So, uh...some is good news, some might be...y'know...bad.
Let's start with the good news. I passed 40 subscribers! That might seem insignificant, but it's a huge milestone, when I never expected to get so much as 20, and here I am at double that. I was stalled at the high-30s for the longest time, but then kara came along at 39, Dollipop was 40, and gloriouskao is 41! Which means I also need to give a thank-you to all the other subscribers since my last milestone! I'm likely not going to make an image, so have it in verbal form: MooingMoe at 21, xianyu118 at 22, BlueMoon63 at 23, RyoshiMicci at 24, carnationcrab at 25, Freakout9000 at 26, pao at 28, ataeaf at 29, Paradoxify at 30, LifeGlitchArtist at 31, christin-a at 32 (big shout-out to him, too, for his support), Adventure! at 33, AEWilson at 34, Zannthesword at 35, HolyLancer at 36, Joz at 37, and DomDijon at 38!
Of course, I skipped one who I wanted to have an extra-special mention to, that being Kristy of Wake the Sleepers fame. It means so much when you have a person who is essentially your comic-making idol be counted among the list, no matter how much investment they may have in it.
Also, we're coming up on July 23rd! It's not only the date that marks the relaunch of the comic, but ALSO my birthday, and half-year anniversary of the comic in general. (Well, not quite, but I say half-year. My comic, my rules on timing.) It's going to have been two years since the relaunch began. Two years! And the comic itself is coming up on a 5.5th-year anniversary, too! (For that matter, my membership on ComicFury as well.) All good things!
...And now for the quite sadly much larger list of bad things. The computer I've had pretty much ever since I was on here? The one literally everything to do with my comic is stored on? Yeah, that one? It's in its last legs. Dieing. Guess what that's done to the comic! (Yep. Totally speeds it up, right? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah......) It's simultaneously not a big deal and a much, much larger problem than you'd think. That computer's where everything important I've gotten stored over the years goes. Not just pictures, but also documents. And not just that. Browser history. Cookies. Bookmarks. All of that, on a computer I can no longer rely on, in which any boot-up could be its last.
Oh, and while I've gotten a decent amount of that backed up, not even close to all of it is.
Plus, my art programs are on there. Granted, the programs I use are free, so not too hard to download, but still...a bit tedious.
Then there's the fact that my backup computer (the one I'm using now) was supposed to be used for other things--things that are less resource-intense for the most part. It's a weaker computer overall. (It is my BACKUP computer, not my primary one, for a reason!) So...computer death, very very bad news for comic-making.
What's worse is that I have a couple of artistic obligations that I must finish before I can work on my comic, since they were impacted by the crash as well. (I do not like breaking my word.)
Yet the largest hit of all is to my mental state. Yeah, the files are recoverable, but this has served as a catalyst in spiraling me into a bit of a depression. A...really, really noticeable one. That's...kinda bad.
Plus, even if I do get my computer up and running, I don't exactly have anything planned to show for any of the anniversaries I've mentioned.
So basically, aside from those who would read my blog (nobody reads blogs)...the comic will continue to appear dead for...quite a while. (Though if it's any consolidation, I just wrote down three pages of mostly-brand-new material for the story.)
One of the things that was bugging me for the longest time is that my comic had the default small little icon thingy in the browser, rather than something customizable. It didn't take me long to figure out (once I bothered to stop slacking off) that this little thingy was called a favicon, and knowing its name, it didn't take me long to figure out how to create and then implement one. So, yay! I have just that little bit of an extra touch for customization! (You'd almost think me a half-way competent coder with all of this work I've done. ...Almost.) Not sure if the Argus icon will be the final (I also made a leaf one, and am considering among others making a feather one), but at least I have one!
Also, I've made significant progress on my overhaul of the Cast Page! Now, I still need to streamline everyone's fighting style/bio/personality, finish the formatting for the characters I haven't done yet, edit The Latens' group description, and all of that not going into the images I'll have to draw and the cross-linking I want to get going (basically, I want it so that you can essentially have a wiki article on the site in these pages: something that has links to every relevant section should you need to reference them), but still...this feels amazing!
I have a site. That's basically more of my design than it is of the default design by this point in time. Which is getting sharper and sharper and cleaner and cleaner and with luck, more professional-looking and easily-navigatable and cool-looking. Basically all done by me. This feels great!
Rather, experimenting, in this case. I played around with the fonts on the site. Assuming your computer/browser supports them, you should see changes to the header at the top (The Descended), along with changes to the Blog, Overview, Comic, and Extra Page top fonts. They work on my computer, and look cool on my computer (though the spacing may be a tad bit off), but if they don't, well...I kinda need others to tell me about it.
I also realize the fancier fonts may clash a bit with the more plain fonts for the sub-titles, but that's not something I want to risk playing around with changing until after I know that the fancier font does in fact enhance the look of the site.
Also, I added on comic pages a note to make it more clear that, yes, you can navigate via arrow keys. Not sure that's where I'll keep the note, but having it I think is nice.
I've also nearly-finished my initial sweep (it's going to take more than one) of the cast appearances page, so progress is being made! Not nearly as much as I wanted, but thankfully, Memorial Day weekend means that I've got more time than normal to go about things. A little touch-upping here, a little revision of the characters page there, a fair dosage of revision on the extras page, and we'll at least be in decent shape for people trying to figure things out.
I actually got a fair number of new things done. I improved the blog archive a bit by adding dates to it, so that you can actually tell when I posted these things. (Odd, I thought that had been there already. Ah, well.) I also got HALF-working links to my profile from the blog. It works on the overview, and the links work on the blog itself yet it shows my profile name rather than my author name. (I don't think that's on my end, though.) And furthering the blog overhaul, I redid the side-bar with the previous blogs, to format it more effectively. (There's a break in place now and the blog links are italicized to help.) Speaking of the overview, I made it so that the first/latest buttons there had hover-over text, too, which they were previously lacking. (I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to that kind of thing.)
And on that note, if you look at the bottom of any page, you'll see RSS/Comic Profile/ComicFury/Top buttons. Those aren't new. The hover-text over them, however, is! That was bugging me for the longest time. Similarly for the things listed below that. (Not that they see much use. I don't really advertise my comic right now, since, well, there's nothing TO advertise...yet.) Admittedly, all of these are mere cosmetic changes. But I did make a few modifications to the section about me in the characters page. It now reflects things more accurately.
Right now, my main area of focus is on making things more easily-navigatable...and also more rewarding for having navigated the trecherous seas of words and images. :P To that end, I've begun efforts at revamping the characters page (I mighta mentioned the changes, I might not have, but you can already see some if you compare Argus's profile to, say, Sanik's), and am working on redoing their appearances page. Back to work for me!
Edit: I made a small realization that italics in the blog wouldn't work. So with some black magic mad hacker skillz (aka I googled how to do it), I reduced the font size of the "by *author*", by reducing the font from the default 3 down to 2. (It works on my computer, at least!) And added a period after it, to bring the blogs to a full stop, too!
Again. Again, again. Very bad habit to get into.
The spring cleaning continues.
You know you're in for a long haul when organizing your to-do list takes an hour. But I got that done, and it actually seems fairly organized! So there's that: my objectives are sorted clearly, itself an achievement. On that note, I'd like to also say that there was a behind-the-scenes amount of work done: I organized my Pictures library on my laptop, where all my work is stored. Meaning (at least, theoretically) it'll be much easier for me to have near-instant access to whatever file I so desire to use.
As for what I've done today, well...aside from organizing the to-do list, not much. The day's fairly young for me, after all. However, those of you who are following along might notice some aesthetic changes. I've noticed the Archive button's text is hard to read (even though it should be fairly easy to figure out that it's an archive, I want people to have it spelled out easily), so I tried to make it slightly easier to read. It looks mildly better, I suppose, but it's not exactly great. Ah, well. It'll do.
I also switched the order of the First/Latest comic buttons on top. Speaking of which, the text which did read "Comics" now reads "Latest", since I feel that it's more accurate and more clear a term. (It's what the hover-text said anyway. Which I clarified just as a precaution.) And in the Characters page, I made a minor update to Argus's profile.
Soooooooooooooooooooooo, not much, really. But the day is young, so there's plenty more to do. I'll keep you updated, but I really think that things are going to be looking much better in the near-future. I just need to put in that little bit of time each day. Expect a follow-through blog not necessarily today or tomorrow, but in the near-future that contains the rest of what I manage to do.