Chew, of which Sadmac is a huge fan. A while back he loaned me the first three collected volumes, and here I'm going to write up my thoughts on the second volume, entitled "International Flavor".
(for information on the first volume, check the entry on Wikipedia)
At the end of volume one (Taster's Choice) we have Tony's partner, Mason Savoy, revealing that he's not who he claims to be. We have a Russian who says she works for "the vampire". And we have an unexplained reference to another world and aliens.
In this volume, we learn who the vampire is and what his powers are. We follow Tony as he takes an unsanctioned trip to the small island country of Yamapalu, the source for the mysterious fruit called "Gallsberry" which, when cooked, tastes exactly like chicken. A fruit that didn't exist prior to the bird flu panic.
We also have Tony being teamed up with his new partner, who just so happens to be his former partner in Philly, John Colby. The last we had seen Colby, he was taking a butcher's knife to the face. But now he's been altered, enhanced with some biomechanical parts that give him a Terminator-like appearance. But he doesn't get to go on the tropical investigation, instead staying behind to run interference with their very dickish boss, Applebee.
All in all, this was a fun, twisted tale. We learn a little bit more about the Vampire, including what precisely he is and what he's doing. We find out there's something interesting frozen in ice somewhere. And we have Tony being pulled into some political intrigue.
Rob Guillory has created a great, interesting world and continues a fascinating tale with the issues in this volume. Whereas before we learned about cibopaths (people who can determine the history of an item by consuming it), in this issue we learn the terms cibolocuter, or a person who can ONLY communicate THROUGH food. They can make you feel emotions or communicate sentences or through.
Really, the whole of this world is fun and interesting. And I want to know more about the Gallsberry fruit, the other planet, and what the vampire is doing after having read this volume. And on our buy it, borrow it or don't bother scale, I'm going to agree with Sadmac and rate "International Flavor" a buy. It does a great job of furthering and enhancing the mythology of Chu's world, and really makes you want to read more.
And I love how the characters, the items, and everything references food. As a foodie that really connects with me as well.