T Campbell's Mind
RIP Joey Manley, 1965-2013.

Joey Manley passed away far too early in life last night, due to complications from pneumonia. I’m sad, angry and honored that I got the chance to be so close to someone so remarkable.

There was a brief moment, hard to remember now, when webcomics and the Web in general seemed to be unsustainable through advertising. Ad rates were in freefall, panicking artists who, a few years prior, had thought they were more or less set for life. Joey knew how to talk to people, how to bring talent together, and he was the one willing to address the elephant in the room: maybe we needed to change the business model.

Modern Tales, the subscription website, launched in 2002, and for a while, it eclipsed ad earnings for a number of us. For a while, it seemed like it would grow into a tentpole of the new business model. It did well enough to launch a number of spinoffs with more specific flavors: Girlamatic for women-created work and Serializer for more “underground”-style “comix.” I joined the fourth of these, the self-explanatory Adventure Strips, and got promoted to editor when we rebranded it. I’m pretty sure Joey let me come up with the new name, Graphic Smash. Joey’s other visionary projects included Webcomics Nation, a viable platform for beginning webcartoonists.

But that’s not what people are talking about today. What people remember is Joey’s belief in them. His investment said to us that the worlds we were building mattered, and that’s his real legacy: dozens of cartoonists who wouldn’t be working, or working as well, without his contributions to their dreams.

See also Shaenon Garrity, Joey’s successor as editor of the main ModernTales.com features, for notes on the effective closure of Modern Tales.

  1. dundee998 reblogged this from kidcrimedoer
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  6. robot6 reblogged this from t-campbell and added:
    Robot 6 also mourns the passing of this great webcomics and podcast pioneer, novelist and damn funny fellow, who was...
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  10. patmyers reblogged this from demiurgent and added:
    I’ll miss him so much.
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  16. maritzac reblogged this from t-campbell and added:
    I am very sad right now
  17. reinderdijkhuis reblogged this from t-campbell and added:
    Joey Manley was an awesome human being and among many other things he did, kept Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan alive back in the...
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