Vaughan and Martin launch name-your-price digital comic

I was excited by the teasers for Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin's creator-owned project -- Saga is one of my favorite current reads, and I love anything the artist draws -- and now I'm pleased to see the actual announcement doesn't disappoint.

Rather publish a traditional miniseries, which is what I was expecting, the Doctor Strange: The Oath collaborators have reteamed for Panel Syndicate, a website where they'll release digital comics in a variety of formats, all DRM-free, which will undoubtedly please those who have been critical the the industry's predominant digital-delivery methods. What's more, the creators are allowing readers to name their price, although "we think 99 cents is a pretty fair asking price for our new issues" (hitting upon another hot-button subject in the digital debate, that $2.99 or $3.99 is too expensive for a standard-length comic).

Panel Syndicate debuts with The Private Eye, described as "a detective story set in 2076, when everyone in the United States has a secret identity. Our protagonist is a member of the paparazzi, outlaw private investigators who dig up the kind of personal dirt no longer readily available through search engines. It’s a mystery with lots of masks, but no superpowers."

The 32-page first issue (of an expected 10) is available now on the Panel Syndicate website, although I've been unable to purchase it (I keep getting the message, "This recipient is currently unable to receive money"). And even if you can't buy it yet, you can still check out a three-page preview.

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