Crip Appetites: American Gastrodystopias in the Graphic Series Chew

Marta Usiekniewicz


I propose a serious exploration of food and eating anxieties of late capitalism as expressed in the imagined gastrodystopia of Chew, a graphic series by John Layman and Rob Guillory featuring a cannibal detective. Viewed as a reflection on the interweaving of fears associated with the disabling impact of globalization, climate crisis, exploitation of (human) resources, as well as discourses of crises of masculinity and collapse of social bonds in neoliberalism, Chew present a new way of conceptualizing gender, consumption, waste, and community through characters that both conform to and subvert conventional gender types featured in comics and the eating practices implicitly or explicitly associated with them. Using concepts and frameworks from critical eating studies, gender studies, new materialism and crip theory, I examine the ways in which cannibalism may be used to comment on consumption and identity.

This article is a result of a research project entitled “Crip Appetites: Toria crip i krytyczne badania nad jedzeniem w amerykańskim komiksie” carried out at ASC UW and funded by State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled People (PFRON). Project no. BEA/000044/BF/D.

Słowa kluczowe: Cannibalism, science fiction, masculinity, food and eating, gender, waste

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