Eric Burns, the creator and co-writer of Websnark as well as the writer of Gossamer Commons and The Adventures of Brigadier General John Stark, has been named the new editor of Modern Tales, taking over from Joey Manley at the webcomics collective. Manley will continue as owner and publisher of Modern Tales.
“With Joey focusing on the growth of Webcomics Nation, along with all his other projects, he felt it was to hand the editorial reins of Modern Tales to someone else,” Burns said. “I’m very glad to be a part of one of the seminal comics collectives on the web. Further, we all know that the world of Webcomics is very different today than it was when Modern Tales launched. Joey has some exciting plans to help Modern Tales evolve and grow, and anything I can do to help in that process, I will do.”
Burns is coy about what those plans are. “There are big changes on the horizon,” he said. “When we’re a bit closer to executing those plans, we’ll send out all the announcements with tons of fanfare.”
Burns confirms that Websnark will continue to be independent. “Weds and I will continue doing what we’re doing. At the same time, I know that there will be some changes both to how I’m seen and to the subject matter I can ethically write about. Amusingly, the offer was made to me after a recent debate on webcomics creators also acting as critics. Obviously, anyone reading my critical work needs to know my relationship to the material.”
Burns is also a regular columnist for Comixpedia and the Webcomics Examiner, and intends to continue in those roles. He also wrote this news article, so in the places above we mention he ‘said’ things, please understand he was talking to his cat at the time.
Well… Put a fork in Websnark!
I wonder if this might help revitalize Modern Tales, which I’ve had a sense hasn’t seen much in the way of growth of late. Instead, it seems it branched out into other subscription sites (some of which do better than others) and now into Webcomic Nation… leaving the core site to rely on some favorites (like Narbonic) to draw people in.
And once Narbonic ends… I was wondering how MT would fare. (I mean, No Stereotypes has moved off to form Panel2Panel, Gun Street Girl left Graphic Smash to also join P2P, Rogues of Clwyd Rhan left to go solo… I’ve long claimed there was an inherent flaw in the subscription model of archives, and I’ve not seen much to prove that belief wrong.) Of course, Shaenon Garrity might start up a new comic at MT, but even so, new comics don’t always keep the readership that the original comics had.
I have to wonder if perhaps Eric will help revitalize MT in two ways. First, he might help draw in new talent hoping to join one of the Comic Collectives (which might lead Keenspot to Spot some additional comics in an attempt to keep these potentials from joining MT as well). Second, he himself might draw new readership to MT, as they attribute Eric with good comics.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
I’m not sure why.
Eric’s already pointed out he’ll have to be aware of his associations when writing. At the worst, this means no MT related snarks. Granted, if he chooses not to write about MT related comics, this would exclude a number of extremely good comics, but I doubt Eric’s going to have any difficulty finding things to Snark.
I’m not sure he even has to refrain from snarking MT related works. He’s got a good rep, so unless he were to start blatantly shilling, I doubt anyone would even notice.
Besides, Websnark is a blog, not a webcomics review site.
Hmmm…I never see this coming. Than again, I never see anything coming in the webcomic world. Webcomic news alway take me by surprise.
Came as a surprise to me, too. 😉
Wow. Congrats, Eric and Joey! I think this is a great move both functionally and PR-wise for MT.
The other shoe drops here:
Burns Takes Over — Modern Tales will be (Mostly) Free!
Summary: the new Modern Tales will be 80% free, advertising-supported. The other 20% of the site, the subscription-based part, will be exactly as it is today. I’ll maintain control of that part of the site. Eric’s charged with building the free part.
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