The Private Eye
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin
Colours: Muntsa Vincente
Publisher: Panel Syndicate
Remember back in 2007 when Radiohead released their album In Rainbows online, asking their fans to pay whatever they felt was fair? If so, then you probably remember the waves of controversy that followed. Not to mention the smashing success the move proved to be, all while doubling their sales from their previous effort as well as giving the band a new number one album. Since then, times have changed, though not by much. The execs still live in fear of the online pirate, yet more and more artist are tearing down the fourth wall by finding unique ways to distribute their material to those who deserve it most; those being we, the people.
Last week, Brian K Vaughan author of Saga and Y: The Last Man and artist Marcos Vincente unveiled their new publishing label Panel Syndicate, a bold and exciting new way for fans to get comics; by paying what they want. Their first offering is The Private Eye, a detective story that takes place in a world where everyone wears a disguise and nothing is what it seems. This is a great read made all the more interesting by the creator’s choice to release it themselves, free from the shackles of commercial distribution. Though none of that would matter if the story wasn’t very good, but this is Brian K. Vaughan we’re talking about here, so ya, the story is very good.
The best approach to reading this book is to dive in head first; this is a detective story after all. All you really need to know is that the story revolves around a young, hot-shot private investigator named Patrick. When a sexy femme fatale walks into his office, Patrick’s world is turned upside down. While the plot is standard boiler plate, the world that Vaughan has introduced is anything but. Taking place decades after the glory days of Facebook and ‘location services’, privacy is now the world’s hottest commodity, with all the citizens walking around in glamorous costumes just to hide their true identity. Vaughan has created a completely plausible future filled with the trademark dialogue and creativity you have come to expect from his works.
Marcos Martin’s work is in top form as well. Utilizing the letterbox format, this book reads like a storyboard to a big budget Hollywood thriller. The costume designs are incredibly detailed and each citizen is wholly unique. You may find yourself lost in a panel for a couple minutes, taking in all the colourful characters, and they are colourful. While most detective stories relish in the shadows, this book is bright and fun because, unlike the citizen of Vaughan’s world, Martin has nothing to hide.
The Private Eye is a top-notch detective story that hits all the right notes, yet its unique setting keeps everything fresh. Aside from its distribution method, this book would stand on its own on any shelf. As a fan of comics you owe it to yourself to CLICK HERE and grab this fun and fascinating tale.