DEATH BY CHOCOLATE
A happy single chocolate maker receives an invitation to tour a secret Swiss chocolate-making plant, and discovers the terrifying secret to their fabulous chocolate: they've captured an alien being who crashed on Earth, and are using it in their chocolate vats. In his attempt to escape the plant, he falls into the burning chocolate - but instead of dying he is somehow "melded" with the alien consciousness, turning him into a man of living chocolate, with the power to turn anything else into solid chocolate.
His return to his hometown takes a turn for the worse as he loses control of his power in a fit of anger, killing everyone in the town as he transforms them into chocolate (the unliving kind). As he attempts to commit suicide shortly thereafter, the FBI finds him, and recruits him.
Teamed with Agent Anderson, he begins to investigate chocolate-related incidents for the Bureau -- and there are more of those than you might think!
David seems particularly skilled at taking one absurd notion (the origin of the chocolate man) and weaving an entire story around his origin and his subsequent life which is no longer absurd.
In the third issue of DBC, he's managed to write a story that combines a chocolate car, a talking dog from a parallel dimension, time travel, and Ernest Hemingway - and it all makes a twisted sort of sense. The second issue, The Metabolators, is a story about the agents used by the feds to erase the evidence of what happened in the chocolate man's hometown. A chilling, mysterious tale - well told, and frightening. Like good X-Files stories, Death By Chocolate takes one absurd notion and spins out a plausible tale around the notion of "what if it were true"?
As with Threshold, David's art is thick and blocky. But where he seems to be going intentionally quirky with Threshold, in DBC he seems to go out of his way to seem more realistic. The panel layouts and such are still repetitive, but the artwork is always interesting, and solid by the third issue (produced more than a year after the first issue). My only complaint is that the "look" of the chocolate man is unimpressive, and doesn't make him look particularly like chocolate. It must be a difficult thing to attempt to render, but the result is difficult to discern.
Try Death By Chocolate out with readers of X-Files (and fans of the show) who wouldn't mind a somewhat more unbelievable story (more unbelievable than a guy who is a living cancer?), fans of offbeat adventure (like David's own Threshold, or Doom Patrol), and of course, fans of chocolate! DBC is an ideal crossover book for the casual reader: its title catches the eye and grabs their interest, yet its subject matter is just intriguing enough to get them to come back for more. Be ready with all of the chapters available for those repeat customers!