Comic Book Review: The Autumnal #1

By Rebecca Benson

Fall is my favorite season! And with its rapid approach, I have been–impatiently–waiting for Autumnal’s release!

Autumnal centers around a mother and daughter duo. Life has not been kind to either, and yet they strive to make it better. Together. Kat has taught her daughter, Sybil, how to survive and fend for herself. Then, Kat gets a call from someone from her past. They must return to Kat’s hometown of Comfort Notch. While exploring the idyllic small town, we get a glimpse of Kat’s tormented childhood and backstory. Kat and Sybil must come to reckon with the haunted past, present, and perhaps, even future.

There are so many great elements to this eerie comic. Hats off to Writer Daniel Kraus for this incredible story. Artist Chris Shehan and Colorist Jason Wordie have captured the quintessential colors and designs of Autumn, right down to the chilling wind. The vibrant colors appear as the duo arrives at Comfort Notch, as opposed to Chicago’s lackluster coloring. Comfort Notch is notorious for their Autumn hues, often bringing visitors. Letterer Jim Campbell added dimension with the use of distinctive fonts. It helps the storytelling as we dive deeper into Kat’s psyche and inner dialogue. I admire and appreciate the symbolism embedded within these pages: a broken mirror, the name “Sybil,” and the changing of seasons. The reader is left wondering what all this newness will bring about. Is it for the better? For worse? Only time will tell.

This creative team has really gotten to the heart of the matter of being a small family-all on their own. As a single mom myself, I can feel the despair of being on one’s own with a daughter in tow. It’s not an easy road, and most certainly, not a “one size fits all” type of circumstance. Even so, our mother/daughter bond is not so easily broken. I highly empathize with Kat when she has to come home, fighting differing emotions, from feeling alienated to disgraced. Kat is doing the best for her daughter; in the only ways, she knows how. The reader has only been given a few details. However, we don’t fully know how or why she found herself in this situation. 

The Autumnal #1 is the perfect book to welcome in the change of seasons. I know I am definitely going to be enjoying this series! 

Rating: FIVE Pastrami Nations out of FIVE

Pastrami Nations five

Rebecca Benson currently resides in the mountains of California. A mother of one daughter, she has a love for pop culture, with a knack for Disney, Harry Potter, and is currently an educator for the hearing impaired. An avid reader, she jumped deeper into the world of comic books in 2020, with her interest piqued in the independent scene.

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