30 Graphic Novels in 30 Days: Day 1 and 2

Day 1

1. Chew #1- Written by John Layman. Art by Rob Guillory.

Writing: A. Layman’s writing is so distinctive. It’s really different than anything I’ve ever read before. I love being introduced to a new character in Chew because you get this funny like blurb about who they are and what they do. A lot of the names are charmingly food inspired (Tony Chu, Amelia Mintz, Evan Pepper, Chow Chu).

Art: A-. Again, this is just really unique stuff. I usually like more realistic art, but the cartoon-y feel to Chew really, really works. It’s such a brilliantly absurd concept that this art fits perfectly for it. It’s so weird to see a comic with so many chunks of meat, but hey, that’s Chew.

Originality: A+. Chew is an incredibly unique comic. So enjoyably different. In a medium with so many boring superhero comics that do the same thing over and over again its really refreshing to have something truly dissimilar.

Overall: A. I can’t stand most superhero comics anymore. I just feel like they’re all the same. So it’s really awesome to have a fresh idea out there and Chew is certainly that. Who thinks of this kind of shit? If I came to you and said “okay, I have this idea about a guy who, when he eats people, can know everything about them” you would slowly nod and call in the guys in the white jackets and giant butterfly nets. Yet, somehow this story is just plain awesome. Can’t wait to read more.

 -Gabriel Partridge

Day 2

1. All-Star Batman and Robin- Written by Frank Miller. Art by Jim Lee

Writing: A-. There is nothing bad to say about the writing. Frank Miller took the fanboys' Batman and Robin and made it psychotic and intense. Joker was creepier than ever and I got chills when Batman described the ecstasy he felt when hurting thugs and the rest of the degenerates that plagued Gotham. I found Black Canary misplaced. She was a Batman copycat who got really horny when she saw him in action.

Art: A+. It's goddamn Jim Lee. He is almost a perfect artist, I think I've only complained about him once. Most fans are easily annoyed because his awesome art delays the books he does but its worth it. Did you see the Batcave? It was a goddamn fanboys' wet dream. Wanna know the difference between a decent artist and an amazing? The answer is the ability to not only improve the story but also make it a classic.

Originality: B+.  It was different and fun to read a Batman who might actually be insane.  I thought Miller's version of the Justice League was pretty weak: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Plastic Man. The team would be more dynamic if he had left out Plastic Man and substituted Booster Gold or even Ted Kord.

Overall:  A-. One of my few problems with this book was that it barely scratched the world and the story that Miller created. Batman was insane, Dick Grayson had to stop himself from going crazy and becoming a murderer, Superman was Batman's bitch and he didn't even know how to fly. I believe that if Miller was given the opportunity to write a second volume, All-Star Batman and Robin would have been considered better than Watchmen.

-Snapper Carr

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