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Autumnal 6 Main

"The Autumnal #6" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Vault Comics

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Written by Daniel Kraus
Illustrated by Chris Shehan
Colored by Jason Wordie
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 14th, 2021

Review:

The secrets of Comfort Notch are being revealed and it could cost Kat her daughter. The town has lived with this unsettling ritual that takes the life of a local child every few years. If one isn't offered up or escapes, like Kat did ages ago, there's a bigger price to pay. If we've learned anything about Kat during this series so far, it's that she doesn't go down without a fight.

If you haven't been along for the ride so far, Kat seems crazy. There's an invisible monster stalking her house, ready to gobble up her daughter, Sybil. The only other person that agrees with her is the local crazy / drug addict who just died, so there's not a lot of credibility here. That bit of doubt adds fuel to the fire of The Autumnal, like maybe this is all in Kat's head. There's certainly a path where that plays out, but the evidence of this supernatural terror is just too much for us as readers.

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The Autumnal has been a slow burn so far and writer Daniel Kraus turns up the heat with this issue. You can feel how so much is coming to a head. There's a ton of tension in Kat's voice as she gets desperate to save her daughter at all costs. This shines in letterer Jim Campbell's work too. Kat sounds frantic in her speech.

What really struck me with The Autumnal #6 is how frightening simple things like fallen leaves have become. This book casts them as this ominous presence, like a harbinger of doom. The perfectly manicured lawns of Comfort Notch don't have any on them, so when they pop up, they appear out of place, especially with how they tie to the big bad.

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Artist Chris Shehan delivers a few scenes where these leaves will scare the crap out of you. I realize that's a crazy sentence to write, but it's true. Whether they're smacking against a window or flying out of a car's heating system, these things are terrifying. There's one shot where Kat and Sybil head outside and the leaves are flying through the wind, surrounding them like walls. The wind literally roars, with the sound swirling around the page. There is some great sound effect work in this issue. I love how it flows with the artwork, amplifying each scene they pop up in.

All of this would be lost without colorist Jason Wordie, who uses an eerie palette that will have you second guessing those comfy fall sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. The red in the leaves is like a mix of blood and fire. It lines up with that foreboding tone perfectly. I love how certain panels have a scratchy effect with the colors, like they were filled in hastily to convey a specific mood.

The Autumnal is one of the most unsettling comics on the stands today. It will leave you on the edge of your seat as so many elements come together in a beautiful and terrifying manner. It's a tense book that's paying dividends in scares.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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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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