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The Autumnal 1 Main

"The Autumnal #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Vault Comics


Written by Daniel Kraus
Illustrated by Chris Shehan
Colored by Jason Wordie
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 23rd, 2020


Nightfall, Vault Comics' horror imprint, gets a little bigger with the release of The Autumnal. The comic centers on Kat Somerville and her daughter, Sybil, as they leave Chicago behind and head to the small town of Comfort Notch after the death of Kat's estranged mother. The place seems nice enough, although it's more than a little eerie. What is lurking in the town with America's prettiest autumn?

I got a definite Stephen King vibe from The Autumnal #1, and not just because one of his books shows up at one point. This comes from the great way writer Daniel Kraus introduces the characters and the uneasy setting they find themselves in. With just a few pages, we instantly understand who Kat and Sybil are, what their relationship is like, and the troubles they've been through. You're along for the ride right away.

Comfort Notch is creepy and Kat and Sybil stand out like sore thumbs. This town looks like it's stuck in the 1950s, so a single mother with a black eye and tattoos rolling in causes quite a stir. That's just part of the eerie quality of this place. It's clear that the residents are hiding something, but we don't know what just yet.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Chris Shehan imbues The Autumnal #1 with life, most notably with the main characters. As mentioned before, we're quickly invested with their lives and that shines through in their designs. This couples well with the disturbing elements of the town, like the chalk drawings left by schoolchildren.

You know that little song from A Nightmare on Elm Street? “One, two, Freddy's coming for you.” Well, this makes that look like a nursery rhyme. Letterer Jim Campbell uses a lilting font for the song's lyrics, like the words float through the air infecting all who hear them.

Much is implied within this issue without shown. Shehan does some great work with reaction shots and framing to make your mind race with the possibilities. I found myself going over the pages a few times looking for additional details as to what's really going on in Comfort Notch.

Click images to enlarge

The town's slogan about the country's prettiest Autumn is definitely on display thanks to colorist Jason Wordie. The pages are full of oranges, reds, and yellows that seem to light the sky on fire. It is beautiful yet ominous. There's a stench of death about it.

The Autumnal will get into your brain and stay there. It has a haunting quality to it that really shines. This first issue has a dynamite cliffhanger and cements the unsettling nature of the story in such a way that you will be dying to learn more. Do not miss this book.


Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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