Pirate Eye: A Pirate’s Life Is Not For Me One Shot
Written by: Joe Grahn
Illustrated by: Carl Yonder
Published by: Action Lab Comics
Reviewed by: Paul Stephen Edwards
Pirate Eye introduces a fantastic new character type: the pirate detective. Smithy is an excommunicated pirate who plies his trade in an anonymous rough port city. Once a valued seeker of fortune, he spends his time tracking wayward husbands and deadbeats until he’s pressed into service by Mr. Parrot, the port controller, to find a stolen map.
Pirate Eye is a downbeat, gritty story that is more similar to Chinatown than Pirates of the Caribbean. Indeed, like Jake Gittes, Smithy spends a good deal of time getting beaten up and disfigured. The story is told in weary voiceover and plot elements are revealed in non-linear fashion.
Joe Grahn’s dialogue is tough and hardboiled without falling into typical “bad-ass” tropes. Carl Yonder’s art is at its best when he’s showing the weathered and beaten faces of the seamen. The coloring is appropriately dark and evocative. The pirate ships, when seen, are dark behemothic silhouettes that swallow the men who board them.
Pirate Eye takes a unique look at the world of piracy. There’s no swashbuckling to be found here. Only rum, blood, and a small glimpse of redemption.