June 12th, 2002

beachy

Keenery

The folks who run Keenspot are frankly amazing, not just for their technical skills, which are impressive, but because they run this humongous and troublesome site, while working and/or attending classes, and also publishing comic strips of their own.

I certainly couldn't keep up that kind of workload ... my brain would shatter into a million tiny pieces.

However, because they do have such a heavy load, there are problems that crop up -- not the least of which is that the friggin' servers are going down all the time. This morning, the message boards are AWOL again, and who knows when they'll be back up.

The other problem is one that is prevalent all over the WWW, which is that of revenue vs. the unmitigated evil that is popup ads. I can understand the necessity of ads that will attract attention and actually be worth the money the advertiser has invested in them. I used to make banner ads for a living myself, and I know the kind of pressure the people building them are under.

However, there is no excuse for the "re-pop," a pop-up ad which, when you close the window, just spawns another #&@^!! popup ad! It's sleazy, it drives viewers away, and it hurts your reputation. And because Keenspot runs its ads through a third-party service, we occasionally have these obnoxious things come running through our ad servers. Yesterday, they were all over the place, and people were leaving Keenspot sites to reboot their machine to get out of the loop -- and not coming back.

To the Keen folks' credit, they give the owner of each site the option of running or not running pop-up ads, and until now I have left the ads there, because I want Keenspot to succeed, and that requires revenue. However, if these friggin' re-pops are going to be showing up, I'm going to have to turn the pop-ups off, in order to retain my readership.

And dangit, I want my message boards.

-The Gneech
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beachy

Publicatory Aspirations

You know what I'd really like to do? I'd like to try my hand at writing some furry comics other than SJ. Not doing the art, mind you -- I'd happily leave that part to somebody else. Just the writing. I'm talking about comic books here, for paper publication, although webcomics are great too. :) There are subjects I'd like to tackle that aren't right for SJ; and there are lots of genres I'd like to play in that I've never done much for.

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Kero asleep

Bedtime Looms Like a ... Giant Looming Thing

Been having fun flexing my artistic muscles. Friday's SJ is to katayamma for coloring; nothing exciting there artwise, except for a little stylistic variation. Monday's is penciled but not inked yet. There I have played a little with more dynamic "camera angles" than I normally do, as well as giving the characters some "business" to do while they talk.

Hikaru once told me, a while back, that his opinion was that SJ needs more action, and largely I agree with him. SJ tends to have a lot of people standing around expounding at each other. Not that I want it to be a nonstop slam-bang adventure fest, but I do want there to be a little more dramatic tension and more energy in the artwork. Too much stasis!

Thinking about what I said earlier, about wanting to branch out ... I wonder what it would be like to "trade strips" with somebody for a while, i.e., contact some artist and have them do the artwork for SJ, while I did the art for their strip. Not just a single switcheroo, but an extended trade, like a month. That would be an interesting way to develop my skills!

I'll have to ponder making just that proposition to somebody.

Anyway, it's bedtime now, dang it all. I hate going to bed! There's more stuff I want to be doing! Oh well. G'nite!

-The Gneech