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Topics - Mithandir

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1
Webcomic Talk and Squee / CtS resuming after long hiatus
« on: March 14, 2016, 12:19:18 AM »
Yay.

After over a year hiatus, today Alien and I have a new update of Chasing the Sunset up. Hopefully we'll keep it up, and we'll be able to become a bit more involved in this community again.

2
The Academy / Starting an illustrated children's book
« on: September 17, 2015, 10:58:38 PM »
Hey all,

I realize I have not been active at all for .. well .. years now (for which my apologies) but I need some help now, so I come crawling back :)

When my kid was born, I have always had the idea of writing him a story for his birthday every year, but so far have failed to do so. In 4 months time he'll be turning five, and I figure if I don't get started now, I never will. However, I would love some feedback/input on the world, characters and style I am planning. Since I'm planning to publish these on our webcomic site, I figure it's okay for me to ask in here :)

The idea is to have a new story for him at least every year on his birthday, with the series growing as he ages (so it keeps up with his development). Of course, while I'm writing this for him, it should be appropriate and understandable for all other kids as well (the idea is to print a small copy of each story to give as a present to each of his classmates on his birthday, as well as publish online).


The main character in the series will be a faerie girl who, due to reasons I have not worked out yet, can neither do magic nor fly (I picture her with a damaged wing, bit like Nemo). She gets teased a bit about this by the other faeries, but she doesn't mind too much. Being on the ground gives her a different perspective (literally) to the others, and she has many friends in the low-on-the-ground animal group.
She's very smart, and is constantly creating inspector gadget-like woodpunk machines and contraptions to let her do things other faeries do with magic.

The underlying goals behind the character are:
  • To show a girl enjoying and being good at maths and engineering
  • To show that 'disabilities' can be overcome and that they don't make somebody a lesser person.

First story: Dragon Tea Party

In the first story, our hero is working on some machine when she hears a lot of noise outside. Going out she finds her friend the hedgehog who tells her the other faeries have been kidnapped by a big dragon (there's a bit of maths here, with the hedgehog saying the dragon took three in one paw, two in the other and four with his tail, and our hero figuring out that means there's nine taken).

Our hero then sets out to find them, which involves climbing to the dragon's nest on a tall mountain. There she finds her friends have been put in little cages to provide lights for the dragon who has some friends over for a tea party. Having no magic, she can sneak around in the dark and with some derring-do manages to free the other faeries and take them safely home again.

Character design

As said, the main character is a young female faerie. I'm currently thinking she's blue-skinned with bright pink hair (all the faeries have very diverse colours of skin, hair and wings, so no racism here). She has butterfly style wings, of which one is damaged.

She wears a skirt so it's visually clear she's a girl even if she doesn't act according to stereotypes, but the skirt is more like a kilt in style. I'll probably switch her to pants in later stories when everything is well established (and might well put some of the boy faeries in skirts too). The skirt has a big pocket (or more) that's full of little McGuyverisms. She wears a toolbelt with some tools in it (not sure yet which ones are appropriate for woodpunk) and several pouches. Whereas most faeries are barefoot, she wears sturdy boots.



So that's it, my new project. I would really really love any and all feedback and suggestions. This is the first time I'll be writing for such young children.

Also, I suck at names, so I would love some suggestions for the name of the main character (suggestions in English, Dutch and Norwegian are welcome since those will be the initial languages we'll be making this in).

3
The Town Hall / What do I do with this?
« on: December 15, 2013, 12:42:04 AM »
I just got this email:

Quote
Hi Admin,

 

Our website: <removed>

We are requesting removal of our listing here: http://fantasycomicportal.com/forum/index.php?topic=728.0

Please remove all the links related to <removed> from your domains.

We don’t pay to remove a free listing.  If you are unwilling to remove it for free, we will have to include it in a disavow/reconsideration request with Google and inform them as to why we were unable to have the backlink removed.  This is the policy that Matt Cutts suggests if sites are trying to charge for removal of links and it may negatively impact your site as a result.  For further reading on this topic, please read Matt Cutts’ blog post here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-notifications-about-inbound-links.html

 

We hope that you will reconsider and remove the backlink for free.  Please be sure to let us know when you do remove it so that we also remove it from our disavow/reconsideration request.  Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

 

Thanks & Regards
<removed>

The bits I've removed are urls to one of the button companies discussed (favourably) in that thread. The sender is a gmail address which is named <companyremoved>linkremoval@gmail.com

I'm a bit flabbergasted tbh. As near as I can tell they may have been accused by google of spamming, and are now trying to remove all links to their site.

I don't know what to do about this. It seems like a weird request to me and I really really dislike editting other people's post without a good reason.

4
The Town Hall / Page of the Month October [nominations open]
« on: October 04, 2013, 12:21:22 PM »
Hey all,

I'm starting a new initiative: page of the month.

From now till midnight on october 31st you can nominate comic pages made this month that you think are amazing. These pages should be from member comics (and not your own) and you should tell us why you're nominating it. All reasons are valid: great art, great story, made you laugh or cry. Always provide a link, of course.

Then during the first week of November we'll have a vote on which was the best of the best, and that page will get highlighted both in the forums as on the (currently under construction) front page.

5
The Scriptorium / On constructed languages
« on: October 02, 2013, 06:02:19 AM »
I found this quite interesting (excuse me if it was posted already):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5mZ0R3h8m0

6
The Town Hall / Plans
« on: October 02, 2013, 04:28:00 AM »
Aight.

I'm feeling rather fired up today (let's see how long it lasts this time), so I figured I'd make some plans for the fcp. Here's some things I'd like to do this month:

  • Finish the new front page
  • Finish the new comic pages
  • Create a new navigation system for browsing member comics
  • Clean out duplicates from the comic listings
  • Create a new backend for people to edit their comics here
  • Organize a biweekly or monthly hangout thingymado with FCP members
  • Other tasks as assigned

The big picture is this: I want to both strengthen the community as provide a portal to those interested in reading fantasy comics. I want to make it easier for our readers to reach readers and easier for readers to find comics. I want to deepen the community beyond what we have already to a place where people can find inspiration and dreams (even more so than already is the case).

7
Hey all,

There's been a couple of posts about banners lately, but nothing much has come of it. I'm feeling particularly enthusiastic about the fcp today, so I figured I'd fire things up a bit more concretely.

I'm looking for (at least) a banner for the fantasy comic portal. I considered commissioning somebody for it, but I like the idea of having multiple banners in rotation and I cannot afford to pay multiple people a sufficient amount. However, I will offer a small incentive anyway: anybody who submits a banner that is accepted and used, will receive $50 worth in P:W advertising for their comic (I know, that's almost nothing, but in my defence I'm planning to put in a lot of work on improving fcp over the next month as well :))

Here's the specs for the banner:
  • At least 1000 pixels of actual image width, filled up to 2000 pixels for dynamic sizing. Anything over 1000 pixels will be cut off on some screens, so don't put anything important there, but it should still look presentable for people on higher resolutions as well
  • At least 120 pixels of actual image height, filled up to 300 pixels for dynamic sizing. The "fill up" can be a gradient to a solid colour (white). If it is, I'd like to have that gradient on another layer so I can change the colour it fills to.
  • Should contain, or have room for, the words "The Fantasy Comic Portal"
  • Some nod to our little dragon mascot would be appreciated

I would like to have at least one new banner by the end of this month (october), to coincide with some other plans I have for the community.


Other than that, I'd also like a skyscraper-ad sized banner to promote the FCP on other websites. Dimensions: 160px by 600px.

8
The Tinkerer's Workshop / Going beyond the frame
« on: September 24, 2013, 12:19:07 AM »
Hey all,

Some years ago, we added a "magnify" option to Chasing the Sunset. This little bit of javascript allows people to move a magnifying glass over the comic which enlarges the comic by a factor 2. Originally this was just to allow people to see small details if they wanted.

The "magnified" comic however is not merely a bigger version of the original, it's a separate file altogether. At first the only difference was that it had no speech bubbles. We started occasionally putting little easter eggs behind the speech bubbles as a little bonus to those who used the magnifier. Later, we started putting little drawings in the margins that could only be seen with the magnifier as well. All of this was just little bonusses.

Our most recent strip changes that. For the last three frames, the magnifier shows the world our heroes are in at the time (a magical bridge dimension) in a very different light. Showing monsters otherwise invisible. The implication is that they are really there (and that some can see them).

Now, this gives us a bit of a problem ... the strip has become utterly unprintable (or at least we'd lose some nuance). Was it a bad idea to break that barrier? I don't think so, but I'd like to hear others' opinions. Also, I'm interested in hearing what other have don that moves beyond printable comics.

9
The Town Hall / Any changes wanted?
« on: September 23, 2013, 04:16:21 AM »
Hey all,

I've been gone for a long while, but now I'm back I figure I should ask what changes people would like to see in these forums/website/community. All suggestions welcome.

10
The Tavern / Hi ... may be back
« on: September 23, 2013, 03:55:38 AM »
Hey all,

The newer people probably don't know me, but I'm your friendly neighbourhood lazy admin. I've had a bit of a rough time the last few months, but now that Alien and I have managed to update our comic twice in as many weeks, it may be time for me to make my return to these forums ...

How has everybody been and what's been happening?

11
The Tavern / Photoshop CC $9.99/month limited time offer
« on: September 04, 2013, 11:16:18 PM »
Hey all,

As you probably know, Adobe is moving to a subscription-only system for all its products. They've had some backlash over this and have now added a new temporary price tier: you can get Photoshop CC + Lightroom and 20GB online storage for $9.99/month, if you order it before the end of the year (the price will stay at $9.99 even after that, as long as you sign up by dec 31). You need a photoshop CS3 or later to use this offer.

http://blogs.adobe.com/creativelayer/introducing-the-photoshop-photography-program/

Just figured I'd let people know here, since lots of people use photoshop here.

12
The Tavern / CtS anniversary monday
« on: February 16, 2013, 06:20:36 AM »
So yeah ... Chasing the Sunset is celebrating its 10 year anniversary on monday. We're doing a bunch of things to celebrate, like a fanart contest etc (to which we haven't gotten any submissions yet :( ).

One of the things we're trying to do is to get a big visitor spike that day. We'd like to get 3654 unique ip's that day (that's one for every day we've existed), which is a pretty big ask since our normal visitor numbers are around a 1000 and our previous record is 2200. We're running a big ad campaign for that, but we'd also appreciate it greatly if any of you could mention our anniversary in a blog post or on facebook or something.



Oh, and also ... I wish I could use this as an ad for CtS, but I can't find any place that accepts ads that are 950 by 4200 pixels (warning, page is over 1Mb):

Chasing the Sunset Highlights

13
The Tinkerer's Workshop / CC Licensing
« on: February 07, 2013, 01:41:05 PM »
For the 10th anniversary of Chasing the Sunset, I am considering releasing all of our archive as creative commons.

For those who don't know what Creative Commons is, it's an open licensing scheme for creative works. Details are here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_licenses

I'm currently considering the license cc-nc-by which means:

cc: Creative Commons

nc: Non-Commercial: may not be used for commercial uses without consent of author

by: Attribution required.

In practice that license means that people are allowed to use our comics free of charge, as long as they attribute us and don't try to make money from it.

I'm still pondering whether or not to add sa (share-alike: any derivatives must use the same licensing scheme, basically copy-left) or nd (no derivatives allowed at all, don't like that much). I'm not sure about that.

I'm also not sure whether to release just the comic under that license or the entire creative universe of The World That Is.

What do you guys think?

14
The Gazette / Chasing the Sunset 10 year anniversary Fanart Contest
« on: February 04, 2013, 12:23:03 PM »
On Monday February 18 2013 (in two weeks time) Chasing the Sunset celebrates its 10th anniversary!

We're celebrating this with a number of contests, and the first to be announced is the fan-art contest. Show off your skills by drawing something Chasing the Sunset related and win one of our many prizes!

Rules
  • A drawing or painting to be submitted before Sunday February 17th to mith AT fantasycomic DOT com
  • Must clearly relate to Chasing the Sunset, e.g. using one of our primary or secondary characters or a distinguishable structure (say the amazon's hatching ground)
  • PG-13: no nudity or excessive violence, we have kids reading here.
  • You must have fun while making it

All submissions will be put up for a public vote on the 18th, so even if you're not submitting, make sure you come and vote!

Prizes

The following prizes will be given out:
  • Hell's pixies ministrip PDF (once we finish it)
  • Signed copy of Chasing the Sunset Issue 1
  • Chasing the Sunset magnets and buttons
  • Chance to work with Alien and me to create a new secondary character to appear in the next chapter.
  • Highest ranking european winner will additionally have a chance to win a CtS-themed 10" android tablet with all CtS strips pre-loaded!

15
The Tinkerer's Workshop / Google adwords and trademarks
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:40:09 AM »
I'm confused ...

For our 10 year anniversar we wanted to run some ads on google adwords (on top of the P:W ones) so I made a campaign over there.

Today they have rejected the following ad due to "trademarks".

Here's the ad:



Does anybody have any clue whatsoever what trademark issues there may be here? Did somebody trademark sunsets while I wasn't looking?

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