First, immediately go to panelsyndicate and purchase the first issue of Private Eye. This book deserves your money. Better yet, you can even name your own price (I paid $3 for mine), and it comes in three formats and languages. Don’t be stingy, these are people’s lively hoods.
Brian K. Vaughn is such a good writer that it’s not fair. He possess the uncanny ability to create engaging characters and worlds that cut right to the core of humanity. Over the years he’s done work for the big 2 (Marvel and DC), but has had the most success with his creator owned work. Much like Robert Kirkman, his name alone is enough to sell (or in the case of his recent book, Saga, sell out) a book. His most notable work was Pride of Baghdad, Y: The Last Man, and Ex Machina (all books I will have much to say about in the future). Sadly, with the end of both series in 2008 and 2010 respectively, Vaughn took a step back from comics to work on different movies and TV shows (wrote some of best episodes of Lost). In 2012, Vaughn came back in a big way with the debut of his new ongoing series, Saga, with artist Fiona Staples. In short, Saga is amazing. This last week, surprising many, Vaughn released a teaser with little explanation. Shortly after, it was revealed that this was a new 10 issue series with artist Marcos Martin entitled Private Eye.
The issue starts with the main character, a P.I., taking photos of a women. Quickly it’s understood that this is a futuristic Earth, about 50 or so years from now. Taking photos of someone without their consent is illegal. Our P.I. is found out, and after a short chase, escapes. A few scenes talking about his last job and setting up his next show us the world he lives in, where it seems many freedoms we enjoy today are illegal. Along with this we see the strange turns language and fashion has made in the last few decades.
One scene in particular stuck out for me. It was a little exposition heavy, but succeeded in explaining the status quo. The P.I.’s grandfather calls him, complaining about having difficulty with some technology. We see the grandfather, wearing a white tank top showing tattooed covered arms, holding a cracked smart phone. The P.I. comes by to help his grandfather and explains there is no such thing as wi-fi, the internet, or ’em-pee-fours’. We learn that everything was stored in the cloud (much like today), and one day it burst. Every photo you thought deleted, every message hidden, every horrifying search, it was laid bare for the world to see. People lost their jobs, families were torn apart, etc.
At this point I needed to pause my reading. The grandfather stuck out to me because I often wonder what people who look/act/dress like him now will look like in 50 or so years. This coupled with the bomb of everyone’s dirty internet secret out in the open; it seemed like an all to real future.
There were many elements that made this book gel that can not be put into words. My recommendation, go to their site, get it for free; then pay what you think it was worth.
Going to give Private Eye a try? Read other pieces of Vaughn’s work? Comment or tweet! If you enjoyed what you read, please share.