Panel Syndicate is the combined effort of Eisner award winner Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin. Together with Munsta Vicente, the three created “The Private Eye” and placed it up on a very simple Paypal driven website in 2013. The format was simple, digital only books by award winning talent offered in a digital friendly format for whatever the customer would like to pay them. The idea could have sunk them but the story was so compelling that downloaders have paid the two for their work in hopes they would continue to tell their story to completion.
The indie comic book fans have asked the team at Panel Syndicate when they’d see a new title and BKV and Marcos Martin have told fans through their Twitter and Facebook accounts that a new title was coming soon. That was several months back but the anticipation never died. This week they announced to fans of “The Private Eye” that Marcos Martin’s friend Albert Monteys would be the next creator to debut a new title on Panel Syndicate.
Albert Monteys “Universe! #1” is a delightful 37 page one and done story. The title will be an exercise of storytelling from Albert Monteys as each issue will tie into the last but be a self-contained story. People will probably know him best from his background as an illustrator and comic storyteller harkens back to the popular Spanish magazine “El Jueves”. He was a long time director there and during his tenure the magazine was convicted of insulting the Crown.
He departed “El Jueves” rather publically in June 2014 because of an editorial dispute when a cover with a joke referencing the abdication of King Juan Carlos 1 to his son and the countries economy. The satire was certainly appropriate in the minds of many of the citizens of Spain but the magazine was not printed with that timely cartoon. Instead, Monteys departed the magazine and has set out again as an independent illustrator.
Marcos Martin was a vocal supporter of his friend on Twitter and Facebook during the controversy surrounding the censorship and Monteys departure from “El Jueves”. It’s nice to know that out of that controversy the world has been given a wonderful comic book title.
The book is terrific. Although the author’s native language is Spanish, there is absolutely nothing lost in translation. “Universe!” is funny and powerful storytelling from the mind and pen of a master. I encourage everyone reading this to visit PanelSyndicate.com and download the issue. If you like it, be sure to include some money for Albert Monteys so he can continue to create wonderful stories. If you’re still not convinced that a “free” story is something you can download right now, check out the sample pages below.