What quarantine innovations can tell us about the future of comics

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From 'Ice Cream Man' quarantine comics to successful Kickstarter projects to the possible death of the direct market, here's what the pandemic has taught us about the possible future of comics.

Recently, Martín teamed up with acclaimed writer Ed Brubaker for a new Panel Syndicate series called, the story of two childhood detectives reuniting a few years after their glory days. On a visit home from college, the titular girl Friday finds herself sucked back into a mystery with old friend Lancelot Jones, even though she'd much rather have a conversation about more mature topics .

Because of its very nature as a pay-what-you-want service, The Panel Syndicate isn’t likely to supplant the major publishers anytime soon. Still, its alternate model of comics creation — with readers contributing what they can to support creators directly — has become even more attractive in a time of crisis.

"We've established what I feel is a new and more interesting dynamic between readers and creators," Martín says. "As creators, we are responsible for creating quality products to the best of our abilities and the reader is responsible for deciding the value he or she thinks that product has, according to each one’s perception, possibilities, and personal circumstances.

"What people find value in these days with Kickstarter is that they have creative autonomy," Camilla Zhang, Kickstarter's former head of outreach, told EW last month. "They are not necessarily restricted by distribution channels that only cater to shops. They can have a direct line with their community and their readership, and really galvanize them with project updates.

 

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