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Steve Harrison

New Site Features: Bios and Buddy Lists

Several folks asked me to let them set up a bio for their user accounts at Comixpedia. I've added some fields to everyone's user accounts that should let you put in some basic information about yourself, including where you're at in the world (personally I'm curious about our community of readers here). If there are other types of information people want let me know and I'll consider adding to this.

After logging in go to your My Account page and click "edit" and then click "member information". On that page you'll see input fields for name, location, URLs and bio. All of that will show up on your My Account page (which all of your posts and comments are linked to).

I also added a "buddy list" function (we need a better name for that? how about My Comixster?) that lets you add other users on the site to your "buddy list". The buddy list gives you a page with a list of your buddies (as well as those who've picked you as a buddy) and a list of your buddies' recent posts. I think this could be useful but I'd like feedback on it.

After logging in you'll see a link to my buddylist in the upper righthand menu. To add people to your buddy list you need to find their user account page and there should be a link on it to add them as your buddy. Clicking on your My Buddylist page gives you a list of buddies, posts, etc. (I also added a block listing recent posts from buddies - its on the lower left corner of the site.)

Two more things - you can enable a Contact Me page for yourself here at Comixpedia. (Here's mine) Just go to your My Account page and click "edit" and down at the bottom you need to check the box next to "Personal Contact Form". Down there you can also change the time zone here at the site for your account.

Comixpedia Upgrades Continuing

Just a note on Comixpedia upgrades.

I've turned on the WYSIWYG editor for all of you (what you see is what you get). Please let me know if you don't see this and what browser you're using. It's a port of the TinyMCE editor to Drupal and I've used it without problems for a couple months now. When you're using this editor don't use html other than what the buttons below the input box support. (If you really like writing out html by hand than (1) click the "disable rich-text" link and then (2) goto "Input Format" and choose Filtered HTML)

Also, I've also turned off bbcode. You can still "quote" people and that does show up as bracket - quote - bracket when you click "disable rich-text" but that's the only bbcode-ish thing on the site now.

Second - I opened up the "topics" on the site to "freetagging" which means when you post a blog or a forum topic you can tag it with whatever descriptive words you want. Just remember to be descriptive - the point of the tags is to help people find your posts when they search the site.

Third - I'm experimenting with adding a rolling feed of creators blog, webcomic updates and blogs about webcomics (see the lower left hand column). You can subscribe to the collected feeds of any of these categories of feeds here. You can also write a blog post here about any of these items simply by clicking the little "b" icon next to each entry.

The code on drupal is great for this kind of thing, but it may be too much work for me to add RSS feeds. Tell me if you think it's a useful feature or not! (also if you want to add your RSS feed to it post a comment and tell me which category the feed goes in.)

Foreign language mirrors

Who has a comic that posts in more than one language? What kind of effect does it have on your readership?

Fabricari Draws Guest Strip for William G's Bang Barstal

William G is out of town for a few weeks, and he put out a call for some guest strips for his comic, Bang Barstal. I drew today's guest strip. I don't get to write humor that often, but I had a lot of fun with this tribute.

Scott Kurtz Needs Your Help!

You know, regardless of how much I've ribbed Scott Kurtz in the past, I still read PVP religiously. It's a compulsion. And no matter what people think of Scott, it's fairly universal that most folks like PVP. Yeah, me too.

Now, I've posted on assorted forums about Scott copying and pasting. I'm not the only one. However, it seems Scott has heard the masses, and is actively trying to improve PVP's art. I say, good for him!

Why You Should Not Rent an Unmanaged Server...

Oh Comixpedia - I can't watch you 24 hours a day.  Why do you need to collapse on the floor in a puddle of too many MySQL connections when I'm not around to help?

Daily Grind Update

It's been over a year now, and there are still a lot of contenders in the Daily Grind contest. The remaining 24 contestants in this endurance contest are:

  1. Lonnie Allen (website)
  2. Joseph Bergin III (website)
  3. Jennie Breeden (website)
  4. Stephen Burrell (website)
  5. D.J. Coffman (website)
  6. Paul Gadzikowski (website)
  7. Jamie Dee Galey (website)
  8. Ali Graham (website)
  9. Edward J Grug III (website)
  10. Brad Guigar (website)
  11. Tim Hulsizer (website)
  12. Matt Johnson (website)
  13. Brandon Lewis (website)
  14. Tyler Longmire (website),
  15. Tom McHenry (website)
  16. Michael Payne website)
  17. Eric Poole (website)
  18. Phil Redmon (website)
  19. Andrew Rothery (website)
  20. R. Smith (website)
  21. Ive Sorocuk (website)
  22. Mike Stevens (website)
  23. Bryan Stone (website)
  24. Jam Torkberg (website)

From a quick glance at the list I've bolded those I'm immediately familar with.  That's 17 creators that I am not sure I've read before.  I don't know if that's because they're not that popular, or that good or rather just as likely - more evidence that there are more interesting webcomics out there than anyone can ever possibly write about.

Has the Fun Been Sucked Out of Webcomics?

As a kid I used to daydream about my favorite television heroes. I mean, who, as a kid growing up in the 80's imagined Michael Knight teaming up with the A-Team or the Dukes of Hazzard to go up against the combined forces of evil. Or the G.I. Joe team mixing it up with the Transformers in a cartoon?

The fact that characters could crossover and interact was perhaps the most exciting thing I discovered when I got into 'superhero' comics. It was neat to see Moon Knight teaming up with the Punisher. The popular culture references, in-jokes and continuity were also big draws to me when reading comics. Which explains why I'm a fan of The Family Guy and The Simpsons.

The kind of magic I've referred to is rarely seen in webcomics these days. Sure, there have been a few crossovers and obligatory guest-stars - but given the nature of the medium, I would have thought there would have been much, much more interaction between creators out there.

"Directions" offered free in honor of FCBD

So, the other day it was Online Comics Day. According to the site it was reserved for:

On this date online cartoonists from around the globe poke fun at themselves, tear down the fourth wall a bit more than usual, and generally wax self-referential.

I was planning on stretching out the posting of my Bitpass series Directions, with one installment a week, but, given the point of the date, I couldn't ask for a better time to post them. They seem to follow all of the above guidelines, (for better or worse).
So enjoy it (I'll probably leave it up for a week or so) and Happy (belated) Online Comics Day!

UP

DOWN

LEFT

RIGHT

 

(If youre confused as to what the series is and how to read it, the main page has a vague explanation.)

Fanservice! Run!

So, fanservice, eh?

It seems to be such an ingrained thing in webcomics, doesn't it? I'm not just talking T&A and the like, I mean the whole alteration of artistic plans in order to keep the fans happy. Now, I realize there are some who don't have any artistic plans, and the intent from the start is to pander. But let's ignore those people for a second.

I can see reasons for changing things mid-stream and focusing on something that really chimes with the audience. Look at Popeye. Started out as a background character, and eventually became the cultural icon he is today because the creator (forget who, right now) saw that the audience loved him. Fanservice done right, I guess.