Modern Tales Animation Site — animators needed

I’ve often thought that the Modern Tales business model could be applied to web animations as well.

I’m starting to get cocky, maybe, from the success of my webcomics “empire” — but it’s really looking like what we’ve done on MT could work for animation as well. I built my websites’ content management and subscriber access systems to be compatible with Flash animations and/or RealVideo streams from the beginning, so I could literally turn a few knobs and have such a site up and running.

Before I started Modern Tales, I was the VP Interactive at, and had the opportunity to meet lots of people in the web animation industry during the crazy boom years — the icebox people (who hated me, btw), some of the gang at shockwave, as well as relatively successful indie producers like Bob Cesca, who hosted a talk show on my site for over a year, featuring guests like Xeth Feinberg, Joe Cartoon, and so on. So I’ve been in and around web animation for quite some time, and have a great deal of interest in it.

As part of my research in the animation field, I’ve started a small Yahoo-like directory of “webshows” (audio/video/animated productions) here:

… any animators who would like to have their homepages listed there are invited to submit a link through the website (the “suggest a link” link is on the left-hand menubar). I’m not linking to portfolio sites, though — the site, though its purpose is partially for my research, is also being presented to the public as a guide to original, recurring, episodic web entertainment programming.

But that’s really just a side-item. Anyone who is interested in a Modern Tales-like animation site — especially animators, but anybody, really — is invited to join the new private mailing list I’ve started for people who want to help me figure out a business model and editorial/artistic strategy for this site. Nobody will be turned away (yet — grin):


Joey Manley


Joey Manley

Joey Manley (b.1965–d.2013) was the author of the novel The Death of Donna-May Dean (1992), entrepreneur, and founder of Modern Tales and WebcomicsNation.


  1. If you want to debate with me about the Modern Tales business model, or my committment to the success of the Modern Tales artists, decloak, Anonymous Fan Boy, and let us know who you are, and share the extent of your knowledge (or, most likely, your lack of knowledge) about how MT is doing.

    Otherwise, I’m not biting. I don’t debate shadows.


  2. You know I think this would be a great site – but my impression of the many failed animation sites (Icebox included) was that they were much higher paying/higher capitalized sites than the MT business plan. I’m not saying it’s right, but don’t animators traditionally on average demand higher pay/less risk than comics creators? Do you think there are enough talented animators interested in the web that would go for the MT business plan?


    P.S. That anonymous fanboy comment wasn’t me-

  3. These are issues to consider (as well as the fact that the bandwidth bill, and server strain, will be much higher on such a site).

    In fact, it’s quite possible that this site will never happen.

    If it does happen, it’ll be sometime in mid to late 2004 at the earliest.

    The core Modern Tales group, and I, started a discussion list very similar to the one I’m starting now for the animation site, about six months to a year (I forget) before we ever actually launched Modern Tales. When we started that list, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do — or even if we were going to do anything. On that list, the whole Idea That is Modern Tales, from the business model to the editorial strategy, came to life.

    That’s all I’m trying to do with this animation site: get a group of like-minded people together just to see if there’s something we can do that makes sense. It won’t take up a lot of my time or energy or resources in the short or medium terms (that’s for the AFB to chew on, by the way). No more than posting on this board does. Just brainstorming, that’s all, and trying to find out who’s out there who would like to work on this project, if it does happen, and what ideas they might have.

    The AFB didn’t bother me as much as it appeared he/she might have, by the way: I’m happy to discuss the Modern Tales business strategy, just not with anonymous posters — especially those who try to use their anonymity to pretend to know more than they really do.


  4. Perhaps you are successful, but are your artists? A new site helps you incrementally, but it does nothing for the artists already working for you, waiting to see success.

    Are you overextending yourself with yet another site?

    Modern Tales has had little to no promotion, no surge in subscribers since it began, little publicity.

    When will you shift your focus from building new properties to working on the ones you already have?

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