cover image The Autumnal: The Complete Series

The Autumnal: The Complete Series

Daniel Kraus and Chris Shehan. Vault, $19.99 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-939424-79-2

Kraus (The Shape of Water) and newcomer Shehan weave a creepy horror tale from the threads of past sins in a small town where malevolent forces lurk behind a picturesque facade. Kat Somerville’s mother sent her away when she was nine years old. Twenty-five years later, Kat is called back to Comfort Notch, N.H., for her mother’s funeral and to the home she’s inherited. When Kat and her daughter Sybil accept the generosity of a man who then suddenly dies (“He choked on leaves,” reports his young son), his widow blames Kat. As her life spirals into chaos, Kat becomes fascinated by rumors around Clementine Biddle, a woman said to live in the trees, and digs into the history of Comfort Notch, including a deadly fire at a skating rink in 1996, and learns that Clementine “always gets her revenge in the end.” It turns out the comforts of Comfort Notch come at a price: the blood of children just like Sybil. Superb, fall-toned art plays on a recurring theme of leaves. The gripping, violent plot and the sharply drawn mother-daughter dynamic at its core are a complex combo that will easily satisfy genre fans. Agent: Richard Abate (for Daniel Kraus), 3 Arts. (Sept.)