Christmas is bearing down upon us, but if you’re looking for something to fill the void between feasts (and awkward family gatherings), then I’m back again to bring you your next favorite webcomic (hopefully) while you loaf about on the couch! Please, if you have any feedback, leave it here in the comments or contact me on Twitter (@Sully_Writes). And as always, if you have or know of a webcomic that you’d like to see reviewed, reach out and let me know!
Summary: Centralia 2050 is a cyberpunk webcomic about a woman named Midori who gains consciousness in the midst of a sprawling dystopian metropolis. Without any inclination as to where she is from or what the state of the world currently is, Midori must rely on her newfound friend, Grey, as they pursue the only memory that she has: a missing girl named Weiss who calls out to Midori in her dreams.
Story: While Centralia 2050 is not an action-packed webcomic, it does certainly have a nice flow. The pacing is fast enough to keep the reader interested without becoming thin or hasty. In all honesty, it reminded me more of a slice-of-life comic than anything else, spending more time in exploring the emotions and relationships of the characters than science fiction themes. It does an excellent job at this, providing believable characters and dialogue who just happen to set in the future.
Why is this important? The best way I can answer that is through the source-less quote that I heard years ago, “Sci-fi is your setting, not your story.” While Centralia 2050 may not delve very deeply into outlandish technology or traditional cyberpunk tropes, it doesn’t have to. The story is strong enough on its own that it could work within any setting.
Though Grey himself does come across as somewhat stereotypical, he softens quickly and creates an interesting dynamic. The interactions between him and Midori as some of the best parts of the book thus far and are reason enough alone to read.
Art: The art in Centralia 2050 is greyscale; but, honestly, it is some of the better black and white work I’ve seen in webcomics. A tremendous amount of detail goes into the shading and texturing of each of the panels, especially by the third chapter. Honestly, I’m not sure at this point if Michelle is getting off any easier than if she were going full-color in her pages.
Another strength of the art in this comic is emotion. The expressiveness of the characters is fantastic and really helps to draw the reader in. There are Big Two comics running at this very moment that still struggle to capture facial expressions this fluidly. Body language in the characters is also handled fairly well, though occasionally, during a strange panel angle, they can feel a bit off.
Nearly all of the details, from the backgrounds to the lettering of this comic, are treated with respect and care.
Conclusion: Do not recommend this comic for its genre. Recommend it for the types of people who enjoy drama or slice-of-life. If I had to compare it to other webcomics that you might have read, Fine Sometimes Rain comes to mind. This could change in the future chapters. The comic may begin to rely more heavily on science fiction. However, for now, this is my advice in recommending it to friends.
It was very difficult for me to come up with a rating for this comic. While I enjoyed it substantially, and I feel as though it was executed very well, it’s just too early to see what, if any, innovations might unfold. As it stands, nothing about the comic is incredibly original. An amnesiac, a powerful shady corporation, and an underground resistance aren’t a new combination of concepts. That alone prevented me from giving Centralia a higher score (not that it could go much higher).