The webcomics blog about webcomics

Things That Come After Other Things

I feel the strongest urge to declare this day to be frabjous.

Sequences, y’all; it’s all about things that follow logically, the one with the other.

  • I’ve always loved the musicality of the one with the other when pronounced along with the rest of Don Pedro’s scheme to match-make Beatrice and Benedick near the end of Act II, Scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing¹; turns out ol’ Willy S had a way with words. And I’m thinking about that play and its unabashed love of love because I saw today evidence that a webcartoonist has beat the odds and found love enduring to the point of impending genetic reproduction, which (considering the infinite scale of the universe and all of its empty space) is about as unlikely an occurrence as I can conceive². In this case, it’s Yellow Peril’s Jamie Noguchi and his wife Audrey who will be welcoming a daughter into this weird world, and we at Fleen wish them the very best.
  • The thing about sequences, though — sometimes they have a sudden jag that can throw you off. For example, consider Philip “Frumph” Hofer, creator of both the WordPress-based webcomic-specific plugin Comic Easel and it predecessor, the WordPress-based webcomic-specific theme ComicPress. Hofer stopped updating ComicPress at version 2.9 and switched his efforts to Comic Easel some years ago, mostly because a full plugin offered so many more possibilities than a mere theme. Now imagine that Hofer has announced the imminent release of ComicPress 4.0; you’d wonder what made him shift developmental efforts back, and those that had never adopted Comic Easel would be pumping their fists in the air and shouting Yes! Front row! New features!.

    And that’s where you’d be wrong, Sparky.

    Despite the name, ComicPress 4.0 is not an update or continuation of ComicPress 2.9; it’s an update and rebranding of Comic Easel. This is vitally important to all you erstwhile fist-pumpers, as it will cause you problems if you accept what appears to be an update to the ComicPress theme, and end up accidentally installing an incompletely-configured plugin:

    [I]f you ‘accidentally’ update your theme to 4.0 you will instantly have to get the Comic Easel plugin and ComicPress to Comic Easel migrator plugin and migrate all of your comics to the Comic Easel format. Your archive will no longer work and you will need to update your pages for it to include the new shortcode for archives. The child theme I’ve been begging you to make will be required to be updated with the new CSS elements. ALL COMICS need to be only set into a SINGLE category (it could be multiple different categories, but only one set.)

    If you don’t want to migrate, don’t update your theme. [emphasis original]

    On the plus side, if you’re already using Comic Easel, this will be no big deal; so basically, if you’ve thought about switching from Comic Press to Comic Easel, the long weekend just might be the perfect time to do so. Should you have questions or concerns, Hofer has a reputation for being extremely accessible and helpful; if he helps you through a migration, do be good enough to consider dropping him a few bucks — the donate button is in the upper left of his home page.

  • Occasionally, those sudden zags in sequences loop all the way back to eleven years ago. It’s just shy of four years now that John Allison has been telling the stories of teenager mystery-solvers, an outgrowth of seven years of stories about (mostly) adults and bizarre happenings. But before Bad Machinery and Scary Go Round, in the Iron Age of comics on the internet, there were four and a half years of Bobbins. It was where a workplace comedy slowly transformed itself into a place where weirdness was commonplace, and now it’s back, at least for now:

    August 30, 2013 :: BOBBINS IS BACK! Why is it back? Because I couldn’t stop laughing when I thought about bringing back a comic that I stopped drawing more than 11 years ago, that in real terms lives on (in terms of characters and setting still existing). I also liked the idea of drawing strips that would have fit in right at the very beginning of its run, when I was trying to make an office comedy strip. I find the original Bobbins strips (linked to elsewhere on this page) painful to look at, but they’re part of the history of Bad Machinery, so maybe I can flesh that out a little, in a way that doesn’t hurt to read. Will Bobbins return next Friday? YOU DECIDE. [emphasis original]

    Personally, I like that Bobbins is back just as Bad Machinery has reached a point in the current storyline where Mildred and Lottie have managed to break history. How will they fix a divergent timeline that they created before any of the current characters (including our much-dissipated Mr Beckwith, er, Ryan) was even born? This could be a hell-world where Amy was never queen of a fairy-land and things never change, nothing ever happened in a caravan in Wales, and people listen to Trout Mask Replica more than once. It’s hideous to contemplate.

    So if you’re enjoying the jaunt to a younger, less stakes-filed time, let Mr Allison know, but first take the opportunity to politely ask @twitter and @twitteruk just why the heck his account was suspended without notice. Speculation at the moment is that somebody decided to be a dick and report the account for spam or abuse, and suspension has resulted. Given the flurry of brutal abuse that erupted on Twitter earlier this month, particularly in the UK, such a mechanism is pretty necessary. And with such an abuse-reporting mechanism now appearing, it’s likely that the process is not yet sufficiently fine-tuned. Remember: polite inquiries, and hopefully it’ll all be back to normal soon.

¹ Which, unlike numerous other Shakespeare works, does not appear to make a cameo appearance in Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure. Granted, I haven’t hit all the story paths or endings yet, but I have come across two separate instances of what I believe to be fake story branches, ones that you can only come across by chance as nothing seems to lead to them. Let me just say: space battles and self-makeouts, y’all.

² So to speak.

A historical regret I have is that Shakespeare and Gilbert & Sullivan were not contemporaries and never collaborated. I think that had both teams worked together on something the result would have been verbal acrobatics unlike anything the world has seen.

Thanks Gary!!!!

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