RIP Joey Manley
November 8, 2013 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Joey Manley, founder of Modern Tales and its spinoff sites (Serializer, Graphic Smash and Girlamatic) has passed away. Manley's vision of comics as something that could provide a sustainable business model to creators didn't pan out in the long term, but did launch and/or promote the online comics careers of a number of creators, including Justin (Wonderella) Pierce, James (American Elf) Kolchaka, Roger (Fred the Clown) Langridge, Shaenon (Narbonic) Garrity, Gene (American Born Chinese) Yang, Alexander (Panel One) Danner and many more.

Following the rise and fall of Modern Tales (shuttered in 2012), Manley founded Webcomics Nation, which continues to this day. His impact on webcomics as a medium was immeasurable in the "second wave" days of webcomics.
posted by Shepherd (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Such a shock. My heart goes out to his husband, he was so young and had made so many positive changes in his life in recent years. It's awful, heartbreaking news.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:53 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


posted by The Whelk at 6:56 AM on November 8, 2013


So sad to hear and Pneumonia, of all things. Modern Tales is probably the only pay subscription web site I ever joined, just so I could read Digger from the beginning. You could read the latest panel for free on Modern Tales but once the next panel came out you couldn't go earlier without a subscription.
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:58 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


posted by frogstar42 at 7:07 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boo. My morning is blown now.
posted by Samizdata at 7:20 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:24 AM on November 8, 2013


The webcomics pioneer and freedom-of-speech fighter gets the last word with his penultimate tweet: "What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their pundits and bloggers."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:27 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am shocked and saddened to hear this news. Joey and I spoke extensively back in 2005 about taking Webcomics Nation from a passion project of his to a 'serious' business. It didn't work out for me, but I stayed in touch with him via social media. Great guy and had a truly insightful perspective on the burgeoning digital comics and webcomics industries (they're different in some subtle ways that he pointed out to me). He was aggressively in love with his husband and truly embodied and embraced the spirit of the webcomics movement. I'm sad for everyone whose lives and careers Joey touched.
posted by marc1919 at 7:31 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by dreamling at 8:12 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by eruonna at 8:37 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by dinty_moore at 9:59 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by YAMWAK at 11:18 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by oneswellfoop at 11:39 AM on November 8, 2013

posted by motty at 11:40 AM on November 8, 2013

I knew him, in passing (he wouldn't have remembered me, I'm sure), 20+ years ago back in Tuscaloosa, when he published his novel *The Death of Donna-May Dean*. We in the creating writing department were all agog -- published! a novel! So young! -- and more than a little jealous.

I wondered why I hadn't seen a followup, and then realized I could probably ask Google sometime a decade or so ago, which was when I discovered his entirely other life with online comics.

What a loss. :(
posted by uberchet at 12:33 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Such sad news! I briefly contributed to Graphic Smash. Though I had little contact with him, I'm grateful to have gotten to know some great comics and artists through the Modern Tales family.
posted by charles kaapjes at 3:16 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Jesse the K at 3:40 PM on November 8, 2013

posted by Gelatin at 5:48 AM on November 9, 2013

I'm shocked. I met Joey and his partner Joe through fellow writer C. Bard Cole. We met up at the Media and Democracy conference in New York, I think in 1997. At the time Joey worked for Free Speech TV and managed their web presence. We stayed in intermittent touch, and I regret we didn't spend more time together when they lived in San Francisco.
posted by larrybob at 11:27 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

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