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New PvP Website Coming

 Scott Kurtz and his wife Angela.Scott Kurtz has a new version of the PvP website coming - it's nice and he had professional help so I'm sure it'll have some cool bells n' whistles on it. I especially liked the way he did the about page - any serialized webcomic that has been around long enough (say 500 or more strips in the archives) is intimidating to a new reader on some level. You need an about page that really communicates your overall strip to the new reader.

This post reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask though - which is: Should webcomic websites be an artistic extension of the comic (think about the new Perry Bible Fellowship Site or Herzog the Vile), essentially extending the look and feel of the comic or is that not that important? I think functionality of the website is really important but I also suspect that many more people then currently do can have both functionality and look and feel.

i agree that the about page

chuckwheel's picture

i agree that the about page is very well done -- As someone who only checks in with PVP occasionally I'm not that familiar with all the characters and sometimes get a bit befuddled by what is going on or don't really get the joke. I'm sure this is a problem with my comics too which are heavy on gags that are very character oriented and no doubt completely lost on new readers. Scott has solved this problem very well and made his archives very inviting to dive into.

Overall the design seems clean and simple, complimenting the syle of his comics, so I'd give it the thumbs up.

Chuck

http://www.pewfell.com

It looks like the biggest

Fabricari's picture

It looks like the biggest change for PVP is with the functionality, which is tremendous. That functionality will do more to keep the site fun than a graphically overladen redesign. And a new graphical theme is trivial compared to the time spent on the core functionality.

And the great thing about code is reusability. I'd be interested if Scott and the developers would conisder packaging the final code for public purchase.Â

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison
Fabricari,

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

You and I think very much

Tom Brazelton's picture

You and I think very much alike.

I've already written Thin Slice to see if there is anyway to leverage what they've accomplished for others.

No word back as of yet!

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Not Either Or I hope

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I would never advocate pretty images over functionality! Regardless of my musings over look and feel of the site I've said above I think its a great update in terms of functionality.

 And I'm not sure visually I'm necessarily talking about a graphically overladen design. Just more thought to incorporating more visual clues about PvP into the web design so it's not so generic. Literally anyone could take that design swap in new logos and ads for their own swag. Â

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Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

Site designs

EricMillikin's picture
Right on that -- the PVP design looks pretty cookie-cutter. I also think it emphasizes everything but the comics -- taking a b/w comic with simple art and surrounding it with color ads, logos, links, etc. seems to place its priorities in the wrong places. What exactly is the color scheme supposed to be there? Yellow, orange, green, maroon ....?
The Perry Bible Fellowship design does a much beter job of drawing attention to the comics as well as reflecting the personality and attitude of the artist. It also has a better sense of color.

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Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

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Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

I'm not as bothered by the

Tom Brazelton's picture

I'm not as bothered by the color scheme because I think the design dictates where your eye should settle. I still feel like prominence is being paid to the comics.

 Citing PBF for better design is apples and oranges. Kurtz has always been a capitolist with many stokes in the fire. I think Gurewitch has a different set of priorities.

 Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

I kinda like the calm

djcoffman's picture

I kinda like the calm pallette of colors though-- some sites are really annoying and too busy to read. I've been guilty of that in the past.Â

I like the the functionality

Jonesy's picture

I really like the new PVP site design, especially all of the new funtionality in the archives tagging, etc.

I also agree with xerexes, that when designing a webcomic site, we should try our best to make it an extension of the comic. We are creating stories with characters, and the I think that the interface used to read those stories is very important for creating a sense of atmosphere that helps a read get "into" that universe.

I brought that point up because

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Even though I think the new PvP site is really well-done it's more of a well-designed" table" to put the comic on then an environment that feels PvP-like. Which is not to say that the new PvP site isn't professional - it is and it will be a solid improvement over the current version. But to me it is a bit generic in its look and feel. However, that's the way a lot of webcomic websites are so it's not like Scott is way out in left field are something...

What I would ask is why Kurtz couldn't make it feel more like part of the PvP world. PvP takes place in an office, it has a lot of locations in the strip. There are countless visual motiffs that you could work with to make the website more explicitly tied to the PvP comic itself.

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Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

I agree that there are

Tom Brazelton's picture

I agree that there are perhaps visual cues he could employ. But I think the real feature of the redesign are the applications that make it more functional. Add much more to that and it becomes clutter.

 I was thinking of his site a few designs ago with the post-it note and the corkboard and stuff. A lot of people stole from that, if I remember correctly. He may be neutralizing those cues in order to give the comic and the apps greater prominence.

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Not to detract from what

Not to detract from what Scott is doing; it's great. But most any business does what Scott's doing. It just seems to be rare thing in the comics world, especially for independent comics. It's smart marketing that seems to be largely missing from
the comics community.

I've always strived to make my the site for my comic Truth Serum something that people would want to visit, with exclusive online comics and extensive biographies of all the characters. There are even interviews with the characters. And the site is professionally designed (with a redesign in the works).

Truth Serum is also available online at Dark Horse.

To answer xerexes original

Tom Brazelton's picture

To answer xerexes original question, I think it's very important to marry the look and feel of your site to your content. Otherwise, people are going to confuse you for some kind of blogger.

 I'm going to steal a lot from PvP's new design. I've been working on my own redesign for a little while now and there's a lot one can learn from what Scott has hired out.

 I have a mock up of my front page here if anyone wants to take a look or comment. I need to tighten some things up. I just need to find the time to do it.

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

Theater Hopper -::- Comics about movies every Monday, Wednesday and Friday -::- http://www.theaterhopper.com

I like it alot and I think

djcoffman's picture

I like it alot and I think that "tag cloud" feature is VERY awesome. Good work!

What About Transcription?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

The tag thing is a good idea. The only thing I see missing is transcription like OhNoRobot or a similar script. Scott's fans would probably bust thru the archives in no time and it might help him with his google ads (he uses them I think). Plus it would make searching the archives easier.Â

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Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

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

With that blueish

Molapro Andrew's picture

With that blueish background, the panels without borders look a little weird to me, but otherwise, I like it a lot.