Saturday, 30 April 2016

Scribbly Doodles Went to Town

As of a short while ago, I am now showcasing random unpolished doodles of mine on the Tails of Lanschilandia website. They come with commentary, so I suppose it functions as some sort of not very impressive sketch blog. You can view the first two here, and more will be posted on a sporadic schedule, i.e. when I feel like it. They're not always related to the comic, so get ready to be seeing a lot of random ideas and potentially interesting stuff there.

The idea for this goes all the way back to 2014 and an early start of it has been lingering in the site code for a while, but I had never gotten around to finishing it up. The main reason has been the hassle of adding another site section, and I honestly don't believe I'm handling it very well even with the new update overview I recently added in preparation for the scribbles - the site navigation is beginning  to feel a tad chaotic, as I had really never anticipated that it would be hosting anything beyond the main comic. As a result of the huge delays, many of the scribbles I was going to feature are equally dated now, which makes it kind of silly to be posting them as if I had just drawn them. Not that the comic pages aren't equally dated due to the buffer. Ahh well.
One of the doodles. Why are you looking at it here? Go check out the site!
The scribbles were originally going to update daily, and I even coded some functionality to handle that automatically; it was quite clever, taking the difference between the current server date and the section's launch date to determine how many scribbles to list. However, that's not happening anymore, and I'm rather glad I scrapped the idea, as a lot of the doodles I created to fill a buffer with were obviously rushed out entirely for the purpose of potentially filling such a buffer. I'd rather post things that may be worth looking at than bury a few decent doodles under a mountain of rubbish.

I probably won't be announcing new doodles across my social media in the same manner as comic updates, but they'll be announced on the site itself via the update overview, so keep checking there to see what's new.

Friday, 15 April 2016

When the Page Breaks: A Word 2000 Error

Attention, anyone using Word with automatic hyphenation enabled (and possibly even without it), at the very least in older versions of the program: here's an error that's not universally known which you'll want to look out for!

I had to deal with a rather strange issue with my German print edition of Gophirith of the Mountains not too long ago. I had made sure to proofread it to the best of my ability, so I was rather confused when I eventually noticed that the print edition contained a few instances - three to be exact - of utterly bizarre errors I had never noticed in the document. Part of a sentence had been eaten in one place, part of a word been doubled in another, an entire word had been cloned in yet another place! I checked my PDF, and sure enough, the problems were there. I then went on to check the Word document and they existed there as well... until I clicked the paragraph.

The errors were caused by Word 2000's automatic hyphenation freaking out in cases where a line at the end of a page was at just the wrong length. This evidently caused it to be unsure whether or not to insert a page break at a specific point, so it settled for trying to do both, rendering a part of the sentence on the next page even though it was still there on the previous one or removing the sentence part from the previous page without moving it to the next one (swallowing it up). What's worse was that the problems disappeared when the the text cursor was placed near the paragraph, or when the document was not given enough time to load before scrolling to the offending page. That's right, this is an error that looks like a mere display oddity in Word 2000 which only shows up under certain circumstances, but will be rendered in the PDF file and thus the finished book depending on the converter used (I used doPDF for this book).

I'm pretty sure that this error is not exclusive to German-language text. I had noticed it before, but never thought much of it due to its tendency to go away after clicking, and it has not (to my knowledge) shown up in previous books either as I had those converted to PDF by someone with access to a later version of Word. It is showing up now, however, and it was impossible to find during proofreading as moving the cursor through the paragraphs (and occasionally starting to scroll before the document had fully loaded) meant that Word would hide the error from me until I reloaded the file and carefully scrolled down. So especially if you are using an old version of Word and using a converter like doPDF to create your PDF files, don't let this happen to your book and be sure to check the finished PDF again for such errors on page breaks. They can usually be fixed by slightly altering the character length of the line so Word does not get confused anymore or simply forcing a manual hyphen - the only problem is finding them.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Tails of Lanschilandia Comic Book #2

This is somewhat old news, but I kind of forgot that this blog exists again. One of these days, I'll need to stop doing that. In any case, I published the second print edition comic book of my webcomic, Tails of Lanschilandia, a while ago. Hurra! The info page is here - check it out for everything you ever wanted to know about the book and a couple things you didn't want to know because that's kinda hard to avoid. I'm sorry, alright?

Like the first book, there's three full stories again, as well as a bunch of other stuff. Unlike the first book, it looks a lot nicer thanks to a more consistent art style. It's really nice to have gotten to this point - I never quite imagined I'd make it to a single book when I started the comic in 2012. Over a hundred pages later, I'd say it can count as quite an accomplishment for me now, even if the readership has never been very large throughout its history.

I'm not really sure where I'll go next from this point. I do keep basic story ideas for the comic lying around, but I don't have anything specific formulated at this point which would follow "Lizard Needs Food Badly". I'm actually considering putting the whole thing on an indefinite hiatus when the current story is done, though the ongoing filler comic may still be updated. The comic has gone far in terms of personal achievements, but not in any other terms, and after four years of obscurity, I'm not sure if it has anywhere to go right now. There is a little surprise in the works that I'll be posting about here when it's ready-ish, but that's the only thing I can see happening in the near future. Maybe I can use the time off from worrying so much about running the comic to return to my Fantasy writing - the reason I actually started this blog in the first place.

Velli still deserves a book, after all, some day.