Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pirate Eye April Zuda review/ Where be the parrot sidekick arrgh

Pirate Eye is a April Zuda comic done by the not so scurvy crew of: Grobert79, Josiah _grahn, The Dude Artist, Cueprod, and swordfish_5. It's pirates, detective work, and humorous adventure. Here is the synopsis: Before Sherlock Holmes, there was Smitty, PIRATE EYE, a seemingly hapless eighteenth century gin-guzzler with a history of piracy, a prickly disposition, and a reputation for solving cases or finding any person and possession for a HEAFTY FEE. What Smitty doesn't realize is that not all is at it seems, including his own bloodline. A new case will set events into motion that will lead Smitty to discover he sits at the center of an ancient mystery involving Plato, Sparta, immortal pirate lords, Atlantis, The Fountain of Youth, and a weapon with the power to destroy the known world. He will have to make a choice: personal gain, which he has sought exclusively for most of his life, or the benefit of his fellow man, with whom he will discover he has little in common. In the mean time, he will have to find a way to ward off an angry debtor, a blacksmith with a grudge, and the rising price of gin. Solving mysteries in a port city isn't quite a pirate's life, but Smitty will need all his sea-faring skills before the biggest mystery of his life reaches its dramatic conclusion.

Avast ye matie's

I enjoyed the art/words/colors/ and letters, but what really drew me into this comic was the premise: A pirate who is a private eye/ detective. We get a pretty fun funny story to start off with, but I very much liked the promise within the synopsis. The setting and the tone lends itself well to all manners of twists and turns. The opening story of course involves a fair amount of skulduggery, with a nice little twist/ ironic moment at the end. Some readers didn't care for the ending, because it is an old joke. Lucky for everyone considering there are only 3, 5, 6, or 8 plots in all of fiction, everything old is new again sooner, or later. I would like to see if it is continued even more real life history worked into the stories, mainly for the historical guest star options that could be had. The real multi-verse is the fact every comics story takes place in it's own little world. The 'world' of Pirate Eye has so much promise to me, I really wish it was higher ranked.

Some nifty examples from the comic to show you what I mean

I noticed in the comments section a fair degree of criticism, about the art -which I don't share. I think the creators handled everything from backgrounds and lighting to expressive expressions and fight scenes very well. You can't sail all the seven seas at the same time, but I thought the writing style left a lot of doors open to multiple moods/themes being explored. In the early screens thanks to a dark room at night lit by a candle, the artist's got to show off some nice lighting effects/ shadow work, which I liked. We didn't get sailing in these 8 screens but we did get a fight on a ship in the docks, which was good. Screen 3 panel 4 We see the classic dead eye stare, and the dialogue "you are friend of the French?" You have to love an obvious prelude to a fight scene. I really enjoyed the way this comic was colored, I think it fit well with the story and was a help to all the screens. Every letter in Zuda should pat themselves on the back if their font is as easy to read as the words are here. Screen 4 is my personal favorite, very good panel composition, funny dialogue, a real smart piece of work. The fight scene was done like something you would expect the Luna brothers to do, I'm a fan of theirs so I'm a fan of this. I like the barrel photos in the background here, but i don't think anyone else did. The dialogue between the old man/young man on screen 7, was the best of the comic -funny too. I don't think the text box thought balloons were over used so I'll spare you that rant. It mostly all came together very well for me.

Davey Jones Locker

I lot of readers would have liked to have seen more of a focus on the detective side of things, murder mystery, wrench fatale, and so forth. Also readers would have liked to see more pirate action sailing the high seas, ships fighting, pirates being pirates etc; I liked the humor here and it seems like your going for a fairly light hearted opening, but your synopsis is more promising of a high seas noir. I think a lot a readers would have responded better if you had some of the humor walking the plank during editing, and did a more serious story in keeping with the tone of the synopsis. I like a lot of elements in 8 screens too, but I've come to realize I'm the exception that proves the rule. It would have done better PE creators with more focus overall, and more on the detective aspect in Zuda land. The concept is so striking, but Smitty didn't do a whole lot of detecting. Going a different direction than Pirates of the Caribbean might have been better, savey?

Is he really missing an eye, or is it a *gasp* fake eye patch?

4/5 stars and a fav from me. Criticisms aside I really enjoyed this comic, it seems yet again only 8 screens has held the creators back. The biggest difference between me, and other readers with the same questions is first: I liked the humor, and I'm not a humor comic kind of guy. Secondly I have more faith in the crew as it were, to realize the promises made in the synopsis. Normally a self contained story is a good thing, but here it only lead to peoples hopes of more noir elements being run a ground. I thought of this story as showing Smitty life before everything started getting serious, so it's more of a prelude 'hijinks's before the storm' kind of deal. I would no doubt read this should it win, just to see all of the promised action unfold. That earned this comic the 4/5 and a fav from me -and I just thought it was funny.


  1. rob here from the crew at pirate eye. you hit the nail right on the head RKB. thank you for taking the time to review our comic and to post such a thoughtful review. we have big plans in store for pirate eye and we can't wait to let his story unfold! we shan't disappoint. cheers!

  2. your all very welcome rob.