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The New Lineup at the New Modern Tales

Shaenon K. Garrity

So Eric Burns has a handy post up detailing some thoughts on the New Fall Season at Modern Tales which marks new editor Shaenon K. Garrity's debut line-up. Here's the list of the new comics Eric hits on in his post:

So a couple of questions to discuss: what about the new line-up? does it change the "brand" of Moderntales.com? And what does it mean to creators and/or readers to be part of a site like this? As we head into the latter part of 2006 just exactly what are the benefits of such an umbrella site?

UPDATE: Related collective-type news; the Warren Ellis-led Rocket Pirates now looks to debut in September.

Modern Tales' brand is: "a

Joey Manley's picture

Modern Tales' brand is: "a wide variety of the best comics we could find from around the web, collected in a single place, for your enjoyment and convenience."

OR: "Sort of like a big webcomics site ... only better!"

Ha!

Joey
www.webcomicsnation.com

"Best Comics" as an anthology theme

EricMillikin's picture

 I've got a two-volume set of Fantagraphics' "The Best Comics of the '80s."

"The Best Comics" always seemed like a decent idea for an anthology them for me ...Â

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  Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

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Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

So a couple of questions to

The William G's picture

So a couple of questions to discuss: what about the new line-up? does it change the "brand" of Moderntales.com? And what does it mean to creators and/or readers to be part of a site like this? As we head into the latter part of 2006 just exactly what are the benefits of such an umbrella site?

1- Seems okay to me.Â

2- Things seem to be a bit more "digested and passed in three seconds" now as opposed to work that demands that you pay attention. Hey, that's what them goldbricking kids who read webcomics want.

3 - Speaking as a creator; The knowledge that you're counted among a group of highly talented people.

 4 - Same as any collective, I figure: Increased exposure for your work. A better chance for a reader to find something that may suit their tastes. It's a big web, after all.


And a couple of answers... And more questions!

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=The William G]

So a couple of questions to discuss: what about the new line-up? does it change the "brand" of Moderntales.com? And what does it mean to creators and/or readers to be part of a site like this? As we head into the latter part of 2006 just exactly what are the benefits of such an umbrella site?

1- Seems okay to me.

2- Things seem to be a bit more "digested and passed in three seconds" now as opposed to work that demands that you pay attention. Hey, that's what them goldbricking kids who read webcomics want.

3 - Speaking as a creator; The knowledge that you're counted among a group of highly talented people.

4 - Same as any collective, I figure: Increased exposure for your work. A better chance for a reader to find something that may suit their tastes. It's a big web, after all.

[/quote]

 

1+2. Change in MT Brand? I dunno Will - I'm going to have to read some of them for the first time but overall from what I've read and the comments I've seen MT is no longer going to be the same place it was - Narbonic was always one of the most easily accessible works on the site but on the new lineup I don't think that's necessarily the case.

3+4. Benefit to Collective Entity: I'd agree with you there on the creator side - that there is something to making friends with peers and the potential to learn from each other/push each other on to better work/etc. But the vibe is probably very different from a Dumbrella to a MT to a Keenspot. Or is it?

And for the readers I guess the questions is simply - do I still go to MT to read the free ones I like or do I now read 'em all. Is it better to have lots of different stuff (MT) or more similar (Graphic Smash).

But overall is it about comraderie or marketing or what? I know there are benefits to these setups - I was part of a small one long ago and there are more now then ever but I thought it would be helpful to think out loud about why creators do them and maybe also think about it from the readers perspective a bit.

____

Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

The MT brand isn't

Joey Manley's picture

The MT brand isn't *changing* so much as it is *expanding,* is the way I look at it.

The site in its all-subscription-all-the-time mode was clearly aimed squarely at people for whom comics are a major part of their lives and their identities (only really dedicated readers are going to pay for webcomics, clearly), so my tendency as an editor was to avoid strips that would appeal more to the casual reader (the office worker wanting a quick laugh before having a cup of coffee and firing up Excel) and more to the hardcore comics aficianado.

So: continuity strips, weird and complex and involved storylines, and experimental follies made perfect sense, under the subscription model.

Now that we are no longer limited by our business model to the small percentage of the world that actively identifies as a comics fan, it only makes sense that we'd look to add that missing element -- the kind of strip that can appeal to the intelligent and discriminating casual reader who isn't deeply involved in comics, but still appreciates quality.

Look for Longplay (relaunching as soon as Shaenon's ready), as well as the soon-to-be-revitalized VIP Room, to carry on the old-school Modern Tales vibe.

Joey
www.webcomicsnation.com

Sure

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

The change from sub to free aspect is a big change and I can understand how that should bring in more casual fans. But how would you pitch the MT "brand" if you were trying to explain it to someone? Graphic Smash is easy, Girlamatic is less tightly focused but I think still easy to explain.Â

Can you pitch MT the same way? It's more of an anthology without a theme, isn't it? Not saying one or the other is good or bad - well actually I'm trying to ask questions to see what people think about it all.

And not to pick on MT so look at Wirepop - that's webmanga; Keenspot - well, I'm not sure. It's either stuff Crosby/Gav likes or "this is not your momma's newspaper comics".

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Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.