25 February 2010

The Battle of Dovecote Crest

Last night, while discussing layout/software for webcomics with Danielle, she sent me to the site for The Battle of Dovecote Crest. Everything about the site impressed me—the layout (which is what we were looking at, primarily), the organization, and most of all, the artwork.

I got completely sucked in and read the entire run in one sitting.

Dovecote Crest is about a group of people working as reenactors at a small history museum/visitor center at the site of a relatively unknown Civil War battle. Written by Hailey Bachrach and drawn by Bridget Underwood, it's a really a very impressive "side project" by two talented people.

The story appealed to me on many levels. I'm a history major with a minor in museum studies, and Charlie (Charlotte) Grant's struggle with dreams of being a "real" (or academic) historian definitely hits home. I'm also tremendously amused at the chance to read about history nerds like Jeremy Lee, with his sometimes-tedious encyclopedic knowledge of the Dovecote Crest battle.

This comic manages to be hilarious, heartwarming, informative, and even raises some of the issues students of history face (like the difference between academic history and history from the bottom up, focusing on the experience of the little guys rather than the generals and politicians). I loved every single character, and the story made me both laugh and cry.

Go read it right this minute! You won't be sorry. (I love the art so much, I couldn't decide which link banner to use!)

24 February 2010

Dusting off the rusty HTML skills...

Ok, today, after a long exploration of options and a discussion with Danielle, I have switched myself back to Blogger. Why?

In preparation for a large-scale project. I'll be designing a Blogger template for Danielle's forthcoming webcomic, Wayward, and also one for her artist blog. We looked into a lot of ways of setting up the webcomic, but for financial reasons, and to get the options we wanted, I think Blogger will work best.

I wasn't that satisfied with Wordpress anyway—particularly the fact that it doesn't allow JavaScript. I was able to tweak one of the templates into something I like pretty well (unlike Wordpress, Blogger actually lets you DO that without paying a fee) and it's been good practice.

Who knows, if I can get this up and running, maybe it will inspire me to do some freelance web work—always assuming I can find some customers.


Other stuff that's up: My grandmother is on a little foray into a nursing home (at least for a few more days) due to a nasty fall. I've visited and will visit again once I'm positive I'm not coming down with a cold... she is doing okay, but really doesn't like it there, understandably. We are all looking forward to getting her back home.

I finally finished a pair of mittens I'd started over a year ago. Thankfully I'm still wearing the same coat, so they still match! They are a bit sparkly and I've crocheted myself a string to put through my coat sleeves. The last time I made mittens, I lost them the third day I wore them. *sob* I'm also back to working on the Sideways Spencer sweater, making excellent progress. I'll have to let Danielle know; she's making one too.

As for books, I've blown through a couple of James Pattersons so I can get rid of them, finished a couple of library books, and now I'm reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which is moving along quite quickly.

I also read two books out of the Unicorns of Balinor series, and it triggered a mental image of another unicorn story I'd read when I was a kid, something about a mother and baby unicorn, and the mother having flowers in her mane, and they were living in a house with a thatched roof. Thinking it over, I had a vague recollection of the mother unicorn TURNING INTO the house, and that when she did, the roof had the same flowers in it that she'd had in her mane. Luckily, throwing "unicorns turning into houses" into Google was enough to get me to someone on Yahoo Answers who knew what it was! (It's The Baby Unicorn by Jean Marzollo. I'm getting it out of the library soon.)

Other than that, the job search is fruitless so far. I stopped in at the labor office for a meeting and to look through the job listings book. I'm feeling very, very hopeless about the whole thing right now and I'm not sure how to deal with it, emotionally or practically. I spent a couple of hours yesterday looking at history museum websites to see if any are hiring. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything for the type of position I can do. Oh well—gotta keep plugging away.

A bright spot for this week so far was helping my mom with her after-school reading program. The girls are a pleasure, really interested in the program and the book, and seem to have a lot of fun with it. Next week we're onto a new book, and we are trying to brainstorm activities to go with it. Woo!

I guess that's about everything at the moment. I will try to be better about posting.