The Pale Review: Birds Of A Feather Are Damned Together

Birds symbolise a variety of things, from the freedom of the sky, to a young person asserting their independence. Birds play a big part in Sanders and Jay Fabares’ The Pale, which sees avian enthusiast Franklin ‘Fink’ Ink confront his past in the Arizona desert. Ink also works for the FBI as a linguist and it puts him into contact with the sheriff of a small town. But Fink is hiding something crucial about himself that could make or break the case. The Comic Vault was sent The Pale #1 and #2 in exchange for an honest review.

The comic centres on Rocket Ridge, which boarders the Navajo Nation. The mix of Native American mythology and a small community Is an intriguing combination. As Fink starts his investigation, it’s revealed he has prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness. The neurological disorder makes it hard for Fink to recognise familiar and unfamiliar faces, which adds to the mystery of what he’s looking for in Rocket Ridge. Meanwhile, local sheriff Terrence Logan comes across a dead body.


It’s not long before Fink starts having visions of a faceless man that turns into a bird. Birds that show up in the comic include a vulture and owl. Each of them could represent different aspects of the human mind. The owl could be a metaphor for wisdom and be used as a warning that Fink should stay away from Rocket Ridge. The vulture could represent death and how scavengers are descending upon the town. The wilderness feels like the main enemy – It’s dangerous, unpredictable and feels like it will devour Rocket Ridge whole.

The art is minimalistic, with a lot of grey and black in each panel. This fits with the noir setting and the best detail can be found in the environment. Fink’s face blindness is represented by muted expressions to showcase how much difficulty he has. I enjoyed how vivid the birds looked. The story is interesting and Fink is a well-rounded character who is trying to cope with his disorder and do the best he can.

Finks Dream Bird Fly

The Pale is a promising comic from a team who clearly enjoy the medium. It’s already won a couple of awards, such as Best Writing in the Ghost City Comics Competition. This is a series that’s worth believing in and you can buy it from Comixology.

To find out more about The Pale, make sure to check out Sanders and Jay’s website.


Author: thecomicvault

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