Not sure what comic I’m talking about? The Private Eye is a comic written by Brian K. Vaughn and penciled by Marcos Martin. It is being sold only digitally, and you get to choose your own price. That’s right, you could pay $0, and be fine. If you want to download the comic (and hopefully pay for it), click here. I payed $5 for the issue. Vaughn and Martin are planning on it being a 10 issue maxiseries.
Vaughn creates a deep world incredibly fast within The Private Eye. Information oozes out of every panel. There is one scene where Vaughn info dumps on the reader, but it turns into a commentary on today’s society. I didn’t realize Vaughn was dumping all this information on me until the scene was over. The big “characteristic” for this world is that the internet doesn’t exist anymore. It’s an incredible thing to have the world progress, but without the internet to help. The catalyst for this world is incredibly simple, and made me step away from my computer for a second. The ramifications are astounding. But at the heart of this story is a classic noir tale. The Private Eye disguises it well, but it’s there. Girl goes to private eye, she has a problem only the private eye can fix, and he reluctantly agrees.
The world of Private Eye seems like the usual sci-fi fare. Lots of alien looking people. FALSE. It’s people disguised because they don’t want to be recognized. Leave it to Vaughn to take a generic trope like that and throw it on it’s head. Vaughn is also taking the usual selling method and throwing it on it’s head. Leaving the reader to decide how much they want to pay for a comic is a bold move. When buying the comic, their PayPal page was down for some time, so that leaves me hopeful that most of the readers paid something for the title. Unfortunately for fans who want a hard copy, I doubt that it will ever make that much money. It will also have to be printed differently, as it needs to be in landscape.
What is there to say about Marcos Martin that hasn’t already been said? The man is a god when it comes to penciling. He imbeds ever scene with an astonishing amount of detail. Every character is brimming with personality. The plethora of masks gives Martin plenty of room to stretch his abilities and imagination. The world looks strange, but feels familiar. Martin uses the landscape page layout well. He experiments with panel flow quite a bit, but the reader’s eyes are guided perfectly. Muntsa Vicente’s colors suit Martin’s pencils like a glove. The neon chase scene in the beginning is beautifully rendered. The plethora of animal masks stand out amongst the crowd.
The Private Eye is a great start to a series. If you have a PayPal account, you owe yourself to buy this comic.
The Private Eye #1 gets 4.5/5.