You might have thought comics scribe Brian K. Vaughan’s dance card was full enough writing the Eisner-winning Saga, his just-on-the shelves future-war tale We Stand On Guard, and the forthcoming Paper Girls, about four 12-year-olds who, he says, “stumble onto maybe the greatest story of all-time.”
But no! Vaughan is also writing a one-off issue of Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic, The Walking Dead.
How did this come about? Vaughan reveals it is the result of Kirkman approaching him about letting Image Comics—which publishes all three of Vaughan’s aforementioned titles and where Kirkman is a partner—to release a physical version of The Private Eye. This Vaughan-penned detective series was originally put out in digital form through panelsyndicate.com, the pay-whatever-you-want website he founded with artist Marcos Martín.
“People could pay nothing or throw us a few bucks—and it was a big hit,” says Vaughan. “It was pretty crazy, as digital comics go. The whole time we were doing The Private Eye, Robert Kirkman at Image was saying, ‘Why won’t you let us do a print version? Please, this is crazy! There is a whole audience out there—and especially comics retailers—who are desperate to see this in print.’ We jokingly said to Robert, ‘If Image gives us Walking Dead, we will give Image Private Eye.’ And Kirkman said, ‘Sold!'”
“He sort of called our bluff,” Vaughan continues. “So, in November, we’re going to do an exclusive one-shot [of The Walking Dead]. I’m writing it, and Marcos is going to do art, and it will be available digitally for whatever price you think is fair, at panelsyndicate.com. And people who want print, they can pick up The Private Eye finally, exclusively from Image.”