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The Pale webcomic review

The Pale

 co-writer, co-creator: Sanders Fabares

Co-writer, co-creator, artist: Jay Fabares


A woman is found murdered in the desert just outside Rocket Ridge, Arizona. 

The Pale is a character-driven, crime mystery comic set in Arizona. The story follows a face- blind FBI linguistics expert, Franklin ‘Fink’ Ink, who thinks this bloody murder might be linked to a previous case.. 

Fink, has a rare condition, face-blindness, which is the inability to retain any facial information. This may seem somewhat counter-intuitive for a member of law enforcement, however, it does mean he has developed incredible linguistic skills. He is able to focus on a person’s language and speech pattern, as well and subtle nuances in their behaviour. 

Rocket Ridge and colourful characters

Working out of Rocket Ridge, is the tired, but good-natured Sheriff Logan alongside, his plucky young Deputy Dawn. The whole of the local police force are like a family, they are a really interesting group of people to follow around town. 

It is so clear from early on that co-creators Jay and Sanders really know how to tell a story and how to write characters. The relationship between the characters is genuine and engaging, you are drawn into them and want them to stay safe!!

A shakeup

The panels move along at a nice pace we feel the urgency of Frank Ink’s movements juxtaposed with the slow pace of rocket ridge. Sheriff Logan is used to a slower pace. There is not much action day-to-day and, the discovery of the body and the arrival of Fink really shakes things up. Working with each other, Fink and the Sheriff discover that this mysterious death may be tied to a local tribe, and they will have to dig deep into the local culture to find out what has happened.

I found myself asking questions as I read more and some were answered and some not, it is certainly a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The writing is reminiscent of X-Files, Twin Peaks and Longmire. All the things I really enjoy. 

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Final thoughts

The Pale is a really great comic. Especially considering this is the debut comic from the Fabares team. The characters are fleshed out, well crafted and believable. The narrative is steeped in mystery and intrigue. It reads like a love letter to character/ narrative-driven dramas but with a darker underbelly. Artistically, The Pale is both simple yet wonderful complex. We see the characters both as they are and, how they look to Fink with his face blindness, which is something that really sets The Pale from similar series. It is a fascinating visual choice and I thought it worked really well. 

Where can I read The Pale? 

You can read the webcomic on thepalecomic.com

 You can read the collected issues 1-4 on comiXology.

About The Creators

Sanders and Jay are a husband and wife team living in San Diego, California. 

Sanders has worked on the community side of games and social media for almost 10 years.

Jay has worked as an artist for mobile and Facebook games and has freelanced for Nickelodeon, Warner Bros and Disney as a concept pitch artist. Jay’s most recent work can be seen as a cover artist for Valiant Comics.


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