The first issue of The October Girl suffers from the problem of many stories that try to do short installments with an overarching story: the beginning is almost always going to be set-up and/or exposition and, no matter how great the end product is going to be, it'll feel boring.
There's quite a bit more telling than showing for the first seven or so pages, a few of them littered with more than a dozen captions of narration to introduce the reader to Autumn, a teenaged girl who works a job at a coffee shop to help out her mother.
Smith brings an artistic style very reminiscent of Mike Mignola's straight lined, sharp-angled faces, so much so that it didn't surprise me when I saw that he worked on Hellboy. This style seems to benefit greatly from the white-black-blue color scheme he's using here in The October Girl, especially when compared to his Doctor Who work, where the solid black shadows sometimes clash pretty hard against a full palette of colors.
With Autumn, Smith strikes a chord with the disillusioned teenagers/twentysomethings who have no idea what they're going to do regarding adult things like money and college and jobs.
And like many of us in that age bracket, as a child she believed the world to have been created by Santa Claus and an army of teddy bears, which she debated with Barnaby, her imaginary (or not?) friend.
Okay, maybe that's a step further than the average millennial, but that's The October Girl's hook: upper-lower class/lower-middle class girl discovers her world is far more interesting than the world would have you believe. It's a premise that's led to spectacularly amazing stories and painfully pedestrian ones and ten pages is just too short to judge where this one will end up.
I'll be keeping my eye on The October Girl, especially at $1 for ten pages. A dollar is that magical price point where I won't really feel like I've lost much even if I end up disappointed, but I'm hoping for something amazing.
David Fairbanks doesn't get many things right the first time. He studied physics in college, loves science, music, comics, poetry, movies, books and education pertaining to all of the above. He will talk your ear off about Grant Morrison and Ben Folds, has an indie bookshelf larger than his Marvel, DC and Vertigo ones combined and if he ever actually grows up, more than anything else, he wants to still be happy as an “adult,” whatever that is.