One of the things I remember most clearly about the ‘webcomics community’ in the mid-2000s was how passionate everyone was, about… well, everything. Drama was a constant. There was no detail so small that it wasn’t worth an argument. There was no achievement so petty that it didn’t deserve celebration. The most precious coin of the realm was sincerity — you could be an jerk. People were fine with that. Just don’t be a milquetoast or hypocrite.
Well, Joey Manley was no hypocrite. And Joey Manley was no milquetoast. He went toe to toe on the subject of comics with anyone. And sometimes, people called him a jerk. Sometimes loudly. And generally they used language that was less ‘PG’ than ‘jerk.’
But that was okay with Joey, because comics mattered to Joey. Art mattered to Joey. And if that meant he was going to be the one man standing up in the middle of remarkable peer pressure and move in a different direction, well, that’s what it would mean.
Which is where we got Modern Tales from. And Girlamatic, Serializer, Graphic Smash and all the rest of the ‘Manley’ sites (which he always referred to as the ‘Modern Tales family.’)
But I’m getting ahead of my tale. More after the break.
I got my start on Girlamatic. In fact, I started DAR! specifically so I’d have something to post there when they invited me to come on board. Joey Manley was responsible for being the first person to pay me for making comics. He was kind, he was encouraging, he provided me webspace to host my comics, both on Girlamatic and then later when I moved over to Webcomicsnation.
I really, really encourage everyone who has a passing interest in webcomics to read this essay about Joey Manley and his many contributions to this field. And then you should go read Shaenon Garrity’s essay that she wrote about him earlier this year, titled One of Those Things.