Modern Tales seeking submissions for ongoing series slot

As Modern Tales subscribers and watchers know, one of our series, Patent Pending, by Jon Rosenberg, has been on hiatus for several months now.

After several long (but friendly) talks with Jon, we’ve decided to remove the series and open up the slot for somebody new. There are lots of people who would like to have their comics featured on Modern Tales, who maybe haven’t reached the level of success that Jon has reached, and it only seems fair to give them a chance. I want to stress that Jon and Modern Tales have made this decision mutually, and that Jon is very much still a part of the Modern Tales “family” — he will remain on our advisory board, and will still and always be a friend.

So, on to the submission stuff.

We are looking specifically for a very certain kind of comic right now. If your comic doesn’t fit our editorial needs, no matter how good it is, it won’t be accepted. It’s not *just* about quality (though quality is important) — it’s also about Modern Tales’ business needs, and the desired editorial mix of features on our website.

The new series, ideally, will have the following characteristics:

1. It will be “story-based.” Rather than a series of standalone punchline-drive strips, I’m looking for a work that has a strong ongoing storyline, either serious or funny or both.

2. It will be “character-based.” This comic will be driven by its characters, who will live and breathe and have presence.

3. It will have the potential to appeal to a wide mainstream audience. We have outlets for avant-garde comics (Longplay and — and those happen to be my favorite kinds of comics, when I’m reading for enjoyment. But for Modern Tales, right now, what I need is a strip that has the potential to appeal to the kind of people who watch popular television shows, or go to popular movies (albeit good popular television shows and movies).

Note that when I say it has to have the *potential* to appeal to large audiences, it would help if you could show me that the comic already *does* appeal to wide audiences (server logs, etc) — but potential is potential, and comics that aren’t already popular will still be happily considered.

Note also that by “mainstream” I do not mean “comics mainstream” but “real-world” mainstream: I’m not likely to accept a superhero story, though if it’s good enough, eh, maybe.

4. If your comic has fantastical elements, make sure they’re original and well-done and meaningful. I’m not looking for something that is a dim mirror of works already created elsewhere.

5. The creators will be someone that the Modern Tales team and myself are comfortable working with. If you have a history of badmouthing people on message boards, or causing stinks within the webcomics community (or any community), and if word of that history comes back to me, don’t expect me to be jumping up and down begging you to sign a contract.

6. The preferable format and update schedule is: as much as possible, as often as possible. A good compromise between a creator’s time, and a reader’s need for more work, is the format and update schedule used by Jim Zubkavich while he was doing Makeshift Miracle: Sunday-sized comics that updated Monday, Wednesday, Friday. We’ll consider any format and any update schedule, though.

So, that’s it.

Submissions should be in the form of a cover letter, a series description, and a link. Behind the link, I expect to either see a webcomic that’s already running, or enough material (character sketches, a strip or to or ten, and so on) for me to make a decision.

Emails with attachments will be deleted.

Submissions should be sent to:

… and should have the subject line “Modern Tales Series Submission”

Emails without this subject line will be deleted.

Submissions for this slot should be received before April 15, 2003.

We may take a long, long time to get back to you.


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. First off, I want to thank Joey for giving us the opportunity to do Patent Pending in the first place. We’ve enjoyed our association with Modern Tales, and we’re looking forward to a continued relationship working with them in other capacities.

    This was a mutual decision that we made; it’s probably best for MT and for Goats both. Patent Pending will continue as a feature of Goats’ Premium section shortly.

  2. So um does this mean no more Patent Pending anywhere?

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