects the first five issues of the series Chew from Image. At $9.99, it is the polar opposite of the over priced Marvel books, perhaps even under priced as they could have charged a few dollars more and it would still be a great price.
Chew has been a rare success story for a small press book. The early word of mouth on the first issue lead to a quick sell out making it hard to find the first couple issues. Thankfully they were wise enough to get the trade out as quickly as possible to capitalize on that interest. The price makes it an easy impulse buy for anyone wondering what all the hype is about. I think it lives up to that hype.
The book centers around Tony Chu, who is a detective that has the ability to know the history of whatever he eats, otherwise known as being cibopathic. He lives in a world in the wake of a massive avian flu pandemic. Because of this it is illegal to consume anything chicken related. This creates a black market for chicken as well as making the FDA a powerful branch of law enforcement. Chu finds himself working for the FDA thanks to his cibopathic power and the story unfolds from there. The artwork is a bit on the cartoonish side but it fits well with the strange twists and turns of the story. The only real negative of the book is that Chu tends to eat some stomach turning things in order to get clues, but that is also what helps make the book unique. It is well worth picking up a copy of Chew. It does everything Marvel is not doing from a business standpoint while still delivering a very entertaining and unique story.