I saw this tweet from Nate Piekos (of
Blambot) the other day and immediately cheered (at least, in my head):
I’ve noticed lately that a few of the webcomics I follow have redesigned their websites so that the comic no longer appears on the front page. Indeed, you have to click on a button to dig down a level to read it. What’s worse is that, in a couple of cases, that button actually gets lost in the design itself, making it that much harder to find.
Why would any webcomic author take the content that is their livelihood and not make sure it’s the very first thing visitors see? As Nate says in the Tweet above, that’s the reason people are there. Making it harder to find is going to turn off a lot of new readers — and probably a few diehards, as well.
One of my primary philosophies with web design is that content is king. Whatever the focus of your website, you want that information to be the first thing visitors see. This is especially true for webcomics. Your whole site needs to focus on and center around your art. If you have multiple projects going on simultaneously that you want people to see, then make your site’s design reflective of that — but make sure your comic is part of that presentation. Don’t bury it one (or more) levels down. Don’t make your readers have to go hunting for it. That’s only going to hurt you in the long-run.
Arthur has something to say about QR codes in today’s Sheldon strip:
[Click here to read the whole strip.]
The thing of it is, I don’t think he’s necessarily wrong. QR codes are interesting because you can actually smash quite a bit of data inside those little images, and they’re kind of handy if you have a ready-to-go scanner app on your phone.
The trouble is, QR codes are unsightly. They’re just complicated enough that they have to be a certain size in order to maintain the proper resolution for your phone to scan them. That means they have a tendency to take up a not insignificant chunk of real estate in your advertising, putting a literal black mark on your otherwise hard work.
QR codes are an innovative technology and an interesting use of today’s smartphone technology, but from what I’ve seen, they’re still struggling to gain any real traction in our culture. I see a lot of marketers putting the codes all over their advertising, but I haven’t really seen a lot of consumers taking the time to actually scan them. I think this is due, in part, to the fact that it’s still not really convenient to scan the codes, since it is a multi-step process. Personally, I’d like to see QR codes revised a bit to make them more compact, like a bar code, so that they use a smaller footprint in advertising. I also tend to think that, in order for them to really take off, the technology is going to have to adapt somehow to include a passive scanner that works in the background of your phone so that all you have to do is launch your camera app, scan the code, and have it automatically sent to the parser (though, technically, launching a QR reader is probably the same general process, depending on your choice of app).
This is a very nicely done short sci-fi/horror flick that capitalizes on the psychological factor of the genre and avoids unnecessary gore.
VESSEL – A short film by Clark Baker from Clark Baker on Vimeo.
VESSEL is a very ambitious scifi / horror short in the vein of Alien, The Thing and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. VESSEL features a blend of old school, practical creature effects and slick, modern day VFX. The story focuses on Liberty Airlines' Flight 298 and its passengers. Shortly after takeoff, the passengers encounter an otherworldly force and are thrown into a fight for their lives!
Director/Producer: Clark Baker
Producer: Ashley Friedlander
Writers: Matt and Ross Duffer
Director of Photography: Kyle Klutz
Composer: Austin Wintory
VFX: Jeremy Hunt
Creature FX: Mark Villalobos
Editor: Brad McGlaughlin
Please contact email@example.com or visit www.vesselmovie.com for more information!
Some of the fiction I have archived here under my Stories category originated as part of a project several years ago called The Curveball Conspiracy. Curveball was then hosted on an older form of Blogger before Google acquired it, and it was the brain-child of one Michael O’Mahoney. The premise of the project was that photographers would submit unique, interesting, and frequently oddballish images which would, in turn, serve as the inspiration for a pool of writers for stories that are a sidestep away from reality. The project ran from March to September 2006 before O’Mahoney gave it up, and Curveball languished into obscurity.
With Michael’s permission, I’ve decided to resurrect Curveball Conspiracy under it’s own domain, on the WordPress platform, and with a fresh coat of paint. And thanks to the marvels of internet archiving (thanks to the Wayback Machine), I was even able to recover those original story archives.
What Curveball Conspiracy needs now is a pool of photographers and writers to get the project limping along again. I’ve already pulled a photo from my own library and added some words to it (see Fowl Play), but we definitely need other enthusiastic individuals to get involved to keep Curveball alive and energetic. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, then go check out the Curveball Manifesto and then email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
Sand blew through the broken glass and ticked against the metal skin of the clockwork mannequin behind it. Dressed in a tattered waistcoat, its gears and joints shrieked and popped in the dead air as it attempted to pivot on its rusted pedestal.
“Greetings, Loyal Customer™!” it called out to no one. “We have the best boots and buskins—”
A harsh whine of metal.
“—try a pair on!”
The wind howled through the dusty street before the mannequin, shifting small dunes from one side to the other. Tumbleweeds raced past, bouncing off broken buildings on their way to nowhere.
“Corsets, top hats, monocles! We have—”
Clanging, banging gears. A puff of smoke and the smell of burning copper.
“—al Customer™! You have only to ask!” The mannequin continued its pitch in spite of itself. It jerked right, once, and became still, its voice holding out just a moment longer.
“Loyal. Loyal. Loyal. Loy—”
And then it froze, silent as the human shadows burned into the boardwalk beneath it.
[Originally posted at Ficly]