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Middlewest #1 Review

Story by Skottie Young

Art by Jorge Corona

Colours by Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

Skottie Young has quickly transitioned from the cool variant cover artist to a superb writer with I Hate Fairyland and Bully Wars. Middlewest continues that success but unlike most his previous most his previous series’ it is more of a serious work with touches of humour, but this change of pace is taken in stride by Young with the instantly sympathetic protagonist and engaging world that makes you compelled to read on.

Abel is a young kid in a middle west town with an abusive father. We see his activities through a Saturday, where he has a paper round, meets up with his friends and get into trouble, whilst this could have easily been just a slice of life tale; we are immediately clued in that there are magical/fantasy elements to this tale with Abel joined by a talking fox companion because as Young says at the end ‘comics’.  All of this is written with such heart that even without the magical slant this would be a must buy and a joy to read as there is an earnest sincerity to the whole comic that feels reminiscent of Cates work in God Country and I would say if you enjoyed that book then Middlewest is right up your alley.

Corona’s art melds perfectly a grounded, earthy story with the more whimsical, magical elements to create a tale and picture that instantly draws you in. The style of cartooning suits the world as it not too zany which lends itself to more weight in the story especially the father’s actions. The art paired with the fantastic colours of Beaulieu make this book gorgeous and Young knows it as he does not overcrowd the pages with reams of text but allows the art to speak for itself; and it is great.

Verdict: Buy.

This showcases exactly how to write a first issue with stunning art, characters and story that is intriguing and heartfelt; and of course a talking fox.

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