New site theme is up! And domain update is done!

Aside from the new header image and some color updates, there aren’t that many visual changes though. I added a more prominent footer so it’s more informative and moved the social media links to the side. Most of the exciting changes are on the backend and should make management somewhat easier to me, assuming I don’t randomly rewrite everything again next spring.  ಠ_ಠ I’ve updated the Illustration page with more recent work and pruned some of the older things. I hope to keep it more up-to-date moving forward, but deviantART will still be the first gallery updated with new, finished work.

The Comics page has the most changes. The entirety of 狼来了(the wolves are here) is now there (previously unavailable), along with Sleep Pirates (previously readable only by digging through this blog), and I finally added The Black Cat (uploaded to dA in October). I will be adding the remaining 34 pages of Rainbows and Rainclouds to the site sometime this summer, I think. Two years hidden away in a printed book is long enough!

I spent a few straight days pouring over code things to write a new system for the Comics section, too. Each comic now has its own page and each page has its own page (with comments enabled!) so you aren’t reading each comic via a Lightbox script. While working on it, I had a lot of little issues with permalink structures and page slugs… most of them I managed to get through, but I’m still really annoyed that each comic’s individual page URLs can’t conform to the same structure. For example, if I wanted individual pages for “The Z Train” to be at /comic/the-z-train/pg01 and /comic/the-z-train/pg02 and so on, I can’t also have pages for “The Last Crane” at /comic/the-last-crane/pg01 because the last parts of those two URLs — the “pg01” part —  are the same, despite the fact they’re housed under different comics.

So the workaround is to have individual page slugs set to stuff like /comic/the-last-crane/lastcrane-01 and /comic/the-z-train/ztrain-01 but this seems unnecessary and ugly to me. I’m not using ComicPress and have not gotten around to poking at its guts, but from looking other multi-comic sites I know are running ComicPress, it seems they have the same issue. Anyway, I’m sure it doesn’t bother anyone except me, so whatever, I guess! There were a few other issues I had with coding the new comic section, including how to get RSS updates, but honestly, most of it won’t ever be an issue unless I do a longform comic, and I still want to stick with oneshots for now. (I did get the RSS working, but there’s no simple way to feed the Comics content into my normal site RSS, so I just mixed the separate feeds together using RSSMix and put that in Feedburner, which is what’s linked from the RSS icon to the side.)

That’s pretty much it for site updates? With the Comic section restructure done, my next project for the site is to finally get a store set up. The goal is to have it finished code-wise by the end of May, but as I’ll be hitting back-to-back conventions (Comicpalooza in Houston and A-kon in Dallas) right then, it probably won’t launch until mid-June at the earliest. I’m also really hoping to have a new 24 or 32-page minicomic done by then, but we’ll see!