There was no reason we couldn’t take over the world
April 19, 2013 4:14 AM   Subscribe

"It wasn’t just Modern Tales. Keenspot, already established as the big name in webcomics sites, had members out in full force at that Comic-Con. A little group called Pants Press, consisting of a half-dozen Disney-loving teenage girls and one grown man, met in person for the first time after finding each other online, and the Pants Press girls wove in and out of the Comic-Con crowds in a blur of watercolors and cosplay fabric. Every member of that group is now a major talent in comics or animation or both. That summer, it was certain for the first time that webcomics were going to be a thing. A good thing. " -- As pioneering webcomics host Modern Tales has shut down, Narbonic creator Shaenon Garrity reminisces about how Joey Manley got it all started, back in 2001-2002
posted by MartinWisse (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Jim Zubkavich teaches art.

Jim Zubkavich also writes the very-well-reviewed Skullkickers, and also the Pathfinder comic for Dynamite. (That's "Pathfinder" as in "the RPG system that is basically D&D 3.5, but better in every way.") It's an odd omission. In general, there's not a lot of meat here; maybe it really is just a reminiscence rather than an analysis or post-mortem, but there's no real reason given why they didn't take over the world, or at least make their business model work. (And some of it simply doesn't make sense; "Webcomics don’t even need websites anymore"--wha?)
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:12 AM on April 19, 2013

Modern Tales was still going? I figured it had shut down in 2004.

I was an inaugural subscriber, but most of the stuff on there just lacked a certain something that I need from my webcomics.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:51 AM on April 19, 2013

I was part of the initial roll-out of sister site Graphic Smash, writing a comic called The License, about an ex-con given a license by the President to punch people for behaving badly as part of a secret government program run by Elvis.

It was fun, but I quickly fell afoul of the perennial comics-writer trap – artists need to make rent, and low-paying projects are always the first thing to get thrown in the blender when crunch time comes.

My friend Bill drew a MT comic written by Alexander Danner whose name escapes me, but it was a kind of "modern fairy tales" sort of thing.

All of this was pretty awesome, and I remember the early, heady, anything-is-possible days. As it turned out, anything was not possible, but it was fun in those early stages.
posted by Shepherd at 6:59 AM on April 19, 2013

I subscribed to MT and Graphic Smash. Eventually all the comics I was interested in stopped updating or moved out and I stopped.
posted by YAMWAK at 8:34 AM on April 19, 2013

Re: Jim Zub (as those of us who feign familiarity with him call him)
Skullkickers is online at Keenspot (a whole 'nother 'Webcomics Collective' story) with a page-a-day of the previously published tales and, as part of his full disclosure of the financial side of the comics biz, Zub has shown that the online exposure is helping more than hurting sales of the paper comic.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:23 PM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Awwwww, *sniff*. The Pants Press girls(and dude) were: Erika Moen, Jen Wang, Vera Brosgol, Dylan Meconis, and Bill Mudron. They're all amazing.
posted by sawdustbear at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2013

I used to read each installment of Vicious Souvenirs at Modern Tales with abated breath.

Pretty much nothing Shaenon Garrity did interested me, but her sheer productivity was impressive. Daily updates that are worth reading are a fulltime job.
posted by the Real Dan at 1:30 PM on April 20, 2013

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