Last year, Vault Comics debuted their Nightfall imprint with The Plot by Tim Daniel, Michael Moreci, and Joshua Hixson. This year, the annual fall horror imprint is coming back with another tale of terror—The Autumnal. The series is written by NY Times bestselling author Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, Trollhunters), illustrated by rising star artist Chris Shehan, colored by Jason Wordie, and lettered by Jim Campbell.
The story follows Kat Somerville and her daughter, Sybil as they leave their harsh life in Chicago for the quaint Comfort Notch, New Hampshire after the death of Kat’s estranged mother. Kraus said in a statement:
“In ten novels, I’d written about a lot of monsters, but most were humans, or lighthearted, or greatly sympathetic. I still had a hankering to create an original, frightening, supernatural thing that had a shot at being iconic. While discussing horror with friends, I stumbled upon the concept of fallen leaves being like stepping stones for some kind of forest monster — a pathway it could use to follow you home and so forth. It was such a visual idea to me that I thought it’d be the perfect story to be my comic debut. I’m a gigantic fan of EC Comics, but I wanted to go in the opposite direction here and make something sophisticated and sad.
I’ve been a devotee of folk horror since I saw The Wicker Man on late-night TV as a little kid, and coming from a rural area, I’ve always been especially keyed into the isolating dread of small towns. You whiz by them on interstates in a flash, but you never really know what’s going on inside all those little houses, do you?”
“When you write novels without pictures, you have to be good at giving the reader strong visuals through your words, and Daniel is very good at that,” added Shehan. “For this comic, I’m drawing the visuals (along with outstanding colorist Jason Wordie), but before I drew a single line, I could see this entire story in my head beautifully and that’s thanks to a great writer like Daniel. My goal with this book is to move you, scare you, make you laugh, and make you cry with my art. This story has haunted me in the best way and I’m excited and grateful to be able to pass that on to you.”
The Autumnal #1 is slated to hit store shelves in September 2020. Look for two variant covers by Nathan Gooden and Daniel.