The Autumnal: Comic Book Review
Without a doubt, autumn is my favourite time of the year. It, therefore, stands to reason, that The Autumnal, from Vault Comics has, in one issue, made its way onto my Favourite Comics of the Year list.
After hearing about the death of her estranged mother, Kat Somerville and her daughter Sibyl leave the crushing pressure of life in Chicago to head back to her childhood home; the town of Comfort Notch in New Hampshire. As one would reasonably imagine, this quaint little town may not be as wholesome as it appears…
Ode to The Autumnal
When you look at the creative team behind The Autumnal, it comes as no surprise that we have a masterpiece on our hands. NYT best-selling author Daniel Kraus’ words come to us like delicate falling leaves through lettering by the inimitable Jim Campbell, and Chris Sheehan’s typically stunning art provides their backdrop. For me, though, one of the best parts of autumn is the colours. Oh, Jason Wordie, how you did not let me down. The Autumnal is coloured to beautifully encapsulate all those things so special and spooky about this season. Early sunsets and amber gold leaves make each rough-edged panel a work of art all its own. Truly, The Autumnal is a masterclass in every facet of comic book creation.
Kings & Queens
Even without his named inclusion, there would have been no doubt that Stephen King was a huge influence in the creation of The Autumnal. As someone who, like Sybil, was introduced to King’s work while young, it’s impossible not to see the homage to his work throughout the story, not least down to the New Hampshire setting. Throughout, Kraus & Co. deftly guide us on a tour of quintessential American Rural Gothic. Nods to folklore, secret struggles, and lives not lived abound without feeling heavy-handed, and with every page turn the sense of mounting malaise and disquiet in this little town grows. Trust me, it doesn’t leave you wanting for anything but the next issue.
The Autumnal really is a triumph of a modern classic (it makes sense, okay, it does). There isn’t a box that this comic doesn’t tick. In fact, it draws new boxes and takes the liberty of ticking them as it goes, too.
If you liked The Plot, you’ll love The Autumnal. If you like horror, you’ll love The Autumnal. Trust me, if you like comics, you’ll love The Autumnal.
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