Webcomic artists uses version control software to produce automated "making of" videos of his workflow
Mark V sez, "Electric Puppet Theatre is a web comic that I draw in Inkscape, using git for version control. A neat side effect of using git is that I can make a 'making of' video for each 24 page issue by playing the git repository through ffmpeg. The linked page contains animations for the first two issues as well as instructions on creating this type of animation (touching on how to make both ogg and youtube-compatible webm animations)."
Git is an incredibly powerful tool for keeping track of the changes of files. It is the version control software used to maintain the Linux kernel, managing and merging code written by many contributors around the world. But it's also useful for individuals to keep track of their own work. I use Thomas Gideon's Flashbake scripts to log all the changes to the novels and stories I work on, automatically saving any edits every 15 minutes and noting a bunch of easy-to-automate "context" (the local timezone and weather, the music I'm listening to, my most recent Boing Boing posts).
This is a wonderfully geeky example of how git can be combined with other powerful free/open tools, like ffmpeg (which makes and converts audio and video files) to capture your personal workflow and package it in ways that illuminate your process for other people who want to compare notes.
Zack sez, "24-hour comics -- comic books written, drawn and finished in 24 hours -- have been around for more than 20 years, but rarely have the results been as polished or charming as 'Darkness,' the 24-hour comic by the French cartoonist Boulet. The tale of a very, very moody roommate, the result is better than many comics the creators had a full month to finish."
This really is funny stuff -- a bit predictable, but fully sweet and extremely well-told.
The Bouletcorp » Darkness:Bouletcor (Thanks, Zack!)
Courtney sez, "The D&D themed webcomic Order of the Stick has been running a Kickstarter campaign to get some of its out-of-print books back onto shelves. It's now broken $350,000 and is one of the top 10 funded projects of all time on Kickstarter and the most funded comics project of all time."
I've been self-publishing my comedy-fantasy-adventure webcomic The Order of the Stick in paper format since 2005, but one of the hardest parts about doing it all on my own is keeping the older books available. This project is designed to get at least one of those books back into print. The Order of the Stick: War and XPs was the third compilation of the color webcomic, covering a bunch of cool battle scenes like this and this and even this.
The delightful R. Stevens is distributing the first Diesel Sweeties webcomic collection as a DRM-free, free PDF, in celebration of his birthday. "Pocket Sweeties, Volume 1," is a sterling example of the demented, bitter humor that Rich pulls off so well, and we're a lucky Internet for getting this great gimmee from him. He's got loads of merch and books for sale, too.
Just in time for the lull in the conversation at your holiday dinner table, XKCD brings us these handy, sure-fire conversation-starting mnemonics for scientific concepts. Click through for the full set.
Red Light Properties: spooky and bawdy serial webcomic about realtors who specialize in haunted houses
Dan Goldman's Red Light Properties is a serial webcomic about a Florida real-estate brokerage that specializes in exorcising haunted houses and then listing them for cheap. Goldman (who created the fantastic 08 graphic novel) takes a somewhat lighthearted premise and uses it as contrast to make the fundamental spookiness of his stories stand out in stark relief. Goldman's ghost stories made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle, while the bawdy slapstick interludes served only to lure me into dropping my guard for the next scare. Highly recommended.
Today's XKCD proposes a strangely optimal strategy for reviewing the hotels you love, provided you don't mind being a jerk. He calls it the "tragedy of you're a dick."
So far, the standout retail moment at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Reno are the very reasonably priced "Girl Genius" badges from Kaja and Phil Foglio, inspired by the Hugo-Award-winning webcomic of the same name. Worked with great trilobite and zeppelin motifs, the badges were apparently manufactured by the same supplier who does the collectible pins for the Disney parks, and have a good, solid heft. I'm also VERY fond of the old-timey sheriff's badge (cogtoothed, not starred) emblazoned with TESLA RANGERS and enlivened with little electrikal curlicues.
Today's XKCD, "Password Strength," neatly illustrates the research from this paper (PDF) by Philip Inglesant and M. Angela Sasse from University College London, with the ironic conclusion that we've trained our users to use passwords that computers can easily guess and humans can't possibly remember.