Two Years Later: Congratulations, it's a timeskip! Guillory and Layman are kicking off their next-to-last story arc with a bang by moving forward two years from the finale of the previous arc, "Blood Puddin'." WHO is a star FDA agent now? WHO has gone from being a winner to a loser who takes walks in the rain? WHO is having the time of their afterlife? WHICH holiday should you wait for in order to read this issue with the proper amount of holiday spirit? WHAT is still illegal two years later? The answer to one of those is "chickens." The answer to the others? Read the comic!
Sub-plots are coming to a resolution, characters are being moved into place for their final bow, and Layman and Guillory are prepping their no-doubt expansive and expensive post-series vacation plans. (My money's on "two weeks of rest and then back at it," because Comics Never Stops.)
Traumedy: One thing Layman and Guillory excel at is the combination of inflicting both laughs and emotional trauma on their readers. It's a tricky balance, because if you tip to one side or the other, everything comes falling down. But Team CHEW pulls it off, with a number of character deaths being genuine tearjerkers and other random acts of violence being belly laugh-worthy. This is the fun of comics. Layman's casually funny scripts paired with Guillory's clever cartooning make you believe in the personality and humor in their characters, so when they twist the knife, you feel it. Not that they would ever do anything so cruel, of course...
The Beginning of the End: All good things come to an end, and nothing lasts forever, not even comics. "The Last Suppers" is the penultimate story arc of CHEW and heralds the beginning of the end, kind of like another Last Supper you may have heard of. If you've been curious about CHEW for a while, or you've lost track of the series somehow, now's a good time to dig back into the book in whatever way feels comfortable. If you're brand new, the first volume remains in print, and if you've been around for a while, this next-to-last arc will re-introduce characters and remind you of exactly what came before, just ahead of what's going to be a no-doubt apocalyptic ending.
CHEW #51 is on sale now, along with ten individual collected editions, four Omnivore Editions that include two collected editions each, and two Smorgasbord editions, which collect over twenty issues of the series at a time.