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Darth Manley Goes to Washington

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 6:05 pm

I’ve been looking for an excuse to take a daytrip — especially since I’ve been chained to my desk for the past few months during the final WCN beta. So I’ve decided to take a 10-hour drive to the East Coast, hang out on the beach a bit, and attend the Washington Webtoonist Meetup next Tuesday, August 2. If you’re in the area, I’d love to get to meet you.

Here’s the info you need:

Location: Ballston Common Mall
4238 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA

I got this info from here.


Webcomics Nation is Open for Business

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 2:22 am

July 29, 2005
For Immediate Release

Joey Manley, publisher of the leading commercial webcomics site,
Modern Tales, announced today that, a premier
hosting and automation service for online cartoonists, has launched


“Webcomics Nation is meant to do for online comics what services like
Blogger have done for personal journals, or Flickr for photo-sharing:
enable anybody and everybody to reach a large audience with his/her
ideas and creations — in this case, in comics form,” said Manley.
“WCN tames the latest and most complex online technologies (like, say,
XML, RSS, and ‘web services’) and puts them to work for you, easily,
invisibly, and in an automated way.”

Webcomics Nation represents a major turning point in the company’s
strategy, said Manley. In the past, Manley has acted more as a
traditional editor/publisher, pulling together online ‘publications’
which he sold to readers. That business is still viable, and Manley
says he has no intention of abandoning it. “The problem,” he said,
“is that we can’t grow fast enough, that way. We can’t grow as fast
as the web demands.” The idea was, he said, to get himself out of the
“middleman” position for this project. “With the Modern Tales model,
I’m more like Stan Lee or J. Jonah Jameson than I’d like to be,” says
Manley. “It’s unsustainable — there are too many cartoonists coming
onto the webcomics train every day, and the readership is growing
exponentially. The ‘middleman’ structure can’t bear the strain of that
kind of growth. There’s got to be this guy in there who touches
everything. It slows you down. That’s not the way the web works.”

WCN takes all the daily hassle of running a successful webcomics
service and automates it completely, so that any individual cartoonist
can easily and quickly run a top-of-the-line commercial webcomics
site. “The idea is that cartoonists will purchase Webcomics Nation
accounts — which cost roughly the same amount as the average web
hosting account — and use them to build their own online businesses.
And I’m not in their way, slowing them down.”

“With Webcomics Nation, I become more like Kinko’s, or Quebecor, or
the Post Office, or whatever — I provide the services that
cartoonists need to reach their own goals, rather than enlisting them
to help me reach mine.” He quickly added, “Um. Not that there’s
anything wrong with that.”


This service has been in development for two years, and has been
beta-tested by approximately 200 leading cartoonists from the Modern
Tales network of websites, including indie icons from the print world
like James Kochalka, Lea Hernandez, Roger Langridge and Tom Hart, as
well as cartoonists whose reputations have been made mostly online,
like cayetano garza jr., Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and Spike. “This is
not a plaything for children,” said Manley. “It’s a serious tool for
real cartoonists.


# Post an unlimited number of webcomics series, or one-shots. No need
to juggle multiple accounts for multiple comics!

# Take advantage of unmetered bandwidth and unlimited disk storage for
your account. We just keep adding servers and hard drives as needed,
and the risks are spread out across the entire community, so there’s
no need to worry about paying the “success tax” if you get
unexpectedly popular!

# Promote your comics with complimentary banner ads on the Modern
Tales network, which includes,,, and many other popular

# Take advantage of all the very latest technological tricks to build
and keep an audience, including automatically-generated RSS feeds for
every comic on your site, and xml-rpc update pings to 12 major search
engines and aggregators every time you post something new, including
Yahoo! and Technorati!

# It should go without saying, but due to the sometimes predatory
nature of certain sort-of half-way similar services (like, you know,
the one owned by a big established newspaper syndicate), you retain
all rights to your work, online, in print, and otherwise. I mean:
obviously. Puh-leeze.

# Create your own webcomics subscription service, and lock some or all
of your comics behind a subscription wall, collecting money directly
from your subscribers (using PayPal or any other payment method).

# Sell ads on your own pages, and keep all the money for yourself!

# Sell your print comics and other real-world merchandise on Modern
Tales’ popular Small Press Swapmeet website!

# Make your webcomics available as Playstation Portable Download Packs!

# Use our “Tooncasting” feature to allow other websites to present the
latest strip from your series — readers will have to click through to
your site to get to the full story. It’s a great way to build your

# Run an automated email list that lets your readers know when your
comic has updated — you don’t have to remember to send it out! It
just works!

# Schedule your comics pages in advance, with no worries about your
readers “peeking ahead” by figuring out your file naming system (you
can name your files any old random name you want).

# Let our archive management system handle the linking and
cross-linking for you — no more bewilderment over connecting hundreds
and hundreds of past comic strips together in a manageable and
navigable archive!

# Use our automated systems for fan-art, artist sketchbooks, cast and
character pages, and more — the kinds of goodies that help build
interest and fan loyalty in your work among the most dedicated kinds
of readers.

“WCN is, without doubt, the most powerful webcomics hosting and
automation service around,” Manley said, “but hosting and automation
only represent a fraction of what WCN is all about. Hosting and
Automation? That’s where the other services stop. But it’s where we
get started. No other webcomics service offers the kinds of marketing
and business tools that WCN provides (like the ability to launch your
own subscription service, or the ability to sell your own ads); no
other webcomics service automates as many aspects of running a
webcomics site as WCN does (like the modules for fan-art, Playstation
Portable Download Packs, etc), no other webcomics service can give you
complimentary banner ads on the Modern Tales network of websites, and
no other webcomics service is as close to the cutting edge of
next-generation web technology as WCN, with its RSS and XML-based ‘web
services’ functionality. Most importantly, no other webcomics service
is as easy to use. All you have to know how to do is make comics.”

“Whether you’ve never posted a webcomic, or you’re an old hand with
other, first-generation automation services, or even if you’re a
tech-savvy ‘webcomics auteur’ with a mastery of all that it takes to
build a webcomics site — give us a try. After one month using the
service, you’ll never want to go back to the “old way” of doing things
(whatever your own individual “old way” happens to be). … Join us!



Filed under: — Phil McAndrew @ 11:01 pm

I’ve just started posting a new comic. I figured I’d give WCN a whirl :)

Anyways, as of right now the comic is titled “Lick”. I may or may not come up with a better title. I don’t want to reveal too much about the story yet, but I promise it will be a lot of fun. I haven’t figured out what days I’m going to update, but for now let’s say “a couple times a week”.

Lick me!!!!

Now to make my WCN page look a little prettier……

Marten Toonder 1912-2005

Filed under: — Reinder Dijkhuis @ 1:28 am

Marten Toonder, whose place in the world of European comics was somewhere between that of Stan Lee and that of Walt Disney, died on Wednesday aged 93. From my blog:

Cartoonist Marten Toonder died today aged 93. Toonder was arguably the greatest European cartoonist ever - his Heer Bommel series ran in newspapers across the continent for nearly 45 years, and were re-run in some Swedish and Dutch newspapers well into the 1990s - more than a decade after Toonder retired.

Toonder stuck to the traditional format of a two-tier strip in which the top row consisted of panels without dialogue, and the bottom row contained prose captions, in a flowery, witty style. Due to Toonder’s influence, this way of presenting comics still had adepts in the Netherlands long after it died out in other countries. (As an aside, Toonder influenced my own attempts at working in this format, in the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story "The Corby Tribe".)

Heer Bommel acquired literary status in the Netherlands, with all stories being reprinted in a novel-like format with the drawings reduced in comparison to the words. This is unfortunate because the art, done with the assistence of artists who themselves would go on to count among the Netherlands’ finest cartoonists, such as Piet Wijn, Dick Matena, and Fred Julsing, is among the best ever made in comics. Each panel excelled in composition, line quality, liveliness and atmosphere.

Through Heer Bommel, Toonder expanded the Dutch language with words such as "Minkukel" meaning a dimwit and "Denkraam" ("Thought-frame") which were used satirically in the strips but gained currency as real expressions, separate from their fictional context.

And Bommel was only one of Toonder’s comics. He and his studio came up with dozens of others, such as Koning Hollewijn, Kappie (based largely on the personality of Toonder’s father, a sea captain), and one series I used to cut out of the newspaper as a kid, Panda. Panda had word balloons and was easier to read; it also featured art by Piet Wijn and stories by script-writing genius Lo Hartog van Banda. Many of the comics showcased Toonder’s philosophical concerns, such as the encroachment of technology-driven society on the natural world. These concerns came to the foreground even more after the mid-1960s when Toonder, by then a wealthy man, moved to a mansion in Ireland.

More (I’m still editing and correcting this)


Webcomics Nation Update

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:06 am

Check the new Webcomics Nation homepage, for a full overview of the features to be made available at launch, links to the top 10 comics (both for today and for all time), and more. The only thing that isn’t working is the “Join Us” link … :)



Filed under: — catgarza @ 12:20 am


rerunning the series from the beginning, but all new episodes will begin sometime mid October (just in time for DIA DE LOS MUERTOS) once the original series reaches where i left off. if you’ve never read CUENTOS before, this will be a great chance for you to catch it. hope you like it. :)

7/22/2005 is back!

Filed under: — Gaz Chaloner @ 9:18 am

After the server crash that affected ALL the MT sites, is back online on a secure, safe and sound server. So for an ever-growing source of info about the classic adventure strips of the past, please mosey on by and bookmark the site. I have Jim Ivey’s interview with Roy Crane to be uploaded shortly, plus more on Will Eisner and The Spirit from ‘Hogan’s Alley’ scribe Tom Heintjes. Lots more in the planning stages as well (but I’m only one bloke!)


Gary Chaloner


Lastest installment of MAGIC INKWELL today

Filed under: — catgarza @ 2:19 pm

new song, new “video”….



The return of The Bizarre Life of Charlie Red Eye

Filed under: — Edward J Grug III @ 9:21 pm

After a long hiatus, The Bizarre Life of Charlie Red Eye is returning to ModernTales!

Running daily (including weekends) the winner of 2003’s OzComic Awards Favourite Webcomic will be starting from the beginning so that new readers can jump on board, and continue on till September when the new installments will begin, and bring the comic to a close.

If you never checked it out before, now is your chance!

Starting midnight Wednesday 20th every installment is free as it is current. Once it moves to the archives it is subscriber only.

Subscribing to ModernTales is cheap and rewarding! Featuring an allstart line-up of webcartoonists, publishing some of the very best work on the net, ModernTales is well worth the tiny $2.95(US) a month.

I was a very happy subscriber before I was accepted into their ranks, and still subscribe to

But remember, you can read for free if you check in daily!

Our other two series will return to ModernTales soon too!

VIGIL: July-August Press Release

Filed under: — navarro @ 4:03 pm

July-August Press Release:

Juan Navarro’s VIGIL starts a new season off with “Jackie and the Beanstalk”

Starting on July 23rd, at the end of the phenomenal artwork in SIGHT UNSEEN, we delve into the the VIGIL magical side, where sorcery and magic of ancients and new still ride the pulse of the world. Here we are introduced to Jackie, a famous thief. Being a norm in this world, people are in all of her ability to steal from right under the nose of others. Now she has stolen something that is more dangerous that she could ever know, a Gem with mysteries dating back to medieval times, and the Godz are in hot pursuit to collect the bounty and bring the Seed back!

Including new Art and collage techniques, this will shape to be the best VIGIL chapter yet, as the team heads toward an inevitable showdown with their one-time mightiest member…

Get ready for more great stories of life, death and invulnerability.
Stories of powers on the mean, sweaty streets.
Stories of the endless VIGIL.
(And then I’ll be back from Paris to finish!)

T Campbell and Friend: Hurting Comics

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:00 pm

A disturbing SDCC image from Dave Willis’ LiveJournal:

Animation World Magazine on Digital Comics

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 12:39 pm

Eisner nominated webcartoonist Steve Bryant, co-creator of Athena Voltaire on Graphic Smash, is interviewed and profiled, along with numerous other webcartoonists (mostly other Eisner nominees in this year’s “Digital Comic” category, but a few others as well), in this Animation World Network feature article on Digital Comics:

Digital Comics: A New Breed Comes Into the Fold

Bring Forth the Oiled Goats!

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 11:18 am

Former Fetus-X artist Casey Sorrow’s webcomicsnation comic Feral Calf has captured my attention this morning. Strangely.


Wired News on Modern Tales, Girlamatic

Filed under: — Fetus X Eric @ 9:00 pm

From over here:

“It’s easy to draw a comic, stick it up on the web and have it read by thousands of people,” said Shaenon Garrity, a San Francisco editor who draws several webcomics. “I like doing daily comics strips, and the market in newspapers is very hard now. It’s hard to get in and make a living on it, and the material they want is limited.”

Faced with the difficulties of the comics market, Garrity turned to Modern Tales, a 3-year-old network of comic-subscription sites. Each day’s comics are free, but users must pay $3 a month or $30 a year to get access to archives. A cut of the fee goes to the artists, including several who make a living working for established comic publishers, like Ted Slampyak, the guy who draws Annie (the tyke formerly known as “Little Orphan Annie”) and Raina Telgemeier, the artist behind an upcoming graphic novel of the teen book series The Baby-sitters Club.

Modern Tales artists aren’t getting rich, however. They make “gas money,” said webcomic creator Lea Hernandez, while fellow artist Dave Roman said, “You’d be lucky to make $100″ a year.


Congrats to Shaenon, Lulu of the Year

Shaenon K. Garrity, creator of Narbonic on Modern Tales, L’il Mell (with various artists) on Girlamatic, Trunktown on (with Tom Hart) and More Fun on Graphic Smash (with Robert Stevenson) has just been named “Lulu of the Year” (along with co-winner The Flight Anthology) by the Friends of Lulu organization at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Read more at Comicon Pulse.

Woo Sarge! Way to go!


Playstation Portable downloads at WCN

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 3:31 pm

If you have a WCN account, you can now use WCN to automate and manage the creation of comics download packages for Playstation Portable users who wish to read your comics on their PSP’s.

The control panel functionality has been in place for a while, but adding PSP Download Packages to your account has not resulted in any change to your public websites … until now.

Here’s an example

To add PSP Download Packages to your WCN site, go to the control panel, then go to “Manage Online Comics,” then, under each series title, you’ll find a link to manage your PSP Download Packages.

Once you’ve uploaded at least one PSP Download Package, it will show up in the new series-specific menu that appears under your byline on the comics pages. Your readers will be able to download comics (just the ones you specify, of course) to read on their PSP’s.

I will also be building a portal of links to everybody’s PSP Download Packages as part of the larger WCN Directory upon site launch.

Those Were the Salad Days

new inkwell image
Just wanted to post a little notice that I’ve started posting new MAGIC INKWELL strips over at WEBCOMICSNATION. The lastest installment can be seen here.

The current story arc, entitled THOSE WERE THE SALAD DAYS, follows the adventures of Dingbat the Cat and his friends, whose trip hop band SQUAREPEGZ is practicing diligently to participate in a “battle of the bands” style competition.

The story will be completed in a little over a year’s time and will include over 160+ pages of full color comics and 16 original songs which will then be opted for publication as a print graphic novel and cd.

Installments to the web version includes animated sequences with music as well as regular webcomics. Be sure to tune in next week for 2 new song debuts.


The Discovery of Spoons Mini Comic

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 2:05 pm

In ironic celebration of winning the Outstanding Use of Flash award, we are now offering a non-Flash, low-tech version of The Discovery of Spoons–that’s right, you can now read it in print! For $1.00 plus postage, you can buy the mini-comic here.

WCCA Winners Announced

The Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards were announced this week, and there were quite a few Modern Tales creators among the winners! You can see the full awards ceremony (in comics form!) at the WCCA site, but here’s the short list of MT winners:

Shaenon Garrity (Narbonic)
(Shaenon also writes More Fun and Li’l Mell)

Digger by Ursula Vernon

Astronaut Elementary by Dave Roman

The Discovery of Spoons by Alexander Danner & John Barber
(Alexander writes Picture Story Theatre and John is the creator of Vicious Souvenirs)

Drew Weing (Pup)

Count Your Sheep by Adrian Ramos
(Adrian is the creator of The Wisdom of Moo)

Dicebox by Jenn Manley Lee

Count Your Sheep by Adrian Ramos (Short Form),
Flick by Mikal Oskarsson (Sci-Fi)
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (BW Art)


Lucky Kiss Begins in Picture Story Theatre

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 11:20 pm

Lucky Kiss, by Alexander Danner and Bill DuncanYesterday marked the first story page of Lucky Kiss, the third story in the unofficially titled “Kinderverse” series of stories appearing on Picture Story Theatre. The first two, of course, were Asleep: The Afternoon Passes and The Unusual Education of Suzy Finnegan. While each of these stories can stand completely alone, taken together, they form a larger, more interwoven narrative that is still ongoing.

Writing these stories has been very interesting. My goal is that each should also add depth to the story before and after—every story serves as background to every other story. And if that’s not enough, the main action of every story takes place on the same day, which makes fitting the new events introduced in successive stories into the existing chronology a bit of a puzzle. The good news is, the more challenging this gets, the more fun it gets, so my enthusiasm for these stories is growing. I’ve already got the fourth one nearly scripted, with loose plans for the fifth and sixth. So I hope other folks like them as well.

The third story began this week: Lucky Kiss, starring Martin Singh.

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