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Chicago Entrepreneur Debuts Graphic Novel To Inspire Hope, Promote Diversity

Following the release of her debut first graphic novel, ‘Asteria: The Legend of the Fallen Star,’ Morgan Middleton hopes to do her part to promote authentic and respectful representation of people of color in the entertainment world.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Since launching her creative media hub, Morganacity, in Chicago, Morgan Middleton remains on a mission to create meaningful stories that inspire, enlighten, and highlight those who have been underrepresented and misrepresented in media and society across generations.


“I have always been interested in the arts,” said Middleton, who also performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. “As I got older, the arts became about community, service, collaboration, and creating something bigger than oneself. It’s become more about what I can do as an artist to influence positive change and push myself creatively.”


Late last year, Middleton’s company released its first graphic novel, Asteria: The Legend of the Fallen Star. The 89-page book is the first in a series featuring a smart, yet shy 14-year-old Black girl named Celeste Evans as the lead character.


In the series, Celeste has perfected the art of camouflage, inspired in part by her life on an Army base, but mostly by her shyness. She prefers to slip under the radar, but when she is plucked from her ordinary suburban life and placed into a galactic military boarding school, Celeste must squash her own insecurities and find her true purpose.


According to a 2015 University of South Carolina study, Black characters in comics were disproportionately portrayed as lower class and possessing less agency [Example: a character’s ability to act intentionally as a protagonist or aggressor] than white characters.”

Middleton’s book series aims to remind girls to never underestimate the power that they hold, and to push themselves to find their inner purpose. The book is currently available on Amazon.


“I am tremendously proud of this book and the people behind the pages. Our brilliant illustrator Brittany Osaseri and our marvelous colorist Yaine Belfort put their heart and soul into this book, and it really shows. I am so happy that the types of characters, the journeys and the magic that exists in this book are something that can now be shared with a larger audience,” Middleton said.


Following the release of her graphic novel, Middleton said her company has no plans to slow down. She recently finished production and is participating in the film festival circuit with her first short film, Erlkönig, which addresses gun violence and health inequities within Black and Brown communities. She’s also actively working on other projects.


“Asteria Book 2 is already in the works and our team is working hard to get the book in a good position by next year. We are also currently in the pre-production phase of our next short film, which deals with Alzheimer’s disease and are seeking funding for a third film, Forever and a Day, a woman’s story about love and loss, which will be around 45 minutes long,” Middleton said.



ABOUT MORGANACITY: Founded in 2021 by Morgan Middleton, Morganacity exists to be an innovative creator and storyteller through theater, film, television, and literature. The company serves as a creative media hub with the goal of creating a sustainable future in which the arts and people of color meet to find relevancy, beauty, acceptance, and respect. To date, Morganacity has produced two creative pieces: a graphic novel, Asteria: The Legend of the Fallen Star and the short film, Erlkönig.

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