Call Her Catherine
Apr 10, 2021, 5:00:00 PM
Call her Catherine, a new friend for Natsumi?
I've been calling Kamiko Natsumi more often than not. In my mind, she's Natsumi, but that's her real name, Takahashi Natsumi. The gods, they call her Kamiko.
Natsumi's not the only one getting her day started. Meet Catherine. Is she a new character to This Mortal Coil?
She is now.
I realize many of the side characters of this comic are either weird monsters or talking animals, and at least in Rabbit and the Moon, Natsumi was dressed more as a princess. We just need some singing and dancing and we'll be a bonified Disney movie.
Or maybe we just need some bondage?
Have you met her before? La Dominatrice?
Mostly in the form of a Dominatrix pinup model that I've posted here in the past. But... what if I added her to the story? A little spice into the cauldron of everything nice. What new things could happen?
At the start of 2020, I did some 3D modeling and created a CG version of Catherine:
Don't mind Red for now. We'll... get to her another time. This piece of art is pretty old on this site, but I feel like a small essence of what I'm trying to tease out into this comic lives in this image.
I have some ideas for Catherine. And Natsumi. And, the other characters you've met. Even some other other characters you may have met in previous stories. It's an blank slate, an open canvas where I can do what I please. There's a little bit of planning, a lot of improvisation. You'll have to stick with me to see where this all goes. I certainly don't know myself, not all the details.
Are you guys feeling how old this website is?
Everytime I look at it, I feel that it's kinda clunky. I mean, it works! It delivers comics and my blog posts. But it's slow. I'm not a fan of the black and white anymore. It seems really bloated at times.
And a few weeks ago I managed to totally crash the website.
Not not a Wordpress update.
Each day there's a dozen or so bots that try and break into this site to do god-knows-what (and I know cause I see who tries to break in), but after 10.5 years of continual service, you know who breaks the website? I break it.
And now the site's kinda off. When it loads you can see the HTML before the style sheet fixes it up. I'm not sure why. I'm kinda getting tired of maintaining this whole Wordpress thing. It's a lot. Like I said every bot wants to break into your site, mainly, I'm sure because it's a wordpress site, so why not? They're ubiquitous across the Internet. There must be something juicy behind that admin login.
I mean, it's pictures and text. And a few corner stone blog posts about gif compression and non-photorealistic rendering in Blender that people can't seem to get enough of -- at least that's what my google analytics tell me.
I got to talking with a friend about Wordpress though. One of those, "don't get me started about Wordpress..." kind of conversations, which I imagine is a thing when you get two tech savvy people talking. I use WP as a means of displaying this comic. My friend told me about a system he uses called Publii, a static site generator he uses for blogging.
Static Site Generation
What's not to like?
It certainly intrigued me.
And it's got me tinkering with web code again and learning about the whole concept of static site generation.
I've set up a Publii site on one of my very old URLs called Paradiseworld.net. It's a game and web development blog, I guess. I'm not sure how often I'll keep it updated or what I'll do with it, but it runs on Publii and it is a static site generated and uploaded to my webhost. It runs no backend, nothing. And seems fast.
What if This Mortal Coil could be like that?
Like I said, it's mostly pictures and text. Sure... hypertextualized. But do I really need something as heavy as wordpress to show you a bunch of pictures and text?
For this, I'm learning Gatsby JS which is a static site generator framework that runs on React.js. I'm building a small prototype website to see if I can do what I want, and after a few nights of coding, I do have something working. It'll be a bit still, but I'm building little by little, night by night.
Oh, and no, I'm no expert at Gatsby or the APIs it uses -- React.js and GraphiQL (it's content database querying language). I'm learning it as I go. If you're curious, I'm watching Youtube videos to catch up on static site generators, headless CMSes, and doing tutorials. I've learned a bit about Node.js the platform all this stuff runs on. I know a miniscule amount of Reactjs for doing web components, but I've got enough to get something going, and that to me is the best way to learn. By doing. By solving the problems in front of you. It's what I enjoy most about programming.
Then there's the question of converting all of my wordpress data over. Don't worry fam, I figured that bit out too. I found a Github project that can convert Wordpress content into Markdown text and images. I've already tested it to generate some sample data. I can literally have all of the posts represented on my computer as folders of related content. Image and text sitting side by side. Gatsby generates the pages and in theory, I can build a static site of This Mortal Coil.
It'll run faster. It'll be leaner. And I won't have to worry about Wordpress. I can do everything offline and upload my content. I'm not 100% what I'll like or hate about it. I'm sure things that were easy will be headaches now. I'll have to adapt. Could it be worse? Maybe. Will there be hardships with it? Sure. Will I learn? If I'm willing.
When will you see this new site? I figure it'll still be a while -- weeks, months? I'm not sure. But it shouldn't be multi-months because if that's the case then it might fall by the wayside. So far, what I have is promising, but a long way to go.
Anyhow, I hope you're enjoying the start of your weekend. I'll see you next week! Or maybe even during the week. I'd like to post some closeups of the art on Catherine's phone.