Home News Announcements ComicSpace and Web Comics Nation merge for new venture

ComicSpace and Web Comics Nation merge for new venture

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Hm, will this be the killer app for webcomics? Joey Manley announces what could be a fairly significant venture:

Today, Josh Roberts (owner of ComicSpace and Onlinecomics.net) 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, a New Jersey-based ‘double bottom line’ early-stage investment firm (they look at both the financial and social impact of their investments) 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 lot of people and companies have come calling during that time, but nothing felt quite right, for one reason or another.

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.

E-Line has provided a blueprint for making that dream come true, without our having to sell out our core beliefs. 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. Those guys rock. You’ll be meeting some of them – as well as some of our own new co-employees — over time.

The websites to be part of the new venture include: ComicSpace.com, WebcomicsNation.com, OnlineComics.net, GraphicNovelReview.com, TalkAboutComics.com, ModernTales.com, Girlamatic.com, Serializer.net, and GraphicSmash.com.

Those last four (Modern Tales, Girlamatic, serializer and Graphic Smash) will continue to operate as separate brands, with their own domains, though they will gets lots of cool new features thanks to our increased development resources.

All of the others — ComicSpace, WCN, OnlineComics, GNR, and TAC, will be merged into one fully-integrated site, combining all the best features from each of the existing sites with many other new features, all designed to empower creators to reach their own goals — find larger audiences, make a living (or at least a little more money) from their webcomics, and reach out to new distribution channels, like mobile and print, etc. — while maintaining full control and ownership of their intellectual property.

That combined will be called ComicSpace.

Details on existing memberships and more in the link.

  1. “ComicSpace.”
    Hmm. I can’t believe that name wasn’t taken. It’s perfect.
    Manley has worked tirelessly. Here’s hoping this venture is a good fit for all.

  2. I’ve always been a big supporter of ComicSpace. Josh has done good work. Merging with Manely, who also fights the good fight, only means a solid WIN for comics and readers. Congrats to all involved.

  3. We shall see. I like that ComicSpace exists, though I feel after an initial push it’s sat on its hands for most of its existence. (Yes, I understand Josh has other priorities and the site has likely been a financial drain at times, but when undertaking a venture like this you must be prepared to act both in cases of failure AND success.) Not terribly well-versed in the other sites, which is likely more a statement on me than them. My concern is that rather than staking out a few key, essential territories and making sure to deliver on them, they could end up glutting the service like MySpace or, really, Comicon.com. And to truly be a killer app, they will need to discover what will draw and retain not just comic geeks to the site but the general public, too, or else I fear it will become yet another inbred messageboard with the same people making the same platitudes as they’ve been since 1998.

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