This weekend, we'll see some changes around the ROCR.net website, webcomic and blog. Some of these will be disruptive.
Most important of all: New Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story starting on Monday! I'll be running Invasion in stead of the storyline I interrupted in October, Feral, because Invasion is part of a multi-comic event that's set to a fixed schedule, and much as I'd like to give you two Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan stories simultaneously, I can't. Indeed it's so far been a mad scramble to get the pages for Invasion ready in time while also doing my work for Hello You! and teaching.
To help me keep the story to a fixed schedule and at an acceptable level of quality, I've called for the help of three people: Drooling Fan Girl, Mravac Kid and Calvin Bexfield. DFG and Mravac will be taking turns colouring the comics on a per-sequence basis, so DFG will do the introductory chapter set in the Gnomian Republic, while Mravac will colour the next few scenes, set, er, elsewhere. Starting on page 11, Calvin Bexfield will be applying his considerable drafting skills to the backgrounds, drawing castles, towns and longhouses like you've never seen them in this comic before.
There'll be some cleanup on the archives. First thing on Sunday morning, I'll be moving all the White House in Orbit chapters to their own subsection of the website, which will be here-abouts. It's been fun showing these three stories and the guest comics; we'll be returning to the remaining stories later in the year. If you come to the site on Monday, the last few episodes may appear to have vanished, but they're still there, and I'll put up a separate post pointing latecomers to them. I'll also merge several of the incidental, one-drawing ROCR chapters into a new chapter, and put those, and the guest comics, in a separate section with the crossover comics, so the archives will seem a lot shorter.
As for the blog, you'll have noticed that I've added a few new writers and attempted to upgrade the software. I haven't quite got to my ultimate goal of having functional comments again; so far, the comment form sends people using it to the Xepher.net front page, which wouldn't be so bad by itself, but it also fails to send their comments to my database. I'll be working on it. As part of working on it, I will probably have to reset the blog's templates to their defaults, because I can't remember for the life of me which part of the comments code I've taken out over the years. While I'm doing that, the archives, entries and indices may look a bit funny. Can't be helped.
Getting this far has been difficult enough, by the way, because after two years, A Six Apart still haven't fixed the resource consumption problems that made the comments functionality so vulnerable in the first place (as some of you may remember, I made a mistake upgrading the antispam plugins, and within minutes, a spam attack took down not just the Movable Type installation but the entire host). Xepher and I have spent several hours getting the resource use down to manageable (note how I don't say "acceptible", because the resource consumption is still insane) levels, which was time we would probably both have preferred to spend otherwise.
Soon enough, we will have comments back and we will be seeing more posts from the new posters, who so far include studio-mate Jelena, ROCR colourist DFG and new ROCR background artist Calvin Bexfield. I'll be inviting some more people as well. I'm also planning to add some functionality like Gravatars that will make the blog part of the site a little niftier and a more inviting place than it has been recently.