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Need a Good Software Package to Run Your Webcomics Site?

There are several syndicate/host sites for webcomics such as Keenspot, Keenspace (free), and Modern Tales that automate much of the presentation and archiving of webcomics. There are also several free software packages for webcomics site automation in various stages of development, including AutoKeen Lite and ATP.

Recently I found PHP Comic, which isn't free but does seem to provide many of the same functions.  What's not clear from existing documentation is whether any of the packages an independent cartoonist could use, would support easy management of multiple comics on one site with independent archives for each comic, and as long as I'm putting up a wish list here, allow for the most recent episode of any of those comics to appear on a main "hub" page.

Re: Need a Good Software Package to Run Your Webcomics Site?

It takes more-than-basic knowledge of HTML, plus some server-side processing to get everything you mentioned done with it, but I find Movable Type, a free software developed originally for blogs, is more than capable of doing just about everything automatically once you set it up. I haven't had a regularly-updated comic of my own in a while, but take a look at www.modernevil.com, where the seperate archives of ten different online comics co-exist peacefully.

The way I do it is I set up a new "blog" for each comic, and then each new comic is just a "blog entry", and Movable Type automatically updates your index.html, an archive page, and links everything together intelligently. Using a little SSL or PHP, you can bring together the most recent of each comic onto your main page, or as I do, just excerpts of each of the most recent entries. Since MT was designed for text in the first place, adding daily "news" to your comics (as many online comics creators do) is as easy as adding the text below the image tag in the entry so it is archived automatically with the comic or by creating a seperate blog.

I've gone on too long now, and anyone familiar with blogging software is bored. Anyone unfamiliar with it, I definitely recommend looking into it. Re-purposing existing tools to accomplish the needs of online comics can make us stronger, faster.

Re: Need a Good Software Package to Run Your Webcomics Site?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Teel

Hey good to see you here! I actually thought about using Movable Type for the exact same thing but couldn't figure out a way to have first, back, next, last links automatically generated between comics. Is there a way to do that with MT?

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Need a Good Software Package to Run Your Webcomics Site?

I just found this mod to PHP-pn which appears to work pretty well.