The Private Eye Review – Trade Waiter
The Private Eye is a book about anonymity. It’s a future noir that centers on a paparazzo instead of a detective. The story takes place in a post-internet world where one generation ago, all of everyone’s personal info was made public causing the world to give up the social media and web browsing to protect their personal lives. People take their privacy so seriously that they wear strange masks to hide their faces.
Marcos Martin draws a beautiful, deeply strange world with creature-like characters and vehicles. Martin who did such great work on Daredevil creating the backgrounds and cityscapes of hell’s kitchen, is beautifully suited to the project. The future L.A. the story imagines is colored in saturated brilliant shades from Munsta Vicente. But the reason I picked this book up is Brian K Vaughn. His book Saga is probably the best on-going comic book in print.
I want to say as little as possible about this book, not because it’s easy to spoil, but because it’s impossible to recreating a beautiful comic like this in prose is. It might be better to say it’s as good of an LA noir as has been written in decades, even if it is half dystopian SciFi. It reads clear and fast like a potboiler, but what sticks with you after the book is done is the world. I’d recommend this book to anyone.
The physical version of this book just became available in December. The work was originally published online at panel syndicate via the pay as you go model. It’s a lovely execution with long landscape pages, thick paper, that give the art the room it needs to breathe.
This post should be the first in a string of Trade Waiter posts. Look for a post on another of the great Brian K. Vaughn books next week.