The Private Eye, the new comic book series by Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin was announced earlier in the week and like most things announced I thought it would not come out for a couple of months. How I was wrong as it came out two days later. The Private Eye is a science fiction detective story that is clearly inspired by the works of Phillip K Dick but also pulp detective stories of a bygone era.
The other interesting thing about the series that it was launched online with a pay what you want scheme, similar to that of Radiohead In Rainbows. Once you have paid what you want (I paid $1.99 although in the faq the suggested price is $0.99) you have the option of downloading it in a variety of file formats (all of which are DRM-free) as well as in multiple languages. The comic can be found at Panel Syndicate and if popular more comics from other creators could be considered.
The first thing I noticed about this comic was the dimensions of the comic, instead of being the conventional portrait it is set to landscape. Marcos Martin’s art style is also with interesting futuristic, but believable, landscapes and interesting designs for characters. Every character’s designs are well thought out and imaginatively designed, as every character is in some kind of disguise. There is one page that brings really portrays this when the main character is running for the police and escapes into a sea of people, all in their disguises. The variety of these disguises are great and you will be staring at the page for ages.
As for the story, like mentioned before, The Private Eye is a science-fiction pulp detective story. In this future, everyone wears a mask to hide their identity after an event in the past left everyone’s secrets out in the open. There is also no Internet and the government seem to control the media. The story follows a private detective, which in this future is an illegal profession now labelled the paparazzi as he takes up a job for a young woman who comes into his office. Does that sound familiar? It is very The Maltese Falcon and it is made to be very obvious with the movie poster sitting in the background of his office. I thought that was a very clever touch.
I am a big fan of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man and Saga as well as Marcos Martin’s work on Daredevil so I was quite excited for this series. And I wasn’t disappointed, I really enjoyed the issue. The series is planned as a 10 issues series and I will be sticking around to read issues #2 – #10. I highly suggest that if you’re going to be sticking around too that you don’t decide to pay $0 for each issue as the more people who do that the less likely the story will get to be concluded. The suggested $0.99 is very little to pay for what is a high-quality product.
If you checked out The Private Eye, I’m interested in what you thought of it. You can leave a comment down below or via twitter @HowToLoveComics