The webcomics blog about webcomics

Mergermania Hits Webcomics

One of the many things I like about Joey Manley is that he answers his email promptly. He dropped a fairly big announcement yesterday afternoon, I happened to catch wind of it in the first half-hour or so and send him some questions, and twelve minutes later I’ve got the answers. That’s the sort of thing that makes webcomics journo-hackery easy.

For those who haven’t seen it, The Colonel announced the upcoming merger of the Modern Tales family of various webcomics sites and the ComicSpace/ empire:

Today, Josh Roberts (owner of ComicSpace and and I are excited to announce that we have signed a Letter of Intent to merge our businesses into one corporate entity. We will be working with E-Line Ventures … to secure the necessary funding and support for us to effectively merge and run the combined business.

It’s been obvious to me, and to anybody else paying attention, that my websites are too ambitious, and have grown much too quickly, for one person to manage properly. As some of you know, I’ve spent the better part of two years looking for the right partners to help me step my efforts up….

A few months ago, Josh and I were corresponding on a technical issue, and our conversation sort of veered into this territory. Turned out he was in the same position I was in — and had turned down a lot of the same offers I had turned down, for the same reasons. Josh’s skillsets are quite different from mine, but his goals and plans are very, very similar. Each of us fills a gap in the other’s area of expertise. After brainstorming for a while, we realized that we would make a great team, that each of us would be stronger with the other at his side, and we decided, way back then, to merge our businesses — but only if we could find investors, and get the funding to build out the kind of stable business infrastructure we’ve both been lacking.

Naturally, this raises some questions (some of which Manley can’t answer at the present time — damn you, SEC-mandated blackout periods!), and once the various no-talk periods expire, I’ve been promised an interview with Manley, Roberts, and various other personages in the new company. For now, we can report that:

  • While the timeline is still being finalized, the business merger will take place first, and the technical merger will follow. Says Manley, The various sites will be run as a “network” until the dev team has had time to finish the new, superdeluxe website. Look for the new site to launch 3–5 months down the road.
  • Manley and Roberts will be co-CEOs.
  • On the goals for the merged ComicSpace, Manley informs us that [W]e’ll have the budgetary resources to hire programmers and designers who operate at a much higher technical and artistic plane than I personally could have ever reached by my lonesome. That’s where the majority of our investment capital is going — the vast, vast, vast majority of it.
  • Manley describes Roberts as a genius when it comes to creating simple but elegant online software: he’s quite the usability guru, he’s an amazing collaborator, a coder extraordinaire, and just a fantastic guy. Anybody would be lucky to have him as a partner, and I wasn’t the only person begging him to work with me, by a long shot.

More information to follow when it can be made publicly available. In any event, it’s safe to say that this merger and capital infusion could be the biggest thing to hit the business of webcomics in 2007 and well into 2008.

The cool part is that webcomics are starting to look like a real business to the outside world now.

I love all the sites involved and can’t wait to see how it all works together. Congrats to Joey and Josh!

Is it mania if it’s only one merger?

So when can we expect DumbBlankDayBrellaLabelFree Comics to form?

Mania is both singular and plural.

Kinda like “good-time jamboree.”

I think it’s the severe over-the-topness that make it mania. And the body count is actually fairly high if you consider the number of properties involved and not that it’s only one merger of two people.

That’s what blows me away – that only two people were doing this much cool stuff on their own. Successfully.

How come no zuda reaction post … it went live yesterday at 6:00 … I figure there would be something? Even if you don’t like them (meaning the system) you have to support thier creators. Look foward to reading your comments.

In the world of webcomics (no, wait, scratch that…)

If you’re serious about the presentation of your comic properties online, this merger is MUCH bigger news than the Zuda launch. Zuda is like Columbus discovering America… if he’d discovered it after the Pilgrims were already settling Manhattan.

Of course, Columbus didn’t actually discover America. Just some islands nearby. Which he then raped and pillaged. So it is just like Zuda. I KEED, I KEED.

[…] to say on the record; we at Fleen have our own interview questions before the gentlemen behind the megamerger, and we’ll bring you those answers as soon as we […]

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