“I realized several months ago that my days were numbered as a one-man operation,” Josh explained in a bulletin on his ComicSpace page. “ComicSpace and OnlineComics.net simply require more resources than I have to give (both financially and personally). Thanks to ComicSpace’s fast and furious launch late last year, I’ve fielded several offers to partner, merge, even sell ComicSpace. But none of those offers felt right. Some of them felt very, very wrong.
“Enter Joey Manley. For those of you unfamiliar with Joey, he’s the guy behind webcomicsnation.com, talkaboutcomics.com, moderntales.com, serializer.net, girlamatic.com, graphicsmash.com, graphicnovelreview.com — and a few others.
“A couple months ago, Joey and I started talking… [and] … by the end of the conversation we had pretty much decided to merge our properties into a single cohesive super site.
“We were excited. We were pumped. Then we remembered we didn’t have any money.
“Enter E-Line Ventures, a New Jersey-based ‘double bottom line’ early-stage investment firm (they look at both the financial and social impact of their investments). We like these guys a lot. They’re smart. They take us out to nice dinners. And they have lots of money they want to throw at us. We plan to use that money to facilitate the merger, hire programmers and develop wicked new features for readers and creators.”
“E-Line has provided a blueprint for making that dream come true, without our having to sell out our core beliefs,” says Joey Manley, whose first notable website was the Webby-winning freespeech.org, which he helped start in 1995. (He’s also the author of one novel, The Death of Donna-May Dean, published in 1991). “We’ve been working with them for what seems like a year or two now (but has really only been a few months), to bring our vision for offering the most useful, empowering and engaging services for digital comic creators and readers to life.
“The folks at E-Line not only understood and support this vision, they have complimentary skills to help us make it happen.”
“No one panic!” urges Josh, who has patiently built ComicSpace into a major creator hub on the web. “Nothing’s going to change today, or tomorrow, or even next week. This process is still in its beginning stages, but we’re hoping to have the new site up and running within a couple months. The new site will retain all of the functionality of the existing sites, so you’ll be able to do everything you can do now, plus a whole lot more.”
Modern Tales, Girlamatic, serializer and Graphic Smash) are also covered by the agreement but will continue to operate as separate brands, with their own domains “although they will gets lots of cool new features thanks to our increased development resources,” Josh explains.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.