Marcos Martín is a Spanish comic artist who has worked for both of the major American comic book publishers: DC and Marvel. He has illustrated several titles for both publishers including Batgirl: Year One, Doctor Strange: The Oath, Breach, and The Amazing Spider-Man. He is currently working on a creator-owned comic, The Private Eye, in partnership with Brian K. Vaughn.
Martín grew up reading Italian reprints of Disney comics, Asterix, The Adventures of Tintin, Mafalda, and other comics from the disciples of Hergé. Martín started contemplating drawing comics as a teenager, and published his own comic magazine as a senior in high school. During his third year at Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Barcelona, Martín started working for Forum, the Spanish publisher licensed to print Marvel comics, where he created covers and illustrations for Spanish reprints of Marvel comics.
Martín’s first work for an American publisher was in 1997 on the twelfth issue of DC’s The Batman Chronicles. After spending some time adjusting to the American comic business, Martín was given a monthly book at DC in 2001—Batgirl: Year One. This book exposed Martín to the industry-at-large, and led to bigger books including The Amazing Spider-Man. Earlier this month Marcos Martín and Brian K. Vaughn released the first issue of The Private Eye, and all signs point towards it being an important book as well.
The Private Eye is set one hundred years in the future. America is celebrating its tricentennial, and maintaining privacy is the rule following the burst of “the cloud” when everyone’s digital secrets poured into the public eye. The story is relevant and novel, and the book itself is bringing new ideas to the comic industry. Martín and Vaughn created their own website to handle the distribution of the comic. Readers can choose to pay whatever they wish to download the first issue. This is a common model in music distribution, but new to the world of comics. The pages of the book are also laid out in a landscape format to take advantage of the widescreen digital surfaces readers will be using to view the book. The traditional portrait aspect ratio of comic book pages does not always translate well to digital, and it’s refreshing to see an artist taking a different approach.
Martín and Vaughn’s The Private Eye embraces the digital future of comics. The book, and its distribution, will likely be a milestone in the history of comics publishing. You can download a copy at panelsyndicate.com.