Wednesday Webcomics: Go Behind the Mask with “City of Blank”

Art by 66

Identity theft is a serious issue, but if you live in Glory City, the setting for the webcomic City of Blank, it’s more than someone simply masquerading as you. Glory City is filled with ghostly entities known as “Blanks”, and if they “see” your face, they will steal it… along with your life.

City of Blank, created by 66, is the story of a young man named Rex, who has arrived in Glory City searching for his brother’s killer. His desire to keep a low profile is negated by his unique ability to touch Blanks, rather than passing right through them the way everyone else does. When he attempts to intervene in a Blank attack, he draws attention because of the way he fights the Blanks off. Suddenly, everyone is talking about this mysterious new Blank hunter, and he finds himself stumbling across some dark secrets about the city and his own past.

Bradda M. listed this series as part of his found families webcomic roundup way back in December 2021, but I wanted to give it its own recommendation. I love how it takes a simple concept like identity theft – something many of us in the internet generation are all too aware of – and cranks it up to a billion. Blanks are essentially faceless ghosts; they are intensely attracted to human faces, and if they see one, they swarm. They absorb the face onto their own “body”, literally stealing it from the person, who almost always ends up dying as a result.

Because of this, everyone wears masks – in public and in private – to protect themselves. A Blank that steals a person’s face slowly becomes more and more like the person, until they eventually become an exact replica – complete with that person’s memories.

I really love this as a concept. It’s so inherently creepy, so perfectly terrifying. You basically have to be masked at all times or you run the risk of no longer existing while someone else walks around with your face and your memories. It’s the perfect metaphor for the different masks we all wear – the facade we put on for the world versus the way we can let our walls down in private. But in the world of City of Blank, there basically is no private, because Blanks are non-corporeal and can go through walls. So they will suddenly pop up in your apartment. You are always on your guard.

Art by 66

Not to mention, it’s such a great thing for the art of this series. Everyone has their own unique masks, which opens up so much creatively and lends to some really gorgeous character design. The art in general is absolutely stellar. I love the use of color, and the action scenes are dynamic and engaging.

This series goes well beyond its primary concept, though. The plot starts out pretty basic, with Rex wanting to find out what happened to his brother, but you learn pretty quickly that nothing is as it seems. The character dynamics are really interesting, because you have people who may look exactly like someone, but they aren’t them. And it also delves into some serious philosophical discussion, about what makes you you and whether or not that’s something that can be easily replicated.

Along with philosophical questions, there is an interesting ethical component. People who were once Blanks are rounded up and imprisoned, even though they had no control over what they were doing. It’s punishing someone simply for existing, which I think a lot of people can identify with. But it also asks the question about what makes a person a person; it’s similar to stories about artificial intelligence – shows like Humans, about conscious robots, and whether or not they should be treated the same as human beings.

If you’re looking for a good sci-fi story with fantastic art and an intriguing plot, I highly recommend checking out City of Blank.

City of Blank by 66 is hosted by Webtoon and updates on Thursdays.

For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomic archives!

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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