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I found some new pieces of fanart for Sandra and Woo and Gaia. A thank you from me to all the artists!
Sandra and Woo fanart
Sometimes, the sketch for a comic page has a certain flow to it that is hard to conserve when drawing the final page with clean lines and more details. It is a challenge that every comic artist faces once in a while, and sometimes even the best artists fail. However, it is usually not quite as bad as in the following example posted by the artist of Alex ze Pirate, Tom Preston.
If you check the news archive, you will see that I have never commented negatively about the work of a fellow cartoonist. But I am still puzzled how a professional artist can make so many bad decisions that turn a really good sketch into a mediocre comic page. One also has to think about all the time that was spent on redrawing various parts of the page. Since one can also learn from bad examples and there are lots of comic artists among our readers, I decided to post my observations here.
Here is my opinion about each panel of the final page:
Some of you may miss the comment rating system. But I have decided to not reactivate it yet, because it definitely costs some performance and I don’t want to gamble with the webserver resources again. Sandra and Woo and Gaia together had over 150,000 page views per day during the last two weeks, and Monday even saw a new all-time record with 166,960 page views for the English version of Sandra and Woo alone. Unfortunately, I have almost no chance to measure the resource consumption since I’m using a managed hosting service without access to the server itself.
After two weeks without problems, I’m now confident that I have found and fixed the cause for the webserver problems on 25 and 26 September.
Two security plugins for WordPress were the offenders, “Acunetix WP Security” and “Ultimate Security Checker”. After the last update, the first one began to carelessly make many long-running database queries. Meanwhile, the second one had inflated WordPress’ crucial wp_options table over the course of time. I guess a webserver which is no longer online after a database crash is kind of secure…
This shows that some functionality that might be beneficial for a website with 1000 page views per day can be disastrous for a website with 100,000. Apart from deleting the two plugins, I worked on the website backend during the last two weeks to further increase its performance.