branding revisions

Back in 2012 when I made my current website, I did a little drawing of the god-mode version of my fursona that’s hiding at the bottom if you scroll allllll the way down until the background peels away to reveal her.

Earlier this year I re-did the first thing you see when you open the site. And today I found myself looking at that old drawing of November-4 and feeling like I could do it a lot better. To be honest I was never entirely satisfied with it, it always felt a little off. But there were some technical reasons why it was hard to re-work (it’s all drawn in an opacity mask). Now I have some new tricks for doing transparency, and a few new tools to use as well.

I think I like this one a lot better. We’ll see if I still like it in about another ten years.

a fresh coat of paint

According to my file dates and names, I built this version of my website in 2011. Visually, it remained pretty much unchanged – I built a few new styles for the various comics, but largely I just changed it by writing new blog posts and uploading pictures and comic pages.

Today, I found myself suddenly compelled to sit at some picnic tables under a highway overpass in City Park (this is much nicer than it sounds, trust me) and work on a new front page image.

I chose to keep it similar to the old one:

…but holy crap it’s a lot more detailed and fluid. And it probably took less time to do, too. The new one took about an hour and a half, plus some more time digging up my old CSS toolchain and changing the rest of the website’s colors to match. (Hooray for CSS pre-processors.) I’ve got no idea how long the old one took, but I have a vague memory of struggling with that under-chin angle on the face. This time I just knocked it out quickly, and came back for one brief touch-up near the end; I think I mostly spent my time fooling around with more detailed takes on the caduceus, and deciding how frilly to make the big swath of hair. Also this one, like, kind of actually looks like me, if you ignore the fact that I sure as hell do not have that kind of ass, damn. If only.

I guess I’ve changed elemental associations from Fire to Air or something? I have no idea what that will mean for the future. Maybe I’ll be back here in another decade or so with a new take on this.

Anyway. If you wanna see it in its full glory then go visit the front page of my site.

website refresh: ego test

Thinking about a facelift for the website. I’d keep the same overall format, just refresh the imagery a bit. It’s been about three years since I built the current version, and about three years since the previous one, it kinda feels like it’s time.

I dunno, does this feel like I’m being too egotistical? Having the first thing you see on my site be this giant stylized sexy version of myself with a crown of vectors and a giant stylus, so large that it refuses to fit on your screen at one time unless you have a 24″ monitor in portrait mode? HI I’M PEGGY AND I’M THE AWESOME EVIL VECTOR QUEEN ALSO MY EGO IS THE SIZE OF JUPITER.

web poking

So today I ended up distracting myself by doing something I’d been meaning to do for a while: fixing the display of large images in my website’s gallery.

Now, they should scale to fill the horizontal width of the screen, and scroll vertically — and be centered horizontally. I’m doing this by mostly leaning on a modern css tool, the ability to specify measurements in percentages of the viewport width or height.

I’m told that this is supported in the latest version of everything except for Opera Mini (and who the hell uses that?), and in IE9+.

It works perfectly on Safari, Firefox and Chrome on my Mac; it doesn’t center images smaller than the screen properly on my iPads, but after spending a couple hours on this, that’s good enough; I used to have problems with the left edge of big images being entirely inaccessible on everything!

Anyway, if you’re on Android or Windows and feel like testing for me, have a look at this very wide image and this not-so-wide image and let me know if anything looks funky for you. Thanks!

 

Bayeux

Bayeux: horizontally scrolling comics for Comic Easel.

I have decided to package the custom theme I use on Decrypting Rita into something that other people can hopefully use.

This is the first release, and still has a few things hardwired for my comic – if you’re afraid of editing a few bits of text in a PHP file, and poking at some CSS, this theme is not yet for you. Check out the readme.txt in the archive for more details.

The name, of course, comes from the Bayeux Tapestry, which presents the story of William the Conqueror in the form of one very long horizontal scroll. Scott McCloud cites it as one of the precursors to what we call “comics” in his book Understanding Comics; it’s arguable whether something lacking the modern innovations of “panels” and “dialogue balloons” qualifies as “comics” but it’s definitely “sequential art”!

Anyway. Good luck; let me know if you get it working on your site. If you can’t then I may try to help you out but no promises – those pages of Rita ain’t gonna draw themselves!

(And if you add in controls for the stuff I didn’t, please toss me a copy of your modifications – I like it when other people do my work for me!)

website tweak

I finally got around to styling the blog posts and comments on my website. I put it off until later when I initially built the thing, and “later” finally came yesterday and today.

While I was in there, I also added a Markdown plugin for the comments, so you have a cute little toolbar and don’t have to use HTML. edit: oh wait I forgot I have Jetpack’s comments turned on so that never happens on the real site. Oops.

Not that anyone ever comments on my blog – all of that still happens on LJ. But when LJ dies I will be ready. for nobody to read my posts unless I start tweeting/facebooking/whatevering links to them, siiigh