Month: April 2006

Good design, wicked websites

The internet is all full of all manner of wonderment and amazeness.

Dave Werner's portfolio
A 26 year old kid who went to the Portfolio Center in Atlanta and came out the other side as “one to watch”. Holy crap. I've never seen such an inspiring and amazing work of art.

Okay Samurai
Dave Werner's site with writing and such.

The Making of Copper
Kazu Kibuishi's spectacular comic is demonstrated step-by-step. His colouring process is fascinating, but pretty standard.

This week I picked up two books on how to colour digitally, it's a pretty cool process.

The Women of Comics
Diana's doing a great job updating the site, and the Women of Comics symposium will be pretty cool next week.

All New Comics
We relaunched the site on Monday, the new site looks great, and is working wonderfully. Subscriptions will be finished this week. I love this site, kudos to Ryan for all of his work, he's good people.

I've got Serenity on in the background as I write this…which may explain the antiquicated writing style and what have you. Joss Whedon is brilliant.

What I think would make a cool comic store

So with All New Comics poised to become a HUGE online success story, I've been thinking about what our next steps should be (because that's what makes me a big picture thinker…I think 5 steps ahead of the curve). Of course our first steps are to become a massive online resource, but eventually we're going to need a physical place to hold parties and creator events. The best place for such things would probably be a store. There are thousands of comic stores out there, and frankly about 90% of them suck. Bad.

*Updated with comments and some interesting All New Comics facts.

I've always wanted a place like the Silver Snail, which in my opinion was once one of the best looking shops in the city (but which is starting to fall prey to the “too damn much going on” phenomenon). Heroes World up in Unionville is pretty good and has a few of the things I look for. Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash (two locations one in Red Bank New Jersey, the other in Westwood LA) look awesome.

However James Sime's The Comic Pimp recently focused on a new shop called “Secret Headquarters“. The store looks quite simply awesome. Everything is white walls and rich woods, nice cabinets, shelves, simply beautiful.

What sets them apart are monthly art shows where artists display their original comic book art.

Now that's what a comic book store should look like. Why settle for the mundane when you can reach for the stars?

That's my dream. What do you think would make for a cool store that you'd want to shop in?

** Update, one interesting little factoid that I've come across while surfing through the All New Comics logs. 90% of our sales happen between 8pm and 10am, the time when most stores are closed. Are traditional store hours a waste of time? Is having a brick and mortar presence a good thing or simply a waste of resources in today's iLife world?

Big news in the land of Kaylin!

So last week I alluded to a big story, something huge, something spectacular. Our baby girl turned 8 months old yesterday (Easter Sunday), but exactly a week earlier she made some huge strides. Literally.

Yup, little Kegger can crawl. Last Saturday she took her first tentative movement, figuring out that her hand had to move as well as her knees, then on Sunday she put the two together and actually moved forward. On Monday morning I put her down on the floor and she immediately scooted forward as if it were the most natural thing ever.

Since that time she's picked up her speed about tenfold, and enjoys getting into all manner of trouble (heat vents, the stereo tuning knob, the bathroom floor, my shoes in the hallway…the world is now her oyster). She's also mastered the fine art of pushing back to sit up. She loves to crawl forward three paces and then push back to check out where she is. Sometimes she'll continue the way she was going, but occasionally something will catch her fancy the other way and she'll just flip around like she's been doing it all her life.

Her personality is really starting to emerge as well. She's a little nut, and a total perpetual motion machine. My parents were down on the weekend and they got to hang out with her. Kaylin really turned on the charm, giggling, laughing, and generally being a ham (she is her father's daughter after all).

It's hard to believe that this was the same little gnome who's head we had to ensure was constantly supported just a few months ago.

Where did TSN.ca/Wrestling go?

I've gotten this question quite a bit in my in-box lately, so here's my official, unofficial answer to it. We closed down the TSN.ca/Wrestling site on Tuesday, and replaced the news/views area with a TV Schedule. The move while a fairly big emotional one, wasn't that big of a deal with respect to the site. To be honest all we really did was take the section off of life support.

After 8 years of having a wrestling website, the group of us who actually do it week-in, week-out (usually in our own free time) just became too busy with real life concerns. Three of us have kids now. We're all married, and the product just doesn't have that appeal to us that it once did.

We tried to keep it up, and the site limped along for about 2 years, but we just couldn't keep it up in the last year or so. Heck, I don't think I've personally written on the site for over a year.

Unfortunately the reality for wrestling is that we can't feed it with news wire stories, and even if we did, those stories are usually overwhelmingly negative or terribly tounge in cheek. We therefore have to write opinion pieces or research news stories, both of which take time. With all of the other sports news we need to cover on a daily basis, and the changing of our individual roles at TSN.ca, I was once an editorial assistant, but today I manage a team of developers and graphic designers, we just couldn't keep it up.

Sadly there's no great consipiracy theory, nor does the absence of a wrestling website on TSN.ca have anything to do with the TV product at all, it's just something which has happened due to our personal circumstances.

Secrets…secrets…I’ve got secrets

There are so many amazing new things happening in Kaylin's life, but I just can't talk about them here. See, I told my mom last weekend that Kaylin was going to surprise her on Saturday with her new tricks, and that means I can't write about them here because my mom has this site set as her home page.

So what do I do? Do I write stuff and hope that she doesn't check the web? Do I wait until Saturday and post everything on Sunday? What to do, what to do?

I'm gonna wait, but that just means you need to check this site on Sunday. Some pretty cool things have happened and I can't wait to write about them.

Lost thoughts – Season Two

Lost has to be the most interesting show on TV in ages. Not only are there twists upon twists, sub-plots that would make a comic book writer envious (J.J. Abrams comes from the Joss Whedon/Allan Heinberg school of comic book writing), but the characters and their backstory are just as interesting as the overall mystery. With that said, here are a few clues from this season that I've pieced together with the help of friends, enemies, and other ninjas.

Jack's Tattoos
Sawyer finally brought them up last week, but seriously, how long is dude going to continue sporting Special Ops tattoos without explaining them?

Henry Gale
The baloonist who crashed onto the island. Henry Gale is the name of a character in The Wizard of Oz. The wizard from the Wizard of Oz builds Dorothy a balloon to get home. When he gets to Oz he takes on another identity.

Lock the house inspector
Lock inspects the house of an unmarried woman…the same woman whom Sayid says is the love of his life.

Hurley and Libby
Hurley knows Libby…but how many of the background actors in the mental institution are also on the island? The whole mental institution thing is a huge McGuffin but it might be more. So much of what happens on the island is related to the mental institution that it really might all be in Hurley's head. With this option the writers can still say “Hey, we told you so all along!”

Those are a few I have, I'll add to them as I remember more. What do you see when you see Lost?

Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking…

Holy crap time flies! I've got just under 23 days left until the Toronto Comicon (where All New Comics makes our grand entrance), I was away for 4 days, but in some ways it felt like minutes, in others it felt like months….and my baby's almost 8 months old!

The all new All New Comics website is just being tweaked a little bit before it goes online, but it's coming along swimmingly. The new site takes into account everything we've learned about the old site in the last six months and is truly a V2 release. I hope to have it up by the end of the weekend, and if all goes according to plan, the new Subscription tool will be released at the same time.

That's not all of the All New Comics goodness that's going on though. I'm having some polo shirts made, a few baseball caps, and some more t-shirts printed up. In addition to that, I finished a print ad, we're having post cards and business cards printed, and I'm looking into a vinyl banner.

Kaylin is hilarious at this age. She's always babbling on about something, with her little blablablablablablab or dododododododo voices. She's a hoot. She also makes sounds that are exactly like real live words. Tonight as she was eating her Rusk (rice cookie), she said what sounded exactly like “It's good.”, we almost peed ourselves laughing. She also says “Dat” repeatedly (like as in “dat dat dat dat dat dat dat”).

I love her bunches, and I missed both her and Charlene terribly last week, but I had an awesome picture of Kaylin on my desktop, and Char and I made time for a nightly call. Kaylin and Char visited Meme and Pepe (Char's mom and dad) last week, and had a blast.

Char, the angel that she is, totally surprised me and met me at the airport with Kaylin. The Kegger just kind of looked at me for a few moments, but she suddenly brightened up and realized who I was. It was so awesome after being on the road for almost 10 hours (I left my hotel at 3am Utah time and touched down in Toronto at almost 2pm) to see my two favourite girls in the world.

One final thing: to Hans, George, Yan, Henry, and Larry. You can stop posting your idiotic spambot crap to my site. Not one of your inane posts has made it to the site. I am not interested in your dumb lawsuits, your lame travel tickets, or any of your other scams. Simply go away. Thank you.