Mega surprise! Over at you can now buy the first issue of Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s The Private Eye for any price you want. Much like the Louis CK or Radiohead model, the first issue is available to purchase “at a price of your choosing”. The first issue, coloured by Muntsa Vicente, is available right now! Flippin’ eck, everybody!


Billed as a private eye story for mature readers – sorry kids – Private Eye #1 stands at 32 pages long. This was only teased a day ago, and it’s a massive surprise to see it already go live. We’ll bring you a review as soon as possible!

Right, a quick update now I’ve read it – once you buy the comic, you have the option of reading it in English, Spanish, or Catalan – beyond anything else, this actually strikes me as one of the most notable parts of this project. Making a comic available online isn’t the most shocking move nowadays, even for creators as well known as Vaughan and Martin. But making your comic immediately available in several languages? That’s very canny indeed.


  1. Hopefully this won’t kill their chances of getting paid for the project, because currently the PayPal payment link is broken (you get an error message) while the no payment option works fine. People might get frustrated they CAN’T currently pay, and just download it for free. No matter, these previews look amazing. I’m just SO disappointed this won’t be available in print!

  2. Any word on if this will be collected as a TPB? Love both creators and I’m happy that they are experimenting with digital/pricing but I’d personally like to read it in physical form.

  3. I started to buy it, but there was no suggested price. I’m unsure what to put in the payment box. Is $5.00 too much, too little?

  4. MJ – seems a little high. most single issues are 2.99 or 3.99. Factor in that there are no print costs for BKV and Marcos, I’d imagine 2 bucks is a pretty good target. But if you want to give them more, have at it, they are certainly talented guys whose work deserves support.

  5. At least according to the FAQ on the site, they’re not planning to release a print edition (plans change of course):

    How soon will this thing be available in print?

    Sorry, we don’t currently have plans for THE PRIVATE EYE to ever appear in print. We still love paper comics, especially the retailers who sell them, but this is something different.

  6. There’s a note at the back which suggests they’ll take the project to Kickstarter once it’s collected digitally

    @Steve Morris: I didn’t read it that way. To quote BKV, “Marcos and I really like sites like Kickstarter, but as relatively old hands in this biz, we didn’t want to shake the tin cup until we had a product to share.”

    Combined with the quote from above about how they don’t ever plan to release “The Private Eye” in print, I read that as Vaughan and Martin currently shaking the tin cup with the pay-what-you-want release of each DRM-free issue, versus raising funds on Kickstarter beforehand in order to put out the project. But I guess we’ll see.

    I’d be up for a print edition, but I’ll keep buying in any form they want to release comics. And for the record, I gave ’em $2. Worth every penny.

  7. Here’s a question I haven’t seen answered anywhere: how frequently is this meant to come out? When should I expect issue #2?

  8. I would say setting your own price is less of the story here (though I agree that makes it like the Radiohead model, in the case of C.K. he set a $5 price, that others have since copied). Rather it is the fact that- like C.K., Radiohead, and others- Vaughan and Martin are skipping the established middlemen like Comixology, and are offering DRM-free digital first comics directly to their consumers. Like C.K. setting a $5 price for his concert film and cutting out iTunes and Amazon, I think the fact that Vaughan and Martin are doing this without Comixology is the lead.

  9. I agree with David D, the fact that they are doing this on their own without Comixology is pretty big. On one hand they might lose some sales, as people are using to buying digital comics through vendors. However, this means only PayPall is getting a very small cut. Apple or Google and Comixology aren’t all taking off their very large percentages. For 2 big names like this, they might be getting more money from getting a larger cut than they are from any lost sales from it not being inside some one else’s store front.

  10. After reading the text piece that follows the story, I see that this is meant to be a monthly endeavor. It’s going to be a long month’s wait.

  11. I agree with the language aspect of this. Damned impressive. I tried like hell to pull this off with my webcomic back in 2007, offering it in Spanish and English. I even had it translated It into French, but never lettered. It’s no easy task organizing all that, while making a comic, so my hat goes off to these guys. Bravo.

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