Goodbye ComicRack, hello MComix.

I’d been using ComicRack for years and years as a Windows .CBR viewer. Finally, the very slow start-up time and the nags got to me. I switched to MComix which is now my default Windows desktop comic-book reader. Free, superbly fast to load up and then load pages. Just make sure you unzip it into your Program Files folder, as there’s no installer just a .ZIP file. Then simply associate .CBR and .CBZ files types with it.

Not that I tend to read comics on anything but a 10″ tablet these days, but there are many times when you want to preview a file on the desktop before you transfer it over to the tablet.

There is one reason why you might want to keep ComicRack around, though. It does superb (but well hidden) .CBZ/.CBR to .PDF conversion, with ability to save a preset that tells it to always use .JPG at 95%, which gives a nice balance between quality and file-size. Calibre can’t offer such fine-grained control, it seems.

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How to have Photoshop actions ‘select all’

If you are recording Photoshop copy-paste-extract actions that will play back on image files of a different size, first set Photoshop’s measurement units to percentage.

Then, when you record select+copy, it will select everything from one corner to the other and copy it. Rather than copying a fixed width of pixels.

The Art of Commando Comics

Ever wondered how the classic Commando Comics are put together? They’re the 64-page pocket-sized digests which some may be familiar with, usually with delicious black-and-white artwork. Here’s a 20 minute round-table with the comic’s makers, recorded for the National Army Museum’s retrospective exhibition, “Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics” in 2011-2012.

The comics are now available on Amazon, for the Kindle, as digital downloads. An outstanding starter/taster would be Home Guard Hero.

Ponies, begone!

Since my last post about how to block users in DeviantArt search results, I’ve since switched to the Opera browser and can thus use the excellent DeviantArt Filter.

Really nice filter, and mature in version 5.0. It just adds a cross on the top left of visual search results. Really easy to block and unblock wanted DA posters of ponies, mega-boobs and Five Nights At Freddy’s stuff.

How to block selected posters from DeviantArt results

We all love browsing DeviantArt. But sometimes you want to block the appearance of preview pictures from the guy who’s just posted 50 3D pictures of ‘the megaboobs girls’? Yeah, you know the guy, and there’s another 50 coming tomorrow. Here’s how to block.

1. Install AdBlockPlus and its Element Hiding Helper addon in your Web browser. (I’m using Firefox 55, Desktop. Note that the latest Firefox has been ruined, as they’ve moved to a new add-on system and can no longer handle useful add-ons like these).

2. Click the new AdBlockPlus icon on your browser. Open ‘Filter Preferences’ | ‘Element Hiding Rules’.

3. Click the ‘Add Filter’ button. And add…

||*.deviantart.net*USERNAM*.*

Where (importantly) the USERNAME is truncated by one letter (USERNAM). Thus the blocking command line for Element Hiding Helper to block faterkcx preview pictures becomes ||*.deviantart.net*faterkc*.*

After adding the command to Element Hiding Helper, when you’re browsing search results of various kinds you’ll see that all preview images by faterkcx are blocked. You can still mouseover the blank image, and see what the title was, and the name of the poster, and click through if you want. So it’s a fairly limited, but effective, block and makes your DeviantArt experience more enjoyable.

If you use another ad-blocker that offers element hiding, it should be possible to translate the format so the same method works there. But element hiding is so useful, that you may want to consider swapping your ad-blocker to get it.

Sketchbook on Fire (or not…)

It’s now been several months since Autodesk SketchBook 4.0 for Android on the Google Play Store. Among other cool new features, it has a new Predictive Stroke (£4 paid version only), which smooths the line after you draw it.

Very nice, but will Kindle Fire HD 10″ users ever get v4.0? As of today the Kindle App Store users are still stuck with version 3.2, from summer 2015.