Redesigning Web Comics, Prologue

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I’ve been wanting to get back to drawing web comics for some time now, but unfortunately my old web comics site, SubcultureofOne.com, is not up to the task. Since I went on hiatus over two years ago, I’ve learned a lot about usability and web design, and there are some glaring problems with this site. Also, the site name “Subculture of One” doesn’t really describe who I am anymore (I have a husband now and can no longer play at being alone and unloved!). So I’m going to build a new comics site at RacheltheGreat.com, so named for my alter ego and star of the Subculture of One comics.

In the old days, I uploaded comics by hand to my own site, a long and necessarily arduous process. Going forward, I’d like to spend more time making comics, less time fussing with code. WordPress 3.0 was released soon after I decided to use it as my CMS, and it was just in time! 3.0 introduced custom content types on top of custom taxonomies and post images. With these three improvements, I don’t have to use  ComicsPress, a popular WordPress theme for web comics. ComicsPress is great, especially for comickers who don’t build web sites for a living. But I have special archiving needs for multiple comic storylines, and I also don’t like the standard web comic UI, which I will get into later.

Simply put, I think I can do better.

This is the first in a series of posts chronicling building my web comics site, from concept, to reader surveys, to design and completion. I was going to save up all my material and make one big case study with it, but I realized that my dislike of wading through that much information meant that it would most likely rot on my hard drive for all eternity rather than be published online where people might actually make use of it. And believe you me, I’ve dug up some pretty interesting stuff about how people read comics online.

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