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Monthly Archives: November 2009
Retro Robot Art by Brian Despain

Filed under Found on the Web

Tales From a Tin Can

Here’s one of Brian Despain’s wonderful paintings. He seems to be working on a series of "100 Robots", though there’s very little information about that at his web site; still, the Gallery is so enjoyable that I, for one, hope he won’t be stopping at 100.

His work’s featured in a show at the Roqla Rue Gallery in Seattle, through December 5th. (Found a little indirectly through i09)

T-Shirt Sale on Retropolis Tees

Filed under Works in Progress

Retro Future T Shirts on SaleThis just in: I’ve got a great sale running on my Retropolis Transit Authority t-shirts: through Sunday, November 29, you can get up to 25% off on an order over $25 by using the coupon code SAVE25 during checkout.

The web site does a complex and mysterious calculation on your order. When I tried it with a typical dark colored t-shirt, for example, I got a discount of over 20%.

Go forth and beshirt yourself forthwith.

(If you’re of a twistier and more achaic bent, the same sale is running at my Saga Shirts Celtic T-Shirts site)

Doc Atomic’s 2010 Calendar of Rayguns

Filed under Found on the Web

Ray Gun CalendarAnd lest I lose myself in a capitalistic orgy of self-congratulation – which, now that I’ve typed it, sounds a lot kinkier than I thought it would* – I’ve got to point you at Doc Atomic’s 2010 Ray Gun Calendar: twelve months of disintegrators! Muahahahahaha!

And ha!

* that means that I bet if you Googled it, you’d find something you’d rather not have found.

[tags]ray gun, raygun, calendar,retro, science fiction, sci fi, disintegrator, blaster, things not to take on an airplane[/tags]

The Retropolis Multi-POD Web Site, Part 1: Design Considerations

Filed under Print On Demand, Web Development

The first in a series of articles that describe how I combined products from several different print on demand companies into a single web site at my own domain.

Ray guns are important in web site designThe design of a web site is always about several things, and only one of those things is "making it pretty". In fact the way you make it pretty all depends on the decisions you’ve made about what the purpose of the site will be (often not as obvious as you might think), what the content will be, how the user will find that content, and how the user will understand where he or she is within the site – and then be able to get elsewhere with as few clicks as you can manage.

The answers to those questions determine the framework within which you will make the site pretty. That’s because these answers tell you what you’re designing. If you leap off to figure out what it’s going to look like without answering those questions first you’re going to end up with something that (presumably) looks great, but whether it does the job it needs to do is left completely to chance.

The Art of Retropolis – all in one place!

Filed under Print On Demand, Web Development, Works in Progress

Retropolis ArtSo… when last we saw our hero, who at that time was me, I was working on the second half of my illustrations for Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

Then, to all appearances, I vanished.

Here’s why:

In the annual ramp up to the holiday season – that happy, carefree and yet spiritual time when I turn you upside down and try to shake all the change out of your pockets – I took on a big project that’s been on my mind for the last couple of years.

There are a whole bunch of places on the web where I sell my work, as posters and prints, on the ever-popular t-shirts of the Retropolis Transit Authority and – new, this year – on customizable business cards and other nifty swag at the Retropolis Travel Bureau. The trouble is that although I do cross-link between them, where I’m able, there was no central clearing house for all these different things. A visitor to one would usually not realize that the others existed.

So I’ve just completed that very clearing house: an "Art of Retropolis" site where I combine the products I sell through different vendors so that they’re all available in one spot.

In order to do that I had to combine three different scripts to draw in the products, along with quite a few static pages, in such a way that (I hope) it’s not confusing to the user, and moreover – when the all powerful Googlebot sees it – the site does not look as though someone’s simply scraped existing content from my original online shops. Which is pretty much a death sentence where SEO’s concerned. These two issues were such important and interesting problems that I may write up the project later on.

But for now, IT’S ALIVE!!!!!

If it works as well as I hope it will, I’ll probably do the same thing with my scattered Celtic art shops. Sometime next year.

And Thrilling Tales? I was already aware that creating the illustrations for its first story was taking longer than I’d expected. So its launch – which I’d hoped would happen right about now, or soon after – will be taking place early next year.

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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.