Upload – via Comic Easel

For those who are part of the Webcomix site of Radio Comix (you know who you are) – here’s a brief FAQ on how to use the site.

It’s official, we have finally purged the old ComicPress system from the site. This was done for 2 reasons:

  1. ComicPress was a little too complicated from some of our users and they were bumping into trouble trying to understand it.
  2. It was no longer being supported with bug-fixes and updates. As WordPress changed over time, ComicPress did not which eventually leads to outdated incompatibility.

Fortunately, Frumph, one of the programers behind ComicPress decided to go his own way and build a new comic system inside WordPress from the ground up using all the new abilities that WordPress had enabled, Comic Easel, part of the Easel family of plugins and themes.

Of course, being a whole new system, it means a new way of posting comics.

Basic –

Advanced –

 

Uploading/Posting Comics

Preparing your comic for uploading:

  1. Save off your comic page as either a non-transparent PNG or JPG.
  2. Your ready to upload!

Upload your comic:

Log into your comic dashboard section. It should look something like this or a grey version of this depending on your user settings.
Dashboard-screen

There are 2 ways to get to creating a new comic:

  1. From the Dashboard, click on ‘Comics’.Dashboard-Comics-button
  2. From the Admin Bar, Hover over ‘+New’, then click on ‘Comic’ from the drop-down menu.Dashboard-Comics-Dropdown-menu

You should now be in the ‘Add Comic’ post page. This is where all the magic happens.Comic-Post-pageIf you want, you can clean up this page a little of all the boxes and inputs that you won’t be using by following these steps later, but for now, lets focus on getting your comic posted.

Start by adding your comic title. All comic posts must have a title. It could be simply the chapter name and page number, or something a little more witty, but it must be there. Also keep it something that the reader will understand, since it will be highly visible on the front end.

Also, if you have something to say about the page you are posting, you can enter it in the blog box below the title. This is optional and entirely up to you if choose to use it or not.

Under the Blog box, though you might need to scroll down to find it, is the ‘Featured Image’ Box. This is where your comic image will go so that it will display properly on the front end of the site. Click on ‘Set Featured Image’ to start the upload process.Featured-Image-boxClicking this will bring up the new Media Upload Window in WordPress. Go ahead and either drag & drop or click the select files button to browse your computer for the image you want to upload. Once uploaded, and selected, click the ‘Set featured image’ button in the lower right hand section of the window.

Next, find the Chapters box and select the comic chapter this page belongs to.Chapter-BoxAll Comic pages must belong to a chapter. If they don’t, they will not display properly on the front end of the site. Also do not have each page be it’s own chapter, it is not only redundant, but will eventually break the front end comic navigation and frustrate the reader. If the comic page is going to belong to a new chapter that does not exist, you can ‘Save Draft’ inside the ‘Publish’ box then follow these directions to Create New Chapter.

Now you may wish to fill in your ‘Tags’, “Characters’ and ‘Locations’ Meta info. Tags-Character-Locations-BoxOf the three, ‘Tags’ are the most important as it’s what search engines are looking at. Filling the correct tags in will help new viewers find your comic via Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo ect. Insert anything you think describes the page you just uploaded. A good example of good tags are:

  • Radio Comix
  • Your Name
  • Your Nickname
  • The Comic’s Name
  • The pages Name & Number
  • Genre Types (Anthro, Sci-fi, comedy, ect.)
  • Comic Style (Manga, Comic Page, Webcomic, Color Comic, ect.)

Really, when coming up with tags, the sky’s the limit as long as your are accurately describing the page and post.  to better understand tags – I recommend reading 10 Quick Tips On Writing Good Meta Tags For Your Website.

As for ‘Characters’ this is a specialized tag that is optional. If you want and were appropriate, fill in the characters that appear on the page, especially if they are important to the story.

‘Locations’ are set up a lot like ‘Chapters’ and will ether need to be setup ahead of time. You can learn how to add a new location here.

Once you have that all set up – it’s almost time to publish! Again, you might have to scroll around to find the ‘Publish’ box.Publish-BoxFrom here you can either ‘Save Draft’ if you wanna take a break before you post the page to go live, hit the shinny ‘Publish’ button to make the page official and instantly readable to everyone in the world, or set a date and time to publish the page future (or past).

NEW-> before you hit that candy-like Publish button, above the Publish/Update button is the Publicize info, that needs checking.

Publicize(closed)

Open up the Edit link. You’ll notice it auto fills the custom message with the title of the current comic being posted. Mostly this is fine and good. However for comics, titles tend to read like “Chapter 9 pg 2″. While it makes since on the website itself, getting a string of these without context of WHICH comic has updated in the Twitter feed can be confusion.

Publicize(open)

Double check the Publicize Custom Message Box and ad “[Comic Series Title] has updated! [auto generated post title]”. As an example, when I’m updating Oona, I ad in “Oona the Cave bunny has updated ~ “. Thus the final Twitter output looks like:

Oona the Cave bunny has updated ~ Athor the Mighty, pg.07 http://wp.me/p37fQ6-2P

Giving context to your tweets means people are more likely to follow the links. And that’s good for everyone. ^.^

To schedule a post click the ‘Edit’ link next to ‘Publish immediately‘, then change the date and time you wish the page to go live. Do note, the go live date will adhere to the sites time which might be different than your own. Typically, the sites are set up via Pacific Time.

And there you have it!  If you have any questions your are always free to contact me with your questions, comments, and suggestions.

Here are more advanced tips about the site–>

 

Creating New Chapters

Coming soon – for now – email the chapter you want inserted and I will set it up.

Creating New Location Tags

Coming soon – for now – email the location you want inserted and I will set it up.

Modifying your Add new Comic/ Edit Comic UI

One of the neat features of WordPress is it’s ability to Customize your UI. It lets you hide unused input boxes and/or move ones you use constantly to more convenient locations.

To move an input box, simply drag and drop it to the new location you want it at.

To remove an input box, go up to the ‘Screen Options’ tab in the Upper Right corner of your browser window (under your login name) and click on the tab.Screen-Options-Tab_closedThis will open the tab and allow you access to see all the options that you can show or not show on the current page.Screen-Options-Tab_openFrom here you can click on or off the input boxes you want and adjust how many columns are displayed (useful for smaller screens). when you are done, simply click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab to close.

Here are my recommendations for a useful UI screen on the Add Comic/Edit Comic page –

Click off:

  • s2Members
  • Mics. Comic Functionality
  • Excerpt
  • Send Trackbacks
  • Custom Fields
  • Slug
  • Revisions
  • HTML (Above) Comic
  • HTML (Below) Comic

I move the ‘Featured Image’ box to under the ‘Blog’ text field. I also have ‘Chapters’ below the ‘Publish’ box, followed by ‘Tags’, ‘Characters’, and ‘Locations’ boxes. I go ahead and collapse the Alt (Hover) text, ‘Transcript’ and ‘Discussion’ boxes so that they are smaller on my screen, as I rarely use them, but like to have them there for the rare times I do need them.

These are only suggestions, but I thought I’d mention them as a good starting point. In the end, it’s more important that you have a space you are comfortable with and to follow any of my recommendations.