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31 Days of Authors: Getting Graphic – You want me to eat what?

Teen Read Week is officially October 16th through 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors. On each day in October, we’ll bring you author interviews and profiles and reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us.

Reading the premise of Chew: Vol. 1 Taster’s Choice, written by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory, I was intrigued and concerned. In a world where chicken has been outlawed in response to deadly bird flu, Detective Tony Chu uses any means necessary to investigate crime. Tony is cibopathic, meaning he tastes something and instantly knows the history of it. If he eats a peach, he sees the tree it grew on and the worker who picked it, packaged it, shipped it, and stocked it. And by anything we mean anything. Tony is presented with all manner of materials to taste including, but not limited to, alien produce, body parts and, uh, other bodily fluids. I have never laughed so hard or wanted to vomit so much as when reading Chew. Layman creates a unique world full of tasty and shifty characters like FDA investigator Mason Savoy who may know more than he’s letting on about the chicken ban and Tony’s partner John Colby, newly created cyborg. I know, mystery, adventure, government conspiracy, romance and cyborgs. It’s a rich world that keeps getting better with each issue. Besides being a YALSA 2011 Great Graphic Novel for Teens Top Ten pick, Chew has also won an Eisner Award for best new series and is being adapted for TV.

Thanks to the YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens list, I’m always able to find great new titles to add to my graphic novel collection. Another title from this year’s list was Ghetto Cowboy, which was reviewed on The Hub earlier this week. Here’s a run down of my other favorite, so far, titles from this year’s list.

  • Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection edited by Matt Dembicki with art by various artists
  • Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor
  • Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
  • Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale with art by Nathan Hale
  • Mercury by Hope Larson
  • Kill Shakespeare V. 1: A Sea of Troubles by Conor McCreery, Andy Belanger, and Anthony Del Col
  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
  • Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel (a YALSA Top Ten pick)

So what other great title did I miss from this year’s list?

— Amanda Margis, reading Matched by Ally Condie and listening to In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Eric Larson.

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Amanda Margis

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  1. That sounds so great I just went to my library catalog and put volumes 1 and 2 on hold!

  2. Maria Kramer Maria Kramer

    How exciting to hear that Chew is going to be a TV show! What a great, weird series it is. And Zeus, Calamity Jack, Mercury and The Unsinkable Walker Bean are also wonderful books.

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