Developers' Blog

We released an update today of MYComics, nothing major just a minor fix to work with GoComics.com, now that they’ve acquired Comics.com. The database has also been updated to reflect the new URLs of the content on Comics.com. Sadly, some comics did not make the transition to GoComics.com and Universal Uclick, so those titles have been removed from the MYComics database. (Also sadly, it means our database is now just below 350 comics… so if you have a recommendation for an independent strip that’s not in there, let us know.)

In the past few months, we’ve been in contact with Universal Uclick about MYComics, and during those discussions we’ve agreed to scrap some of the future features we had planned, such as web scraping (which would display the comics without displaying the web page). Comic authors who are syndicated through sites like GoComics make their money from ads and merchandise found on the pages hosted by GoComics. Far be it from me to advocate taking money away from the people who have used their talents to provide us entertainment over the years.

Other features are in the works, however, which will further improve your comic-viewing experience while at the same time respecting the copyright of the authors.

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MYComics savedView

We diverged from work on MYStuff 2 and MYStuff Mobile to scratch a personal itch. (I know that sounded bad, but it’s not what you think. No anti-fungal creams were involved nor required.)

I love comic strips. Ever since I was a kid, the Sunday funnies were one of the highlights of the week. That and Saturday morning cartoons and pancakes. I started out with the usual Sunday funnies: Peanuts, Family Circus, and Garfield. As I got older, I abandoned those for The Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes, Doonesbury and Bloom County. And while my favorite comics have come and gone, (and been replaced with newer strips) my love for comics has remained. Even today, I start my workday with coffee and comics.

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My problem is that I like to keep ones that I think are funny so I can dig them up later: sometimes to share with friends when the context is appropriate, sometimes to insert into a presentation to illustrate a point. This is no big deal when you have a few dozen or even a few hundred. But when you have over 1500 Dilbert strips alone, finding that one where Wally is trying to convince Pointy-Haired Boss to let him work from home is, well, a daunting task.

I had tried a bunch of solutions to make everything more manageable. Importing into iPhoto was an imperfect option, since it cluttered my iPhoto library with comic strips. I wrote an AppleScript that would automatically file strips dragged to the Desktop based on the filename, but when websites changed their naming conventions the script would break and I’d wind up with a Desktop cluttered with “dim.gif”, “dim-1.gif”, “dim-2.gif”, and I’d have to manually name and file them into their respective folders. QuickLook helped browse my collection, but it was still far from ideal.

So MYComics was the solution. It is designed to be a lightweight and fast little program that allows you to view your favorite comic strips, save the ones you like, share them with Facebook, Twitter, and email, and then get out of your way.

We know the 1.0 release is pretty basic. There’s a handful of enhancements that we have planned, such as “web scraping” (searching the web page for the comic and only displaying that) and pre-loading, but we wanted to keep the 1.0 simple so we can see where our users want us to take it.

Download the demo and take it for a spin. It’ll run fully-featured for 30 days.

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