A fan-made, live-action trailer for the long-running comic book Chew was released today from YouTube design group, FAM !. The short two-and-a-half-minute video stylishly introduces viewers to the alt-comic icon and hopefully will renew interest in a character long overdue for mainstream exposure. This is what alternative superhero media might look like in a few years: divorced from genre tropes and focused on the average person.
Chew is a cult comic about FDA agent Tony Chu. Chu is a cibopath, meaning he can derive psychic information from anything he eats. As a former Vice cop, it was Chu’s job to find and shut down illegal, black market chicken, which was outlawed after a deadly bird flu outbreak. One day, while trying some illegal chicken soup, Chu gained a psychic link to a person, meaning the soup was made with bits of a human. After shutting down the cannibal chicken store, Chu was fired for eating a little bit of the killer so that he could track down the other victims. Since then, Chu’s been sneaking bits of people into his diet to help solve mysteries and stop crime.
The trailer shows main character Tony Chu as he enters a non-assuming diner looking to bust some illegal chicken. While newcomers might not understand Chu’s little episode after biting into some great-looking fried chicken, his powers are given an appropriately stylish interpretation as Chu experiences a psychic link with some deceased birds.
Writer John Layman and artist Rob Guillroy’s comic has been in publication since 2009, and quickly became one of Image Comics’ most well-received and highest-selling comics. Despite its popularity with readers and numerous industry awards, Chew has yet to receive the same kind of media speculation as Image compatriot The Walking Dead.
A proposed Showtime television series was cancelled after years of development, and an animated film adaptation has been put on hold. The latter is especially alarming considering the film had already officially cast Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Felicia Day (Con-Man), and David Tennant (Jessica Jones) in the main roles.
Chew’s blend of crime noir, horror, and supernatural elements should make the series ripe for some kind of television or film adaptation, especially considering the huge demand for stylish, eccentric comic adaptations as seen with Outcast and Preacher.