Joey Manley of Modern Tales passes away

Some pretty sad news today, as Robot 6 reports that Modern Tales founder Joey Manley passed away at the young age of 48 due to complications from pneumonia. 

A publisher, editor, podcaster and author, Manley launched Modern Tales in March 2002, establishing one of the first workable (and profitable) subscription models for webcomics. He soon spun off Serializer, an alternative-comics site originally edited by Tom Hart; Girlamatic, a female targeted site initially edited by Lea Hernandez; Graphic Smash, the action comics site; and Webcomics Nation, a webcomics-hosting service.

The collective “Modern Tales family,” which closed in April, had published work by such creators as Gene Luen Yang, James Kochalka, Howard Cruse, Chris Onstad, Shaenon Garrity and Dylan Meconis, among many others.

Manley was also an early comics podcaster, launching “Talk About Comics” in 2001, and co-hosting the “Diva Lea Show” with Hernandez, beginning in 2003. His first novel, The Death of Donna-May Dean, was released in 1992 by St. Martin’s Griffin; he serialized his second, Snake-Boy Loves Sky Prince: a Gay Superhero Teen Romance, online as a work in progress beginning in 2011.

He “was a true pioneer of webcomics,” retailer and convention organizer Chris Butcher wrote last night on Twitter. Cartoonist T Campbell went more in-depth about Manley’s contributions on his blog, writing, “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.”

(On a personal note, a very close relative died of pneumonia just a week ago. Please, I implore all of you to see a doctor and catch it early if you exhibit any symptoms.)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on November 8, 2013, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A big loss.

    Also I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss.

  2. RIP. He proved that people will pay for Web comics.

  3. Hi there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and
    personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from
    this web site.

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