With word out that Outer Darkness/CHEW #1 has sold out and a second printing is imminent, is now a good time to talk about the elephant in the room? Or rather, the chicken in the room, as creator of both CHEW and Outer Darkness John Layman has been taesing a new CHEW series all week on social media. Well, today he’s dropped the news of said new book, CHU. Wait… what now?
Seems this series will be focussed on Saffron Chu and not Tony. Here’s what Layman told The Hollywood Reporter about this new series set in the ‘Chewniverse’:
(Outer Darkness/CHEW) was necessary to come first, to make way for Chu, which is a totally new thing, the story of Saffron Chu.
The closest comparison I can readily think of to Chew and Chu is Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul — two series set in the same universe, with obvious connections, but widely different in pace, tone, even structure. Chu will be that to Chew, but not a prequel; a story that spins out of the early days of Chew and then runs concurrently, but unlike Saul, which gets closer to Breaking Bad with every episode and season, Chu will spin out of Chew and get progressively further away, hopefully forging its own identity as something completely new and different and distinct.
Fooling many a fan and other websites, Layman has pulled a blinder with this week-long tease and managed to get the interest of fans up too, including this one. I don’t think any of us could have guessed at this curveball. Well played, John, well played.
This new series also introduces American readers to Dan Boultwood, who has been something of a regular on the UK Comic Con scene for a good few years, having worked on the Phoenix Weekly here in the UK, as well as work for MTV and Hatchette and now placed into the spotlight he deserves. Congratulations, Dan.
Speaking as a regular attendee at the MCM Birmingham shows, the Comics Village is a hotbed of unsigned, and under-the-radar talent. I’m surprised that these kind of deals aren’t made more often. But then, ReedPOP haven’t owned the MCM brand for too long, so they haven’t had established comic book creators coming over to this side of teh mind all too often. And, when they do, they usually save the big guns for London.
Who knows, if you’re planning to table at any of the upcoming MCM shows (if they’re not cancelled from the coronavirus threat), you could be next!
Now, check out this first look at Chu #1.
Chu #1 will be out June 1 from Image Comics.