Readers of Image Comics award-winning monthly "Chew" are used to experiencing a wide range of food-relate sights, smells and tastes vicariously while reading the adventures of Agent Tony Chu. But come this summer, fans will be able to feel the world of the comic a bit more directly.
Today via Twitter, the creative team of John Layman and Rob Guillory announced that at the incoming Comic-Con International in San Diego, "Chew" will sport an interactive variant cover. "Has there ever been a scratch 'n' sniff comic book cover? Or is the CHEW SDCC '11 variant gonna be the first?" Layman Tweeted while Guillory simply stated "CHEW Scratch n' Sniff cover. Nuff said."
Though a few trivia-savvy readers noted that "Ren & Stimpy" once employed Scratch N' Sniff technology on a cover, that kind of collectible twist to monthly comics publishing is more rare these days, and the practice will be an apt fit for a series whose plot revolves around a world in the grip of bizarre food bans and a detective who solves crime via taste. Layman later noted that the cover's scent will be "Likely buffalo wings."
The Eisner-winning monthly recently wrapped its third arc, and is on to the fourth – a story called "Flambé" whose second chapter just hit this month in "Chew" #17. Layman told CBR as part of the regular CHEW ON THIS commentary column how the alien-centric story got rolling. "A cosmic event has taken place that is so big and omnipresent that the idea of a chicken prohibition stops mattering to most people. Yes, in 'Chew,' a bird-flu killed millions, but now people are potentially staring down the end of the world.
He added of the most recent issue "the issue is really my 'Food Columbine' issue, about a bullied high school student with a food power who is pushed too far and snaps -- violently. It’s the sort of book that Paul Levitz would be itching to pulp, if he could."
Overall, the monthly has remained a productive hit serial for Image even in lean sales times, and the team has a long term plan for the series that stretches years out with a proposed 60-issue run. "It's hard to believe we are this far," Layman said discussing issue #16. "At this rate, the halfway point seems like it is just around the corner, particularly since I am pretty damn far ahead on scripts. I suspect things are going to getter harder and harder as I get to that point. Issue #15, actually, was a breeze to write, but I have no doubt issue #30 is going to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever written, and I kinda dread getting there, for a multitude of reasons."
More more on the series, see the CHEW ON THIS archive, and stay tuned to CBR News for more on the San Diego Scratch N' Sniff cover.