Let’s grab our masks and hide in plain sight with this month’s Do You Even Comic: The Private Eye.
First published in March of 2013 by Panel Syndicate (digital drm-free “name your price” comic site) and created by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and colorist Muntsa Vicente, it is now a hardcover graphic novel. After the book was finished it was recognized for its innovation by the public for its paying format and received best digital/webcomic Eisner in 2015. As stated, the 10 issue series has been collected hardcover book by Image Comics for you to hold and read with your hands.
A story set in a not too distant future about a not too distant reality, Set in the year 2076 The Private Eye starts with us following “Paparazzo”, an unlicensed journalist, who gets wrapped up into a plot of murder and mystery.
The future is a strange landscape, in this dark reflection of our world the future is a time when the internet “cloud” has burst and made everyone’s private information public to all. This results in there being no more internet and the majority of the population hiding behind costumes and masks in public.
No privacy means the people in the eyes of the public must stay dressed in disguises to maintain their secrets. Paparazzo the main character starts the story by following a lead on a woman in a red dress (sure, like the song) and he realizes she isn't who she appears to be. Quickly the cops interrupt Paparazzo and his private investigation. The woman who hired “Pap” is murdered and he quickly finds out is investigation has him tied into a terrorist plot.
The book works as a contemporary commentary as well as entertaining detective mystery story while the art direction amplifies the story in new ways I hadn’t seen before.
Why this Book?
BKV is always a safe bet for trying out new books. But with Private Eye I was really intrigued by distribution of the comic itself as well as the concept. I love the platform of “name your price” and getting a book knowing the money is going directly to the creators. I really also enjoy the world in which the story takes place and that my generation is the old and outdated people who don’t understand the current world. It was a fun book I loved reading and thinking about how this could be a possible future for all of us (maybe not the murder mystery part). I love owning the amazing hardcover, yes, it was amazing to see the success of a drm-free comic and its site get huge but having that paperbook in your hands is what comics are to me.