Story Narratives

Two years ago, comic book writer Brian Vaughan and comic book artist Marcos Martin teamed up for a 10-volume series called The Private Eye, about a future in which society has abandoned the Internet due to "the Cloud" bursting. It's the year 2076, sixty years after everyone's secrets spilled out into the open, and no one wants to own a smartphone or commit anything to collective digital memory. The graphic novel's hero is a journalist who has to solve a murder (while deprived of the power of Googling) and thwart an evil TV executive. (Without Internet, television is thriving of course.)

Science fiction is one of the best places to grapple with the consequences of rapidly advancing technology and the ways it's changing how information about us gets collected, mined and exploited. But sometimes technology moves so fast that it outpaces the fiction writers. Vaughan and Marcos have been steadily churning out issues over the past two years, releasing them online with a "pay-what-you-want" model. During that period, versions of the cloud burst of their imagination have actually happened: Edward Snowden popped the NSA cloud. Unknown hackers invaded the Apple cloud to expose celebrities' naked pictures in "the Fappening." And hackers potentially acting on North Korea's behalf turned Sony Pictures' cloud inside-out, spilling employees' email and private files across the Internet. Despite their secrets, private thoughts, and body parts going viral, none of the victims have tried to destroy the Internet (yet), though many of them do claim to be much more diligent about using the "delete" button. ...[Continue reading on Fusion]