I checked out The Engine when it launched but haven’t had much chance to check out Warren Ellis’ site again until tonight. In catching up on the threads in the Digital Comics forum I came across the fact that not only is Warren Ellis aware of Comixpedia, but he had read (at least part of) the End of the Year Blogger Roundtable. And after reading that page of comments I think Ellis and Joey Manley would make a pretty formidable vaudeville team.
Also on a different thread a fellow named John Voulieris is talking up creators about a possible plan to launch a new webcomics portal site. His latest comments suggest a combination of upfront payments with the publishers gaining an option on ancilliary rights for a negotiated period of time (actually a split of the ancialliary rights with the creator). I know nothing about Voulieris (haven’t even googled him) but the thread is there and may be of interest.