Thanks to Disney the thought of any pirate story conjures up a drunken Captian Jack Sparrow. Fortunately writer Joe Grahn and artist Carl Yonder’s Pirate Eye: A Pirate’s Life Is Not For Me shakes those thoughts from your mind immediately. This one-shot story is of Smithy, a pirate private eye, and what turns out to be a unique “pirate noir” tale. If you were looking for a 180 degree take on pirates you’ve found your book.
The title starts off in classic noir fashion with the Smithy the pirate P.I. getting beat down by one of his investigations targets. I was more than a little caught off guard by Smithy’s internal monologue of investigating a “domestic case” but the monologue and dialogue will keep you engaged with classic noir style complications and details. Grahan’s approach is heavy on words but necessary to explain the story of lost treasure, double crosses and detective deduction necessary for great noir storytelling all while wrapped up in high seas pirate “codes” and intrigue.
Grahan’s mash-up of pirates meets hard-boiled detective stories is one I’m not sure many were clamoring for but many should be happy is now done. Yonder’s art matches beautifully in tone and style of what one would expect from an old-school crime story and the color and grit of a high seas pirate adventure. The story has it’s share of grit, violence and twists to keep your eyes entertained and your head spinning. My only apprehension of the story telling is that it is a little long on monologue and a little short on action. Sometimes less is more but with this original tale and combo of genres it is understandable especially in a one-shot.
If you didn’t think you could stand another pirate story and not imagine a Keith Richard’s inspired performance from Johnny Depp then I suggest picking up Pirate Eye: A Pirate’s Life Is Not For Me. I love film noir and it never even crossed my mind to mix it together with pirates but I’m glad Grahn and Yonder’s did and if you enjoy a good noir tale then you will be too.
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