Today, digital publisher Panel Syndicate released the second and final volume of writer Brian K. Vaughn’s (Saga, Y: The Last Man) and artist Marcos Martin’s (The Amazing Spider-Man, Batgirl: Year One) webcomic, The Private Eye. Collecting issues 6-10 of the series, The Private Eye continues to follow the story of Patrick Immelman, a private investigator working in 2076 after every luddite’s worst fear is realized and The Cloud is compromised, leaving many identities exposed, the internet in shambles, and people incredibly guarded over their personal information.
The series has been released on a pay-what-you-want basis from issue to issue, meaning that you could read the series for free or donate several billion dollars per issue if you felt like Vaughn and Martin deserved personal islands. Panel Syndicate was founded by Martin in 2013 and when the first issue of The Private Eye was released in March of that year, the company received a great deal of critical acclaim for providing high pedigree content to the public on an egalitarian pricing scale. At the time, pay-what-you-want was a relatively new idea in mainstream media, but since then studies have shown that PWYW can cause the average price paid for a product to drop or can even shame consumers out of purchasing a product altogether.
Given The Private Eye‘s unique standing in the comics industry, it would be interesting to see what the sales data looks like for the series. Vaughn and Martin are currently working on a new project for Panel Syndicate, so even if they aren’t making a profit off of this book, it’s great to see that they believe in the concept and community enough to continue to support their progressive ideals. Perhaps they deserve those islands after all.