Big Wordy New Story on the state of the new site thus far below the comic!
Side note: All 20-Year-Auction winners, you should have received a congratulations email with instructions! We need to confirm your address for the original art prizes, and get reference photos for the Cameo and Pawnz Cameo winners!
Lots of subjects! This is going to be a long one I think!
I’m Behind on Everything! But I’m catching up with a smile on my face!
There’s a lot missing from the site! Defenders content, contact info, Dialogue Search, etc. And things left to automate too! News Headlines, Forums, Comics Posting; all these things are not automated yet. But we’re making progress, a little bit every day.
On a personal note, I’m feeling my way through the way I want everything to happen in this new lifestyle of mine. There’ll be some growing pains as I flex my elbows and shape my schedule. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now with the new little details in my life, but every day gets a little more shiny! Give me a month or two and we should have our groove back!
On the Comic Itself: I know it’s been cliffhanger after cliffhanger in the strip. I really appreciate the elbow room to tell the story right instead of trying to crowbar it all in by the 25th of August. I really was thinking about doing that. Also I was fearing having to just end things. But as all of this has unfolded I am thrilled to have this happy medium. “The Fall” will run as I always intended! That in and of itself is enough reason to sincerely thank each and every one of you Defenders of the Nifty and New Defenders 20+ for allowing this to happen!
The Store will stay closed for a bit! I’m thinking it won’t open until October! Maybe later! I can’t even think of fulfilling orders until I get Book 17 locked down and figure out how to get all the bookmarks and pawnz out!
Speaking of The Defenders Exclusive Pawn and Bookmark of the Month: Everybody who’s been a Defender 20+ at Level 2 or higher for all of September will get a digital version of the Dark Gwynn Pawnz and the Dark Gwynn bookmark. Level 3 or higher lands you a printed version sent to you.
This monthly reward-printing is new to me, but I’m sure will go smoothly! I’ll keep y’all posted on that! If you want the yet-undesigned Demon-Spear Psyk Pawnz and Bookmark make sure you’re at level 2 or higher for all of October (level 3 or higher for a printed version)! This is a Public Service Announcement.
On to the biggest thing I need to get my tail in gear on:
The Archives- I need to finish my Archives Approving! This is my new top-of-the-list as of today! We fixed a lot of the bouncing and bandwidth issues on the archives and got some calendar navigation in! And by “we” I meant ‘Team Not Including Me’. I said at site launch that “Chapters 48-64: Haven’t looked at yet! Uncharted Territory! New Readers AVOID these Chapters, rows of many strips may just be GONE! (It’ll take me maybe a week to clear these up!)” Well I haven’t had that time yet. Who knew lightened my workload was so much work? No more excuses, I’m doing it!!!
BONUS BEHIND THE SCENES: How We Remastered The Impossible Archives: Here’s some insight on how the bigger archives were created. At one point I was doing one hi-res file per comic. (Back when comics were rarely more than 1 row). Theses would be dropped into books. Then, for the more epic stores I started doing larger comic files. These had to be broken down into multiple pages at book time. Then I was like ‘what a pain in the butt! I’ll just lay these out in book form directly and pluck from them the individual comic files. So some comics crossed pages. Some pages held multiple comics. And the patterns varied over the 20 years Sluggy’d been going on.
We have hi-res pdfs of the books, but sometimes books had different layout, comic order (sometimes holiday stories were moved to the back to the book for example), and the pdfs were sometimes missing filler art, guest artist weeks, and the random wacky things that have fallen into the archives into the years.
So with all that mess, how does one create a higher-res archive?
The team turned a computer into the Ultimate Sluggite! It read every comic, breaking it into slices, pouring over every detail, and matched the low res archives to my hi-res various files. For TWENTY YEARS OF almost DALY STRIPS! That’s 6,696 comics made of 8,445 low res files sliced into 12,215 rows matched against 5,511 high res pages to produce 10,050 matching high res files! THAT’S INSANE! And I dig that one of my biggest fans is a robot forced to be a fan against its will! OK I like to think that way at least!
In conclusion: We’ve done so much! So much left to do! Every day is getting better! THANK YOU DEFENDERS! And this was one long news story!