Imagine that you wake up in some form of interrogation room. Now imagine that some weird looking pale guy is treating you like a savage criminal, accusing you of something that he states is beyond forgiveness, yet you have no idea what in the world he is talking about. Add a little bit of torture and you are beginning to experience the opening of Pale Dark, an independent collaboration between Chuck Amadori and Ruvel Abril published through Isle Squared Comics in a limited release. It follows the experiences of a man known only as “Subject K” and his dealing with the Pale Man and his minions. The writing of Chuck Amadori leaves you confused, but it is by design (A good confused). The reader is experiencing and trying to understand what is happening to Subject K just as he is trying to understand. The "for sure" understandings are that Subject K and some others are being continually tortured. The Pale Man is pale (and a little creepy with his intensity) and that K still has no idea what's going on even though everyone else seems to know exactly what is going on. All nice aspects of what looks to be an interesting adventure with some mystery involved on a story that is planned for 26 issues.
Ruvel Abril does the art and his pictures are unnerving with lots of blacks and shadows, kind of like a David Fincher movie, Se7en comes to mind. It aides the writing helping to add to the paranoia that is mounting by the moment as you read this comic. It is a strong device that delivers its desired effect.
Like any good opening issue, an interesting "happening" occurs at the end that definitely adds to the confusion, but also makes you want to know more. I give this comic high marks for its development and luring of the reader into this strange world and for making you want more. As I understand it, Pale Dark was originally slated to be done as a movie. It didn't quite pan out, so the graphic novel seemed to be a logical step. An excellent choice I feel. If Pale Dark continues from the momentum generated from issue one, then a movie might just be in the future of this delightfully delicious story.
Writer: Chuck Amadori Artist: Ruvel Abril Publisher: Isle Squared Price: $5.00 (plus shipping) Website