BY AARON BLOCK
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Marcos Martín & Muntsa Vicente
2013, The Panel Syndicate
Filed Under: Graphic Novel
Last Monday the comics rumor/journalism site Bleeding Cool linked to a few teaser images that were posted to Spanish-language comic blogs announcing a new series from Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martín, who previously collaborated on Doctor Strange: the Oath, a mini-series for Marvel in the mid 2000s. The images were intriguing, and the names involved suggested a good read – Vaughan is the fan-favorite writer of Saga and Y: the Last Man, among other other celebrated titles, and Martín is best known for his work on Daredevil, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Batgirl: Year One. I anticipated learning more about the book in the coming weeks or months, the plot points and art from first issue gradually teased out in interviews and previews, dulling the surprise but confirming that it’s worth the three or four or however many dollars. That’s how comics are marketed today.
Then it was Tuesday, and suddenly the book, titled The Private Eye #1, was available, for however much I wanted to pay, through The Panel Syndicate (a new digital publisher started by Vaughan, Martín, and friends). All the excitement about The Private Eye was generated by its mere existence, and by the distribution method. Digital-only comics are nothing new, and neither is the “tip-jar” payment model (Radiohead’s In Rainbows is probably the most famous example, but there are many more across all mediums) but the two in tandem, and employed by high-profile creators, is novel, as is the minimalist promotional “campaign.” Vaughan and Martín trusted their audience to generate their own hype, something mainstream comic readers haven’t had to do very often in the past decade or so. Continue reading