Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Comics on the Run

My new comic is dedicated to people who don't have enough hours in their day. Most of this comic was done during all those little down times during my day. I worked on it at the car dealer while waiting for an oil change, at my son's Taekwondo practice, at the doctor's waiting room and at the Chinese restaurant while I was waiting for my hubbie. Most of it was done with a Pentel Brush Pen. They are very cool, they allow you to use use brush and ink practially anywhere.

I did do the lettering and speech bubbles in Photoshop and I also cleaned up my messy messy ink drawings. (I didn't realize how out of practice I was using a real brush - Eek!) I would have rather done this story using the same technique as the other ones in the series, but I didn't think I would have them done in time for Valentine's day, besides, what would I have done at Taekwondo practice?

The whole story will be posted over the next two weeks in the free comic section of my website.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Steve and Wessley Comic

There is a new Steve and Wessley comic available. The last page was uploaded today.

New Alfie the Alligator Activity Blog

Alfie Puppet
Alfie the Alligator now has his own blog. It will make it easier for me to add new coloring pages and other fun things for kids. So please visit the site and print out your own dancing alligator puppet. Or better yet print a whole bunch and have them dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ComicPress and WordPress

Lately I've been puttering with comics and wanted a way to share them online. It seems like a lot of folks are using ComicPress, an add-on for WordPress for this sort of thing, so I thought I'd give it a try. I knew nothing about either product until this week, I've always been a Blogger gal. But I know more now, and I thought I'd share my initial findings. Oh, you can see my ComicPress site here.

To get started, you need to know there are two flavors of WordPress. I found a bit confusing at first. There is www.wordpress.com which allows you to build a free blog. Your blog content lives on the Wordpress.com server so there is no need for you to pay for a hosting provider or anything like that. It's similar to how blogger functions.

But there is another WordPress site, www.wordpress.org, where you can download all the necessary files and run WordPress on your own web server. Why would someone want to run WordPress on their own server? Well, you have to, if you want to use ComicPress. Luckily I already have a hosting provider, so that part was easy. You will have to make sure you hosting provider has mySQL and PHP support.

I won't go into all the steps necessary to set up WordPress. You can read all about that at the WordPress website. Same goes for ComicPress. But suffice to say, you need to have a little technical knowledge to get things up and running. You'll have to uploading files to your server and you'll need to set up a mySQL database.

I had a few false starts, partially because I screwed up the naming of my comic files.* But ComicPress has a really neat feature, if you create a directory on your local computer with all your comics in it and name them using the following format; YYYY-MM-DD-PostTitle.jpg (I think they can be .png or .gif also). You can then zip them all into one file and upload it using the ComicPress Manager tool and it will then post each comic on the proper day with the proper post title automatically. Which would be an super time saver if you were posting often.

I think for what I'm doing, which is publishing one, 10 page comic every couple of months, comic press may be overkill. There are a ton of formatting options and settings that I have only begun to figure out and the installation took a little time. But for someone publishing a daily comic, or at least publishing on a more regular schedule, ComicPress would be a very nifty tool that would be worth looking into.

* A side note on naming files...
Since I didn't know what I was doing at first, I spent a bit of time naming and renaming batches of comic files, which is a pain in the fanny using Windows File Manager. So I found a little tool to help with that. It's called D-fileMU It's kind of a weird name, but it's a simply little tool that made renaming batches of files much easier.