Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin Deliver The Private Eye
Comic book creators Brian K Vaughan (Y The Last Man, Lost) and Marcos Martin (Batgirl: Year One, The Amazing Spider-Man) have just released the first chapter in their new ten-part series – The Private Eye – using the direct from creator to audience Pay What You Want model. The comic – which is set in a future world that has rejected the internet – is perversely available online only. The story is available to download in English, Spanish and Catalan language versions. The files are unencrypted and DRM-free, and, as it says in the first sentence above, you pay what you want for it (in the FAQ 99 cents is indicated as a fair asking price). There are no subscription options currently, but they have stated that the next issue will be released in a month. Vaughan and Martin’s previous major collaboration was the very enjoyable love letter to 1960s Steve Ditko comics – Doctor Strange: The Oath (disponible en Español – Doctor Extraño El Juramento). Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples are still producing the very popular creator-owned fantasy Saga from Image Comics.
The thrill of major Pay What You Want releases has faded in the half decade since the release of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, but this might be the most significant release by top name comic artists using that model. Thom Yorke, in the meanwhile, has had some second thoughts on the whole matter: “They have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want?” I recommend you read the whole interview. Yorke discusses several topics that appear to be key themes in The Private Eye.