Review: The Autumnal #1

Writer: Daniel Kraus
Artist: Chris Shehan
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Jim Campbell
September 23rd – Vault Comics

Following the death of her estranged mother, Kat Somerville and her daughter, Sybil, flee a difficult life in Chicago for the quaint–and possibly pernicious–town of Comfort Notch, New Hampshire. From NY Times best-selling author, Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, Trollhunters, The Living Dead), and rising star Chris Shehan, comes a haunting vision of America’s prettiest autumn.

Probably one of my most hyped books for 2020, The Autumnal promises taking something beautiful about Autumn, the beautiful changing and falling of leaves, and twists it into something nightmarish and unsettling.

I was lucky enough to read the first two issues of The Autumnal from Vault Comics early. I’ll have my review for the second issue up closer to release, and just discuss issue one today.

Issue one of The Autumnal gave me the same sort of excitement I got from reading The Plot for the first time, blended with the unsettling feeling that Hereditary left many viewers with. Something about the haunting mysteries of losing a family member, and discovering more about them once they’re gone.

The writing is so impactful. My heart ached for Kat and Sybi, and their struggles they had to endure. I understand entirely the emotional situation of attending a parents funeral that you feel abandoned you. The frustration and pain was conveyed so perfectly. But beyond just the connection to the characters, there was something subtle and haunting the moment they arrived to Comfort Notch, it was hard to deny that even the reader feels out of place there just reading.

The art is absolutely gorgeous. Chris Shehan and Jason Wordie capture the glorious beauty of autumn in such a spectacular way. The art is incredible, as we’d expect from Shehan, and the colors are rich and evoke the feeling of fall many of us are longing for. But it isn’t all beautiful in Comfort Notch, and Shehan and Wordie make sure to leave us haunting imagery that I cannot wait to see expanded upon. And again we have Jim Campbell doing the lettering, giving us great work that keeps us focused on the book.

Today (8/31) is the final day shops can order the Autumnal – be sure to let them know you’ll be needing a copy. This stunning book is going to blow you all away.


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