Plugins

Mass Deletion

I cut some functions in the Comix Easel V.2 Plugin.

The biggest change is removing the Transcript option. Users were able to add their transcripts to a post. However, they needed to add a short code somewhere so the Transcripts would appear. This seemed redundant. Users can post their transcripts in the blog part of a comic post. So, this choice was removed.

I removed other options like adding HTML to the top and bottom of a comic post. This function did not work in my test themes. I removed the Multifunction option, the Add Flash comics, and Link to options. None of these options worked in with my test themes too.

I did check to see if the plugin generated any errors. I had a few issues that were fixed. I believe that the plugin will not generate any more errors.

Please check out the plugin. As always, give me a shout-out if there are any issues.

-Illya

New Tile set for Comix Easel V.2

I have added a new tile set for the Navigation buttons widget. The icons were created by Yurakr. The icons were for Adobe Creative Cloud members.

Metal Gaming Icons 3D
Cartoony castle buttons for creating video games set 4. By Yurakr.
Flat Metal Gaming Icons
Cartoony castle buttons for creating video games set 4. By Yurakr.

In Comix Easel V.2. Users can select their icons in the Config>Navigation menu. The Navigation widget needs to be in place. The default navigation should be disabled when adding the Navigation widget.

Comix Easel V.2 Navigation Menu option.
Navigation Widget options in Comix Easel V.2.

The original Navigation Buttons are still listed, but has the prefix “Original.”

For users who need more icons, here are some additional buttons.

Metal Gaming Buttons
Cartoony castle buttons for creating video games set 4. By Yurakr

The other cosmetic changes I’ve made was changing the menu title from Comics to Comix Easel. I will continue to use Font Awesome Icons instead of the custom image Comic Easel has.

Comix Easel Menu Title in the WordPress Dashboard.

Comix Easel Update

The Comic Easel V.2 plugin fork has been modified and rebranded as Comix Easel V.2. This change was made to align the plugin to The Comix Scene website.

I eliminated the Buy Now function. There has been many changes in E-Commerce. It is impossible for me at this time to modify the payment structure in this plugin. So I removed it.

I modified the Config page to include a short description, a list of widgets, and short codes. I talked to some comic creators with no knowledge of coding. They were unaware that Comic Easel contains widgets like a custom menu option.

I have no plans of modifying Comix Easel V.2 to work with Gutenberg. The Custom Post Type remains a sufficient method to post comics.

-Illya

Comic Easel V.2

I’m working on a forked version of Comic Easel.

Comic Easel is a WordPress plugin that creates a custom type post for comic pages. It is a creation of Philip M. Hofer. Mr. Hofer also created ComicPress, a WP theme combine with the Comic Easel plugin. There are many online comics that use ComicPress. The advantage to using ComicPress is that there is no backend customization. It is out of the box and ready to go. The disadvantage is that ComicPress is not mobile responsive. It is why I prefer to use the Comic Easel plugin and create child themes to change. To use Comic Easel, users have to insert code into their themes. The code is in the back-end coding of the theme.

The other day I received a notification that the plugin is no longer active. I checked out its WordPress.org page and there was this notification-

This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

The Comic Easel website was not renewed. The last time Mr. Hofer posted on his website was back in 2019.

I have decided to work on this plugin. This will be a good exercise for me to maintain my education. The code for Comic Easel is sound. There is not a lot to change. I know there is a push for all WordPress themes and plugins to support Gutenberg. I am not skilled enough to change the code to support Gutenberg. With a little research, I am sure I can change Comic Easel to support Gutenberg.

The repository where I have my fork is at https://github.com/illyaking/comic-easel-v2.

Toocheke Theme

TooChecke Banner

The other day I got a Twitter friend request from an account called Toocheke. The bio read Toocheke was “A modern #responsive #WordPress theme for publishing #Webcomics. Optimized for the #Webtoon format.” Curious, I downloaded the theme to check it out. I was surprise. Toocheke is both a theme and a plugin to turn a WordPress site into a Webcomic platform. There is only one platform right now, ComicPress/Comic Easel. So I took an interest… what is Toocheke? How does it compare to Comic Easel? Is this the new kid on the block to topple the king?

Toocheke Options

https://thecomixscene.com/Toocheke/To test out Toocheke, I created a demo site at https://thecomixscene.com/demo-site-02/. Toocheke is seems like Comic Easel at first. It has the All Comics, Location, Chapters, and Character options. The similarities end there. Comic Easel allows a user to configure their Webcomics where as Toocheke does not. Comic Easel comes with load of options when posting a comic. Toochecke eliminates those choices. Instead, Toocheke works like Classic WordPress- you place your image in the body of the post. You can use an icon as your featured image instead of the comic. This is good because then only the icon will appear when sharing your link. The theme on the homepage is pretty straight forward… it is a list of your comics with a blog underneath.

Toocheke is lightweight. I downloaded the Toocheke Companion plugin and there was only a few files. The creators of plugin said that the companion plugin does most of the heavy lifting for the theme. I have yet to test the speed of a Toocheke site vs. a Comic Easel site but I like slim plugins.

The selling point for Toocheke is that it is a mobile responsive theme. This might “feel” like the theme is superior to ComicPress/Comic Easel. It is not superior but different. The main issue with ComicPress/Comic Easel is NOT the plugin nor ComicPress theme. The issue is that some Webcomics rely on the ComicPress theme as the one stop shop for all their needs. ComicPress is not responsive. User can alter any responsive theme they wish using the Comic Easel plugin. But many Webcomic creators are not web developers. Making modifications to the backend code is daunting. Other Webcomics rely on WordPress/Comic Easel multisite networks to manage their webcomics. These sites tend not to have a mobile first mindset with their theme options. Toocheke is mobile first and responsive. New WordPress networks focusing on Webcomic hosting should pay attention to Toocheke.

Toocheke Backend Post

I do not think Toocheke will replace ComicPress/Comic Easel. As stated earlier, Comic Easel allows users to modify mobile themes. Toocheke is a mobile first theme with a plugin attached. They are two different applications that have the same… “flavor.” There is not an option to import ComicPress/Comic Easel files to Toocheke. Creators will need to stick with what they’ve been using. But, if a creator wants to do the work, they can rebuild their site from ground up using Toocheke. The theme is an amazing building block to reconstruct a Webcomic series.

I hope that the creators of Toocheke will stick with these theme. When I’m finally ready to open The Comix Scene to new users, I want to provide two options for their Webcomics. I look forward to see how Toocheke evolves.