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Discussion: Sequential Art Archive

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1 Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:29 am

I've been reading Sequential Art since.... I don't know, since around the time the 698th strip was posted. It's the funniest comic I've ever read, and there's a LOT of them. The problem is, sometimes I'm thinking, "Oh man, that one was funny, I want to read it again," or I want to show a specific comic to someone. But with near 800 strips, numbered with no titles, it is not easy to find a specific comic or mini arc.

I want to make a list of every SA comic. I count at least 40 active users on this forum. If we all wrote descriptions for 2 or 3 comics each day, we would finish the entire series in one week.

I can write a program to output it to plain text, BBCode, HTML, or even XML which could later be used in a filterable archive.

I'm wondering four things:
1. Does a list of SA comics already exist?
2. How many people think this would be useful?
3. Does JollyJack think this would be useful?
4. How many people want to volunteer to help make it?

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2 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:38 pm

I personally think it' s useful. Sometimes I need minutes to find a strip using a sort of bisection method and using only my memory. By the way, I don't know how much time do I have... but I think I might help with a few strips.

I think a keyword database would work better. Searching by keywords allows you to do this:

"Hilary, dream, fish": 631

"Uwe Boll": 571, 637, 649, 650

"Ghost_hunt": 609 to 653

And so on.

If JJ allows, and you can create the database...

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3 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:51 pm

Dunno if it would help, but I have been working on a time-line for the site.
About halfway through.

Sequential Art Timeline

0001 – Arthur “Art” Mathews introduced.
0002 – Kathleen “Kat” Vance introduced.
0003 – Phillip “Pip” McGraw introduced.

0007 – “Spider in the bathroom” crisis begins, in which the crew tackle an arachnid presence in the bathroom.
0011 – “Spider in the bathroom” crisis ends.

0014 – “The First Denizen” incident begins, in which Art becomes stranded in the countryside. Pip calls upon the dubious services of demented taxi driver, “Crazy” Sven, to rescue him. On the safe return of Art to the house, the mad driver leaves a free gift; a strange, jet black “doll”…. Which turns out to be pure evil.
0018 – Crazy Sven introduced.
0020 – Jack introduced.
0026 – “The First Denizen” incident ends.

0029 – “High School Reunion” begins, in which Kat drags Art to her high-school reunion and encounters her long-time nemesis, Hilary.
0032 – Hilary Locke introduced
0037 – “High School Reunion” ends.

0040 – “Vagrant in the Loft” incident begins, in which a hyperactive and rather mental squirrel is discovered in the upper spaces of the house.
0042 – Scarlet introduced.
0052 – “Vagrant in the Loft” incident ends.

0053 – “Penguin needs pennies” incident begins, in which Pip racks up a massive bid on Ebuy that he must somehow find the money to pay. He concluded that the fastest way to generate the required capital is to sell Scarlet to an online pervert. An action which Kat sabotages, leaving Pip to face an angry weirdo, who strips naked in protest and doesn’t leave the doorstep until Art hands over the item that had got Pip into trouble in the first place: a rare issue of “Hyper Hound”.
0063 – Eyurin Gaylord introduced.
0067 – “Penguin needs pennies” incident ends.

0068 – “Christmas 2005” begins.
0081 – “Christmas 2005” ends.

0090 – “Computer meltdown” incident begins, in which Art destroys his computer by trying to install a game it has no hope of running. He and Pip travel to the local computer emporium in search of a replacement.
0093 – Elton introduced.
0100 – “Computer meltdown” incident ends.

0103 – “Jack’s back” incident begins, in which the nefarious Denizen, Jack, returns to terrorize the gang. He traps Scarlet briefly, but is thwarted by a swift kick. He then escapes into the house after the gang fail to capture him.
0109 – “Jack’s back” incident ends.

0110 – “Clothes shop showdown” incident begins, in which Art and Kat go clothes shopping and encounter Hilary. A stand-off between her and Kat breaks down into a punch-up in which many garments, including the one they were fighting over AND those they were wearing, are shredded.
0117 – “Clothes shop showdown” incident ends.

0120 – “Easter Baldness” incident begins, in which the gang get hyped up on chocolate. Art passes out and boredom leads to his head being shaven by the others. The hat they buy for him as an apology is not well received. Meanwhile, Scarlet has discovered bubblegum….and ends up with it stuck all over her face, forcing Kat to cut it free. Scarlet, always being in motion however, means a mite more fur is removed than intended, leaving her just as bald as Art and with the same silly hat.
Hair restorer has some effect on Art. More so on Scarlet.
0133 – “Easter Baldness” incident ends.

0134 – “Into Lorcraft” begins, Pip’s first foray into the Realm of Lorcraft. He has the killer name but not the killer skills, and ends up hiding in the woods, stamping on low-XP yielding grasshoppers.
0138 – “Into Lorcraft” ends.

0139 – “The Junk Room” incident begins, in which the silly hats Art and Scarlet were forced to wear during their “bald” period breed. The surplus hats are dumped in the house’s Junk Room….or they would be if there was space. It’s decided that there’s too much crap in the house and the gang agree to cull their unwanted garbage. Kat, fuelled by feline curiosity, cannot help but make a random purchase on EBuy, leading to the arrival of a new house member.
0147 – Leonard introduced.
0155 – “The Junk Room” incident ends.

0165 – “Satan has Bunny Ears” incident begins, in which Art finds himself in the employ of Hilary, who turns out to be a marketing executive for Ann Winters, a lingerie company. Art is on the team said company hires and, due to his connection with Kat; Hilary sets out to make his job as difficult as possible.
She is only undermined in this effort when Pip finds pictures from Hilary’s dubious early career as a porn star, which the bunny is most eager to keep quiet. So much so that she backs off Art.
Seldon introduced.
0178 – “Satan has Bunny Ears” incident ends.

0182 – “The Raygun” incident begins, in which the gang go to a comic convention. Kat succumbs to her geeky impulses and buys armfuls of merchandise, Art embarrasses himself in front of one of his idols and Pip meets a hamster.
Art also purchases a rare and expensive Death Ray toy, which, on returning home; Scarlet actually makes (briefly) fully functional, hinting that there may be some brains in her manic little head.
Try as they might, though, they can’t get her to repeat her brief flash of genius, so Art places the no-longer-functional Raygun on the shelf….where Jack is waiting.
0189 – Funk Cho introduced.
0193 – Phillip M Jackson introduced.
0194 – Helga introduced.
0204 – “The Raygun” incident ends.

0207 – “There was a spider” incident begins, in which Art does battle with a tenacious arachnid.
0210 – “There was a spider” incident ends.

0211 – “Lap Nap” incident begins, in which Pip forces Art and Kat to sit through the “Metrix” sequels, which bores them to sleep. During this comatose period, Kat’s head unintentionally slides into Art’s lap, leading to confusion, embarrassment and anger.
0218 – “Lap Nap” incident ends.

0219 – “Christmas 2006” begins.
0227 – “Christmas 2006” ends.

0228 – “Snowy Vengeance” incident begins, in which Art does battle with the snowball-hurling local children and Leonard encounters snow for the first time.
0229 – Timmy Walkworth introduced (but not seen)
0236 – “Snowy Vengeance” incident ends.

0237 – Jack makes a phone call.

0238 – “Strinpit” incident begins, in which Kat is called to the very school she attended as a kid and is forced to face the teacher she hated (and feared) the most.
0239 – Miss Strinpit introduced.
0240 – Ann Walkworth introduced.
0249 – “Strinpit” incident ends.

0250 – Something takes control of a Russian freighter on the high seas.

0252 – “Hunting Pickles” incident begins, in which Pip continues to play Realm of Lorcraft. Having now elevated himself to a quite respectable Level 63 Knight, Pip, or rather; Killaman Slaughtermaster, goes in search of his next bounty: a vile and despicable creature, whose name strikes fear into all who hear it…..Pickles.
En Route, Pip encounters an Amazon names Fern, who also hunts the beast, and whom Pip falls madly in love with.
At least until Art points out that, in the real world, “she” is most likely a “he”.
0256 – Fern introduced.
0266 – “Hunting Pickles” incident ends.

0268 – The Denizens are introduced.

0274 – “The Day of the Denizens” begins, in which the gang are captured by Jack, who has reverse engineered the weaponised toy Raygun Scarlet had previously constructed and used it to build a super-sized version that he plans to launch into orbit.
They eventually escape, but not before Leonard has been sent into a parallel dimension, Pip has run off in his underwear and Scarlet has been turned into a component for a generator.
Fleeing through the mass of tunnels that the Denizens have constructed beneath the house, Art and Kat learn a little about the origin of the strange shadow creatures before rejoining their friends to stop Jack conquering the world.
0333 – “The Day of the Denizens” ends.

0342 – “They linger” incident begins, in which it is discovered that The Denizens have remained in the tunnels under the house. After Jack was blown up by his own machine, they are now leaderless and looking for something to do.
0351 – “They linger” incident ends.

0352 – “Christmas 2007” begins.
0365 – “Christmas 2007” ends.

0369 – “Team Scarlet” begins, in which Scarlet takes a shot at Team Fortress 2.
0376 – “Team Scarlet” ends.

0377 – “Pancakes?” begins, in which the gang make (or TRY to make) pancakes.
0381 – “Pancakes?” ends.

0382 – “Crazy Boris” incident begins, in which the gang decide that the Denizens really have to be stopped from getting into the house. A builder is called in to seal off the tunnels, but said builder sources his construction materials from unsettling locations. In this case: the house’s very foundations.
In the end, the Denizens are released to repair the damage done by the deranged builder, and as a reward; Art gives them a crappy old TV to watch soap operas on…..which they love.
0387 – Crazy Boris introduced.
0394 – “Crazy Boris” incident ends.

0396 – OzBasic introduced. In a secret lab somewhere, covered in logos reading “Quinten”, two scientists look over a raygun found after The Day of the Denizens. They comment that it looks very familiar to designs drawn up by their own staff.

0397 – “Vanity Thorn” incident begins, in which Art and Pip are introduced to Kat’s sexy, gothy friend. She wants Kat to help her out with a book she’s working on; she needs photographs to go with some poetry she’s written and Kat is more than eager to assist.
During the project, Kat and Vanity stay at a creepy hotel, where a ghost hunting themed TV show is being filmed. The duo get roped into the programme by its star “psychic”.
0399 – Vanity Thorn introduced.
0416 – Mr Foster introduced.
0418 – Derrek Johnson introduced.
0425 – “Stoker” introduced.
0427 – “Vanity Thorn” incident ends.

0429 – “Anti Tech” incident begins, in which Art learns that he radiates a “Anti-Tech” field. Something which causes all technology around him to fail. Desperation leads him to seek help from a strange couple who “implant” a chip into his head that suppresses the “Anti Tech” energies.
0439 – Mr & Mrs Cole introduced.
0443 – “Anti Tech” incident ends.

0444 – A sinister looking team of men operating out of a vehicle marked “Quinten” pull a suit from the water. Its label reads “5C4RL37”.

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4 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:43 pm

I actually keep a little spiral notebook with a time line type thing like joily jack has described. It includes the beginnings of story arcs, characters introductions and the whereabouts of those funny 1 strip long ones that are always so hard to find

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5 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:41 am

Maybe both are useful: to find an entire cycle, use the storyline; to find singles, use keywords. Anyway, something is needed rather quickly, as we are close to 800 strips.

EDIT: more, we can make a database where you can search up words for "arc" (and it gives you the titles of series connected to those words, with number of the first strip) or "single" (and it gives you all the numbers of strips matching the criteria submitted)

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6 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:04 am

@Riikano-alinaris: I was thinking of a format with a short description of the strip, followed by a list of characters that appear or are mentioned in it. You could search for words in the description (such as "eyebrows"), or filter by which characters are in it (though the majority will be Art, Kat, and Pip, it would work well for finding things like Hillary, Vanity, or less common combinations like Pip + Scarlet). Making it entirely keywords is a good idea, and it might even work better. I'd like to hear other people's opinions on it.

As for a database/archive/searchable-list (whatever you want to call it), I don't have the skills to make it in a web language like java-script, but I can make it in flash. The downside is that it would have to be uploaded somewhere, the upside is that this forum allows flash embeds.

@JollyJack: That list is awesome! And it certainly works well with Ctrl+F, at least to get a general idea of where a strip might be. I'd offer to help you finish it, but I doubt I could sum up arcs as well as you have.

@zombiepancakes: Could we get you to copy that notebook onto a computer? :3

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7 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:36 am

I think JJ himself, if anyone, is the best one for this job, as he already demonstrated Very Happy

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8 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:48 am

Hello all.

At first I thought it shouldn't be too hard to build. Then I realized that this would not be a one-man-show, but rather a collective work, therefore some moderation and possibly versioning would be required. Apart from that, the actual data backend is pretty simple methinks. I've already started putting together a small web app in PHP (despite being more of a pythonista myself) that allows a user to both enter/edit data and search for terms or such.

So far, the above moderation/versioning worries are just that: worries. They have not been expressed in terms of code yet. My plan is to create something that runs well for a single user (both for entering and for searching data) and then tackle any and all multi-user challenges.

My goal in terms of architecture is to have a server-side app that serves JSON encoded results, and have various "clients" (webpages/smartphone apps, your fridge, whatever) tapping that.

For the technically inclined and interested in this, here's a gist in github of the database schema dump:
It is geared towards MySQL/MariaDB, but it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to convert it to other relational database flavours.

The schema translates to this visual representation:

I'll be creating a github repository for the app once I have something running.

Cheers all.

Last edited by yiangos on Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added visual representation of the schema)

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9 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:56 am

Would an archive of all the past strips be of use? What I mean is, would it be helpful for this endeavour to have a folder on hand containing all the strips from 0001 to present? It seems to me like that might be a bit easier to sift through what with thumbnails and such. idk

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10 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:16 am

Silvador wrote:Would an archive of all the past strips be of use? What I mean is, would it be helpful for this endeavour to have a folder on hand containing all the strips from 0001 to present? It seems to me like that might be a bit easier to sift through what with thumbnails and such. idk

Well, as the thread starter put it, thera are some 40 active members on the forum, that puts it at around 20 strips each. At a rate of 1 per day each, we get the whole of the webcomic in about a month, provided real life(TM) issues do not interfere too much. So by fragmenting the webcomic volume as such, I don't really see the need for a folder with all the strips put together.

On the other hand, we must first have an application in order to be able to input data to a database, and subsequently search said data by using keywords Wink

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11 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:16 pm

yea but you do not need to go to the extreme of sql. i think a simple excel spreadsheet input would suffice.

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12 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:22 am

indrejue wrote:yea but you do not need to go to the extreme of sql. i think a simple excel spreadsheet input would suffice.

Possibly. However
a) this archive would need to be maintained. I don't think we can expect JJ to be the main maintainer, seeing that almost the entire SA strip collection is free (as in beer). It will have to be maintained by the SA readers ourselves. The most we could ask JJ to do (IMHO) is perhaps to validate our input at some point - if he has the time and inclination to do so. Therefore, this archive will have to be able to cope with multi user input.

b) This is a web-comic (granted, there are dead tree versions of it too) so it only seemed fitting that a web-based archive should be developed.

c) My tools of trade regarding data storage are RDBMS's, so it seemed "natural" to me to use MySQL clown

d) Besides, if this turns out to be better as a desktop app, we can always convert the database to SQLite (which is portable).

Anyway, I'm close to having a working app for searching the stored data. Once I have that, I'll make the github repo so that fellow programmers can chime in if they wish, while I work out the details of the administration (i.e. data input) part.

Last edited by yiangos on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added (d))

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13 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:42 pm

have you heard of google docs. you can make a spread sheet then all can access it via google docs.

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14 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:22 am

indrejue wrote:
have you heard of google docs. you can make a spread sheet then all can access it via google docs.

Heh, fair enough Smile. Still the doc will have to be owned by someone with an account in google, and they would have to share it with everyone. I'm not saying it's not viable though (despite the feeling I get that the google spreadsheet filter/search functionality is somewhat limited regarding to what has been suggested here).

On the other hand, I'm seeing this little project as a nice kata to prevent my PHP skills from slowly sinking into oblivion. study

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15 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:14 pm

Slightly off topic but where are the Fern & Pip episodes in the Lorcraft arc?

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16 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:14 pm

vion wrote:Slightly off topic but where are the Fern & Pip episodes in the Lorcraft arc?
The "Hunting Pickles" arc (252-266)

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17 Re: Discussion: Sequential Art Archive on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:13 am

Thanks, DarkAngel! I can not believe I could not find it. I kept hoovering around 134 & never read the rest of the post to figure it out. Now I can get my fix of Fern! Yum. Oí

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