Thanks to Vault Comics for the review copy!
Things aren’t going well for the main characters in THE AUTUMNAL. Sybil is in the principal’s office for fighting and her mother Kat is struggling as well. The death of Kat’s estranged mother, and the New Hampshire house she left to her, provide an opportunity for Kat and Sybil to escape.
Issue 1 is the kind of slow burn introduction that is more concerned with getting you to care about the characters and setting the tone than providing big moments. In this respect, THE AUTUMNAL succeeds. Kat and Sybil are given some fun banter to establish their unusual mother-daughter relationship. Their dialogue is filled with the type of quirks that make them feel like real people. Both of them have flaws while seeming like good people overall.
THE AUTUMNAL does an excellent job of establishing a creepy, mysterious tone without revealing too much. Something’s not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. I find this much more effective than the blood and guts approach many horror books rely on. The gradual increasing uneasiness, combined with the affection you will probably develop for the characters, makes this first issue very effective.
The art nails the little details, from perfect facial expressions to bruising on the characters. The coloring subtly sets the tone for the book. The panels do a great job of storytelling. For example, the buildup to the reveal on the last page in particular is amazing. The lettering is also very effective, using bold to emphasize key words that really help you imagine how the dialogue would be spoken.
THE AUTUMNAL’s ample curse words and implied violence render it more appropriate for older readers. If you like creepy horror that relies on character development and atmosphere more than bloody monsters, this series is worth a look.
THE AUTUMNAL #1 is now available
Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts on the second issue of this series.
Are you going to pick up this title? Have you already? Want to talk to me about it? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!