1. Unrar the files.
Typically every issue is rarred and then they are all zipped or rarred together. These must all be uncompressed into folders. Typically there are 12-60 issues.
2. Rename files.
There is no rhyme or reason to the naming system any of these original scanner use (originally we scanned them ourselves, but we ran out of vintage comic books, now we are more like archivists and displayers of comics online, someone else scans them). So, we rename the all in a uniform manner so coding isn’t impossible.
Originally, we’d convert to png before resizing to a uniform size -it’s beyond me why these scans are every one a different size. Every individual page of issues are different, none the same, no rhyme nor reason anymore than their naming system. To resize means to recompress a jpg, so we would switch to png first, then resize, but pngs are typically at LEAST 2x as big, and for some reason (I don’t understand all the tech, you could google it) sometimes it would be as much as 10x the size. The entire site was being affected, we have over 200 sliders going. So, we no longer convert, we sample a dozen pages and find an average height (always 800px wide) usually between 1000px and 1200px. As usual, the ratios are always wildly off as well. Go figure. But we resize to the best of our ability.
SKEW: I’ve only had to do this on this batch of EC Comics I just acquired: many, in fact MOST of some runs are badly skewed, when they scanned the image they should have corrected this, or better still, lined the comic up with the edge better. This is hard to do with bound comics and many people are reluctant to remove the staples and risk damaging a valuable comic.
YELLOW: Many need color correction, yellows are far too prevalent. The have to be individually run through a blue rinse.
CROP: Some of this new batch have an inch on both sides and 2 inches at the top. And to make it worse, they aren’t consistent, so you can’t do them batch or even repeat function. Very time consuming.
Watermarking even those we didn’t scan may seem cheap, but too bad. We’re the ones doing the work to display them and it costs nothing (so far not even ads) to view them. The price you pay is if you download them, you have a very small docweasel.com watermark on there. This causes another save, another reason pngs would be better, but it’s ridiculous to convert, resize and watermark and reconvert. It’s cartoon art, not photos, on a low-rez print medium to begin with, so the degradation isn’t horrible, and we have to live with it.
5. Make sliders
A separate slider for each issue, all the pages added in order. GoDaddy has instituted a program of throttling your bandwidth to impel you to buy a bigger plan, we’ll move when this year’s hosting runs out. However, uploading the images has become a problem. Now, about half of them HTTP error and you have to reupload them. Even then, some won’t upload. They have to be resaved, then they usually upload the 2nd or 3rd time. I don’t know what causes this either, but it’s time consuming and annoying. Fuck GoDaddy.
6. Coding time
Individual pages for each issue slider. Title pages for the series. New menu for the new title, plus add the title to other sub-menus. Add the new series to the comics page and the frontpage.
This, for me at least, is the worst part, collating information about the titles from many sources. Some comics, like Doll, due to their obscurity and the generic title, are very hard to track down. Then it’s added to each individual page. What is kind of fun is naming the issues, as very few have names. Usually consideration is given first to the cover, then the first story, something catchy and evocative.
8. Then I make a post telling you all this.