Skottie Young, writer
Jorge Corona, art
Jean-Francois Beaulieu, colors
Previously in Middlewest, Abel and his companion, an anthropomorphic fox, encounter an old magician named Jeb after fleeing from Abel’s home. Jeb points the pair to an amusement park to locate a mystic who can solve Abel’s problem: finding a cure for the strange red marks that appear on his stomach when he becomes angry. In this issue, Abel and the Fox arrive at “The Hurst Family Amazing Amusement” park and scavenge for food while searching for the mystic. Abel is caught stealing a wallet from a patron of the park. When he’s confronted, Abel becomes angry and has a strong outburst with surprising results.
The first three issues involved rapid movement in the story introducing the reader to magical characters, Abel’s sickness, and quest for a cure. This issue slows considerably. We are introduced to a group of children Jeb’s age, a talking robot, and an environment, in “The Hurst Family amazing Amusement,” which is full of possibilities. The newly introduced younger characters were intriguing because they have distinct personalities and a distinct role to play as protectors of the park. Old intrigues remain; whats with the pink substance in jars that seems to fuel this world? And, how did magic, anthropomorphic characters, and humans come together? Mostly, however, I am intrigued by Abel’s situation and his mysterious power-set, which he appears to share with his father.
The art is enjoyable and adds to the cryptic and whimsical nature of the book. The coloring grabs my attention, showing candy and concession stands, in lively colors. However, the most interesting art occurs with the depiction of the robot-character who is drawn in such a way as to demonstrate personality and volition. I enjoyed the rendition of the fox who is quick-witted an special capacities as a survivalist, as well. There’s still a lot of meat left on the bone and Skottie Young is taking his time to build this world that he’s created. I highly recommend this book to readers who love the mystical, coming-of-age stories, with the potential for deeper emotional layers that have yet to be revealed. Overall = 9/10