Captain Cascader

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Never-Ending Trivia added to Comic Vine!

Ok guys and gals, we just launched a never-ending (well sorta) trivia app on comicvine. Basically you can now test your comic trivia knowledge and compete against other users to make it to the top of the leader-board. Users are submitted by the community and feel free to submit as many as you want. We launched this same feature on Giant Bomb (our sister site) over the weekend and they are already up to 2000 questions. I think we can beat them.
The questions show up on the homepage and the individual character/team pages. There are also leaderboards that are specific to that character and team, which I'll be pushing soon so you can flaunt your knowledge of Jean Grey or Wolverine.

If you notice a question that is either poorly-written or out of place you can vote that question down. If it gets enough people doing the same, the question gets deleted.

Anyways, have fun and please keep the trivia specific to comics, as opposed to RPGs, site knowledge.

You can now attach your blogs to the forums if you want...

New feature on comic vine. You can now have your blog also create a message board topic in the board of your choosing. This is optional and can be turned off by going to your message board preferences popup. Essentially we saw people writing awesome blogs that not a lot of people were seeing and wanted to give you guys an optional ability to get it out to more people.

If you attach your blog to the forums any replies you get there will show up on your blog and vice versa. If you have any questions, give a shout.


Hellboy 2 - Awesome flick

BPRD wins the day
BPRD wins the day
Earlier today I checked out Hellboy 2 and as guessed, was very impressed with it. I've always been a fan of practical effects movies where costumes, makeup and duct tape are more common then CGI so Del Toro has always had a soft spot in my heart. After 2 films he's created an original visual experience that I can only compare to the original Star Wars trilogy or Blade Runner. This is a world you can feel. I think G-Man's post hit it when he mentioned the shared memory of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Hellboy is filled with weird, believable stuff.

And then there's Johan Kraus. Voiced by Seth McFarlane of Family Guy fame, it is quite simply the greatest comic to film performance I've seen since Christopher Reeve. He NAILED it. If you thought Ron Perlman was Hellboy, you don't know what you're getting into when Krauss appears. His character's addition to the Hellboy movies is game changing. I'm so excited for the next one.

Building a bomb...

Now that it's been officially announced, I figured I'd drop in to say our team is currently building for Jeff Gerstmann and crew. I've been buds with Jeff, Ryan, Brad and Vinny for years so I'm pretty pumped to build a site out for them. The site will essentially be Comic Vine for videogames. We'll be launching in 2 weeks, which all said, is 6 weeks since we relaunched comicvine. Both are built off the same platform, so as we build features for one, the other benifits. Same goes for bugfixing.

They've got a simple blog running now, so if you're into games feel free to check it out. I'll put up a big announcement when we launch.

All trades now...

Kinda crazy I know, but ever since we launched CV I've actually read less comics. Mostly it's a time issue, but I also have a real problem with waiting for serialized content. These days I mostly just follow what gets the most buzz on the site, then buy the trade for it 3 months later. I just prefer reading everything all in one sitting.

If I could, I'd convert my entire collection to trades.

Welcome to Comic Vine 2.0 - phew

Fulfilling the prophecy
Fulfilling the prophecy
If you read anything in this long post know that every launch has problems, so if you notice something that's broken or you don't like, just let us know, we'll fix it :) 

Back in December 2007 we knew we were in trouble. Comic Vine was really starting to take off and the codebase that Red LAMP and I had built the site on just wasn't doing a good enough job dealing with all the new users, submissions and forum traffic we'd been fortunate to receive. I blame G-Man. He got us from having a couple paragraphs about a handful of characters, to pages that if anything were too large. In any case we'd admittedly built the site fairly quick a year earlier when we were running out of money from our Enemy Kite startup (funded by my parents) and the site was really hurting. We needed help.

Enter Shelby Bonnie and Mike Tatum, two Clark Kent style nice-guys, who saved Comic Vine in the non-comic, non-dramatic way of just taking us in and asking what we needed help with. We needed two more guys. Specifically two guys we'd worked with before at CNET: Andy McCurdy and Sean Coonce. Amazingly, they wanted to work with us again too. Go figure. In any case, we had our team and now had a couple options for what to do about Comic Vine...
  1. Ignore the problem, people seemed to like comicvine, why touch it?
  2. Throw some more servers at it and add new features on the current php architecture.
  3. The Andy McCurdy solution.
Andy is the smartest programmer I know. He had ideas... BIG ideas. He wanted to rebuild the site from scratch and use some programming language named after a dead gypsy. Knowing Andy the way we did, we all did the right thing and rejected him outright. Andy of course didn't relent, and after a week of him telling us we were idiots (we were), we'd all agreed to build the new comicvine completely from scratch with a language none of us had ever used. Luckily we picked up this cat named Jacob Kaplan-Moss who literally wrote the book on Django to help us out.  

Skip 5 months to now and the site is finally up. It definitely wasn't an easy build. Forget the fact that we were using a new language, for some reason or another our designer (cough cough) decided that the entire site needed to be void of forms and use insane amounts of javascript to allow users to finally live the dream of editing a structured wiki in-page. I'm pretty happy with it. I know there are gonna be huge bugs to deal with over the next couple weeks, but it's nothing we can't fix and I think the reward of just being able to hit that edit link and have an awesome editor appear are worth it.

As for the site itself. Well, it's different, but hopefully the same as well. We definitely didn't want to mess with things that weren't broken. To me, the most important thing was the community. To that end, the way we figured we could best help the site was to make the tools that the community used to edit the site that much better. While I'm sure it's a little buggy at the moment, I hope you agree with me that our edit tools are pretty amazing. I don't wanna make any grand statements, but we're definitely pushing some new ideas onto the table as far as what a user submission system should look like.

I won't rant too much longer, as I'm sure I'll add many more paragraphs to this post below answering your questions. Please tell us what you think and know that this is just the beginning. There's a lot more in store for this site and this team in the next couple months. For now though, thanks to everyone who remembers Comic Vine 1.0, especially our moderators and power users, who make this site what it is.
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