I've been wanting to read "Chew" for a while, and its recent Eisner win has convinced me that it's worth reading. Is it the type of book that I can just pick up now and get trades later? As in, are the stories fairly self-contained or is it a sprawling epic?

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The author does a fairly decent job of telling you what you need to know for each issue to make sense, but I recommend starting at the beginning because it is a sprawling epic. Also, the whole premise of the characters' unique abilities is very important to the story. To get all of the details about each character, you really need to start at the beginning (or read about it on Wikipedia, which isn't nearly as satisfying).

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