The webcomics blog about webcomics

WordPress Badass In Training And Also Communities

So I hopped into WordPress to make some quick notes and Something Was Wrong. Instead of the usual editor, it rendered as a bunch of bare, unformatted text, like something from 1998 or so. It wasn’t browser-related, as I got the same result on three different browsers on two different computers and an Android phone; something was definitely off on the back end. A quick trip to the host verified that the database was consistent, and my next attempt at logging in brought back the regular dashboard. Yay, me.

The lesson here is one of two things:

  • Taking ten minutes to dick around in different browsers and dig out host credentials is enough for transient weirdness to resolve itself
  • or

  • The mere act of thinking I’d better get Phil Hofer on this is enough to reach through space and cause cranky WordPress installations to behave.

Either one’s good.

  • And since we’re talking about back ends of webpages, Clay Yount is trying to make it easier for people to put up webcomics without needing to know all this backend stuff. If that thought appeals to you, be sure to check out a series of tutorials that Yount’s put together as a result of experimentation to make Squarespace into a platform for webcomickry. Check it:

    At the beginning of the year, I released a Squarespace template for webcomic artists. The response has been pretty good, and hopefully some of you have put it to good use. I’ve gotten some feedback, and the two biggest complaints are that the (recently increased) $18 per month developer account is too expensive, and the template is too hard to customize for someone without a lot of coding skills.

    Since I released the template, Squarespace has made some important updates to their platform that have allowed me to create a new easier solution that doesn’t require a custom template and just uses some copy and paste code. This means it’ll work with ANY Squarespace plan including the $8/month basic plan. I’ve put together some video tutorials to help you get the basics of a site up and running in about 30 minutes. I’ll be adding some more videos as I complete them, and am willing to take suggestions for tutorial topics. If you are a web developer and want 100% control, you can still use my original template as a launching off point, but this new solution is incredibly versatile and I think it is the best option for 99% of people.

    There follows a collection of templates, video demos, and code samples which will allow you to set up ads (Google and Project Wonderful), chapter divisions for your archive, blog posts, and wrap it all in customizable CSS. Take a look, make suggestions as to what you’d like to see next, and remember — Yount shared this with the community, so maybe toss him some thanks?

  • While we’re talking community, a community is seeking contributors to a new anthology — Elements — of speculative fiction comics work on the theme of Fire, with the goal of producing comics by creators from ethnicities and cultures that don’t get the same play in comics publishing as white dudes. The announcement from Black Girl Nerds is here on Twitter with more details at their website.

    Key points: submissions are open until 30 August, the anthology will be all-ages, and its open to all who identify as creators of color¹, with a goal of having lots of different viewpoints/experiences represented in the final product. As always, please read over the guidelines and submission instructions so you don’t screw something up and have nobody to blame but yourself.

  • One more on the theme of doing things for the good of a community: the warring personalities of Dante Shepherd/Lucas Landherr occasionally stop trying to murder each other and cooperate to achieve some mutually-beneficial aim; most of these lulls in psychological violence revolve around trying to make STEM education better. The problem is, these sorts of undertakings take time and money, and those that give out grants are capricious and … actually, there is no “and”. They’re just plain ol’ capricious.

    Anyhoo, it’s third time’s the charm for Landherr/Shepherd, and this year’s iteration of the NSF grant application is at a stage where it needs help:

    The STEM education component relies on the collaboration with K-12 educators who would be able to get involved (even from a distance) with the research conducted and help directly craft the STEM modules produced. As such, providing proof to the NSF that there are K-12 educators who would be on board with the grant would be a tremendous boost to our chances of receiving the grant.

    We are NOT allowed to submit letters of “support” as part of the proposal – but we can submit letters of “commitment” by which educators can express their desire to work with the research program. So we are asking that any K-12 instructors who would be interested in collaborating, especially those involved in biology or physics classes, to write a short letter of commitment as part of the proposal submission.

    The grant, if awarded, would allow us to conduct this research and produce 30 new STEM modules over the course of three years — so even if next year would not perfectly align with your needs/interests, expressing commitment for a future summer would also work well.

    As always, these grant proposals come together extremely quickly at the end, so we need to have a scanned or PDF or word processor copy of your letter by next Friday, August 21. If this is possible and you are interested, please let me know via email at sciencetheworld (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will do what I can to make this as easy for you as possible. [emphasis original]

    There it is; if you know somebody that does K-12 education on STEM topics, point ’em towards the guy with the lab coat and Red Sox hat.

Spam of the day:

I have a proposal for you. I will furnish you with the details when you reply. Thank you and God bless you.

Sorry dude, I’m married.

¹ Anybody whining But what about me, it’s not my fault I’m a white dude will just have to content themselves with 90% of the industry being made by and for people just like you. Take that weak shit and go bitch about how oppressed you are with Bill Willingham.

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