A small, sleepy town called Rocket Ridge. A body. An FBI agent looking to crack the case. There’s only one problem: the agent can’t remember individual faces. He’s Face Blind. And he wants to keep that little detail a secret from the local Sheriff’s department while they’re forced to work together.
There is something wrong in the town of Rocket Ridge. That much is apparent from the first chapter of the comic: made clear with the introduction of a mangled body and what comes with it (spoilers). It leads to a questionable report and the introduction of an FBI agent with his own motives for being there.
Tension is apparent in the comic’s art, dialogue and pacing. Everything is measured. Something is coming.
The Pale is created by husband and wife team Sanders and Jay Fabares. Sanders works as the writer while Jay does the art, lettering and helps to shapes the story. Respectively. They work together on layout and editing the script.
Coffee, it seems, it important to them. They take turns making that.
The easy comradery they have with each other is as beautiful as it is amusing. I barely know them. I’ve only met one of them. Yet their work speaks volumes for the bond they share as creative equals.
Reading The Pale is like reading a dance between newlyweds at their wedding. A weaving of love and passion into something only the two of them can share with the world. And my word, is this comic something worth sharing with everyone.
The art is striking. While it lacks color, it hardly needs it. The genre itself (character-driven Mystery) nearly begs for a greyscale approach and Jay has given it what it wants with clean lines, exceptional anatomy and perspective worth dying for.
At times it can be somber. Others it takes on a bright and barren atmosphere. Jay delivers flawlessly on both accounts.
The writing is drool worthy. It leaves you questioning in all the right places, but not floundering. You know the characters and you’re grounded in the world Sanders has created. The mystery remains, and with an air of tension to draw readers back each week looking for more.
Dialogue comes across as easy, spoken with a gentle dialect that gives credibility to the story at hand. As an outsider, the main protagonist (Fink) has a slightly different dialect from the people of Rocket Ridge. It works. As it should. I personally like that added touch and found it a novelty that just doesn’t get old.
So should you read The Pale? I think you should.
As the winner of Ghost City Comics Competition (2017): Best Writing and a finalist of numerous other contests, The Pale has accumulated quite the resume with what I’m certain will be more to come in the future as the story unfolds. As it stands, The Pale is really just getting its feet wet. The plot is revving up. Readers are already on the edge of their seat and there’s so much more to be seen. Therefore our recommendation here at Under The Ink is yes: read this webcomic and get into it while it’s fresh.
Get over there. Take a look. You won’t be disappointed.