Why You Should Read It: Middlewest
Art- Jorge Corona
Colors- Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering- Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Art- Jorge Corona and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
This is the story of a boy named Abel who goes on a journey across the Middlewest to find out about himself and his family’s past.
So far this series hits all of my favorite fiction tropes. We have a protagonist with some issue on a journey of discovery set in a fantastical world. Abel starts the story having had a rough home life. Then shit hits the fan and he finds out he’s cursed and has to travel across the country to find a cure. Along the way, he finds himself a community and learns things about himself. These things aren’t always good or happy things, but coming to terms with them is necessary if he wants to overcome his curse.
Abel goes through a lot. He struggles with some revelations about his past and what is perceived to be his “nature” and “destiny”. His story resonates with me in the same way the Iron Giant did when I was younger. The big take away from the Iron Giant is that “you are who you choose to be”. Middlewest is walking a very similar path. In the end Abel is going to learn somethings about himself that he won’t like, but he gets to choose what kind of person he is. He’s going to learn that what people say he “should be” doesn’t matter. What matters is what he wants to be.
I am absolutely here for that. This series has already made me cry, because I am that emotionally invested what’s going on.
It’s not all heavy emotional stuff though. The series is actually very whimsical overall. It’s set in a world that’s a mix of sci-fi and fantasy. There are things like energy farms and robots, but also magic and talking animals. The art adds to that. The art is very stylized and fantastical. It kind of reminds me of films like Coraline or the Nightmare before Christmas. Shapes and composition are more important than realism. This means everything is fun to look at and it conveys emotions well.
The colors are also fantastic. There are lots of them and they’re very bold and vibrant. I feel like a lot of stories with similar settings tend to have really drab color palettes. That’s not a problem here and I feel like it adds a lot to the overall fantastical nature of the series. This looks like a world where magic exists and weird things can happen.