The webcomics blog about webcomics

Guess I’m Not The Only One That Loves [Me] Some Digger

I was going to be enjoying a lazy, no-pants day but some people had to go and do significant things so fine, I’m writing. Still no pants, though.

  • Ursula Vernon became the first person not named Foglio to take a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, for Digger (presumably for volume six, which released last year following the wrapping-up of the story). At press time, Ms Vernon was reportedly in an alleyway delivering a vicious beating to Neil Gaiman. So much for her plan to lose with dignity.

    Lord knows that I’ve written a lot about how much I dig¹ Vernon’s work, so I’m utterly thrilled for her and feel it’s recognition well deserved. At the same time, let us take a moment to acknowledge Howard Tayler, who is one of only two creators² to be nominated in the Best Graphic Story category a mind-bending four times. There is the matter of going 0-for-4 but hey, could be worse³, right?, Along those lines, I have already decided what to get Tayler for his birthday the next time it comes around in 2016.

  • Meanwhile, about 2050 miles west of Chicago and the Hugos, news was coming out of PAX Prime during the Q&A with Mike and Jerry (helpfully streamed live to the world) that PAX is going abroad as PAX Prime, PAX Dev, and PAX East are joined by PAX Very South. For those of you that can’t travel to the Far Antipodes, 2013 will also see the launch of a new Scott Kurtz comic, of which details are presently thin on the ground.
  • Okay, time to get serious, as one more thing smacked webcomics well in the face over the weekend — the sites hosted by Blind Ferret Entertainment, which include Looking for Group, Least I Could Do, Girls With Slingshots, Something*Positive, Reptilis Rex, Goblins, and PvP [no links, about which more momentarily] were hit by somebody with nothing better to do than to distribute malware. It’s been a long weekend of repairing both damage and reputations (malware warnings are likely to persist from Google and Firefox for some time), and as of this writing, the various sites remain down.

    Combine that with a story that’s been percolating around the tech sphere for the past week that the Java language has a critical flaw that’s been zero-day exploited, and the ultra-rare out-of-sequence patch issued by Oracle has not fixed the problem.

    I’ve written before about my general level of paranoia in browsing — how I do not enable JavaScript on a global basis, and only individually-trusted sites get it enabled; I’ve now turned off all Java plug-in functionality in every browser within my control, and I’m seriously considering removing Java entirely from my computers. I will lose some functionality (fancier presentations, comment ability, etc) in my day-to-day computer use, but maybe it’s not on me to be paranoid.

    Hate to say it, guys, but maybe we don’t need as elaborate, feature-rich layouts for our comics. Trimmed down, more simply-presented sites could be easier to build, faster to load, and generally more secure. It’s going to make some things more complex (including, most likely, the easy slotting-in of ads), but it’s time to start thinking in that direction. I know that nobody’s going to rebuild their websites overnight (and most of you aren’t going to change your browser settings either), but if you should happen to do a redesign, maybe security/reader safety needs to become more of a criterion that it has been in the past.

¹ I’m so very, very sorry. I blame it on my ever-worsening Guigar Syndrome.

² Technically, a creator team: the writer/artist combo of Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham have been nominated for the current Fables collection four times; various other artists have been on the nominations, but only the *inghams have been on all four ballots.

³ Much worse.

On the subject of browser security it is important to note the difference between Java and JavaScript which share different but similarly dangerous problems with security: running code on the client computer. I disable JavaScript (which impacts those fancy layouts) as you do but it is entirely possible to uninstall Java (Java Runtime Environment / Java SE) entirely without impacting most websites.

[…] Exploit warning Found via: Fleen Original Source: The […]

[…] as being the same thing. They aren’t, and thanks to alert reader Rsty, who made that point in the comments. We at Fleen apologize for any confusion that may have […]

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