This is a big deal and should lead to an even bigger and better platform for independent webcomic creators – more details (of course) at Talk About Comics here.
The full "press release" is after the jump…
from Joey Manley:
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 â€˜double bottom lineâ€™ 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.
Itâ€™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, Iâ€™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 â€” and had turned down a lot of the same offers I had turned down, for the same reasons. Joshâ€™s skillsets are quite different from mine, but his goals and plans are very, very similar. Each of us fills a gap in the otherâ€™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 â€” but only if we could find investors, and get the funding to build out the kind of stable business infrastructure weâ€™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. Weâ€™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. Youâ€™ll be meeting some of them â€“ as well as some of our own new co-employees â€” 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 â€” 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 â€” 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. â€” while maintaining full control and ownership of their intellectual property.
That combined will be called ComicSpace.
For those who have multiple accounts on several of these sites, weâ€™ll be working with you to get all your information merged into one convenient place. And pre-existing webcomicsnation.com or talkaboutcomics.com URLâ€™s (like, to an individual comic, or even an individual forum post) will redirect to their new equivalent locations on the new site seamlessly. So donâ€™t stress on that front. Weâ€™re still a few months out from the launch of the new ComicSpace. Until that time, the individual sites will continue to run just as they have in the past.
Today, Joey Manley and I signed Letters of Intent to merge our various properties into a single corporate entity. When the dust settles, ComicSpace, Webcomics Nation, TalkAboutComics, and OnlineComics.net will be rolled up into one big happy super site. The super site will be called ComicSpace.
I realized several months ago that my days were numbered as a one-man operation. 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… *pause for breath*… graphicsmash.com, graphicnovelreview.com and a few others.
A couple months ago, Joey and I started talking. Okay okay, Joey did most of the talking and I grunted and nodded my head from time to time. But 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 â€˜double bottom lineâ€™ 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 (Maine lingo) new features for readers and creators.
No one panic! 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.