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Author Topic: Dragon Does Reviews -- Half Death  (Read 2421 times)

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Offline Dragon Powered

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Dragon Does Reviews -- Half Death
« on: July 23, 2010, 12:21:07 AM »

Blood-suckers. Half dead creatures that don't age, don't particularly love sunlight, and feast on the blood of innocent people. Commonly known as vampires, but don't call them that, call them something else I can't quite pronounce. Daro... Daurrrkurrr... Donny Osmond... Dauroiviviv... aww forget it, I'll be out of blood before I get that word right.

Review Site: Half Death

FIRST IMPRESSION:

Very Wordpress-y. Very. The header is interesting, with the comic image of one of these daurko-vampires apparently at a ball game wearing a blood-bag hat. Yeah, pretty cool. The rest of the page is just more Wordpress.

*Load Speed: 9
The comic isn't exceptionally large, and graphics throughout seem pretty well optimized. The site loads up for me lickety-split.

*Color Mix: 4
While there aren't colors that clash horrifically, the entire layout consists of mostly black and white with some dull pastel violet. It could really use some excitement, or some darkness since the story is about a bunch of dead people.

LAYOUT:

*Content vs Layout: 5
The comic is generally a black and white strip (though sometimes it's in color), but that really doesn't justify a bland website. It's very basic/standard, with the comic across the top of the content area followed by two columns containing multiple blog entries and a bit of ads and links.

The icons used for comic navigation are different, and somewhat interesting.

*Ease of use / Navigation: 7
The site is simple enough to navigate, but both the Archive and Extras pages contain only a couple of links to yet more pages, making them a bit confusing and rather plain. It might be good to use a submenu instead, or perhaps put some actual 'extras' in the Extras page to highlight the links to additional content.

*Clutter: 7
Again, it's a pretty basic layout, but the right column does have a bit of clutter with the differing sized ads and buttons. Two ads appear next to a column of links to other sites (simply called Links), and look as though they should be highlighted links to favorite sites, but are just ads. Overall, however, it's not a bad look.

*Ads & Placement: 7
In the right column there is a small banner ad placed under a vote and a special interest banner, along with two button ads. There is also a full size banner at the very bottom of the page and an ad for t-shirt sales heading up the right column.  The ads could realize better value if the large banner ad was moved to just above or below the comic, and the small banner ad placed just above the t-shirt ad. That would make the major advertising visible above the fold while still being non-intrusive.

TOP-DOWN IMPRESSION: 6
A bit bland. Very much screams Wordpress.

I really don't expect to find any vamps jumping out from behind anything here.

*Secondary Content: 8
The extra content, once you get to it, is fairly interesting. The Cast page is nice, and there are some interesting pictures in the Art gallery.

I do believe, with as plain as the site is, it would benefit more by having those additional links for Cast, Art and FAQ in the menu rather than tucked away as they are.

*Social Content: 9
You'll find comments on both the comic and the blog postings, along with a tag cloud, Facebook page, Twitter and a dedicated forum. Plus there is even some fanart.  Good use of social networking to help promote the comic.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
Pleasant artwork with a fairly interesting story. It would be nice to see an extension into the site design, something to enhance the read.

*Overall Rating: 7
Just don't call them vampires...

Offline Lego M

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Half Death
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 01:07:29 PM »
Thanks for the review! Yeah, I know it's really Wordpress-y. It kinda bothers me, but not quite enough to make me change it just yet; basically it was my first attempt with Comicpress and I kinda just did whatever worked and looked decent. I tend to redesign the site every so often, I'll try to keep that in mind next time I tackle it.

I actually wanted to have the links on the extras page drop down when you hover over Extras, but somewhere along the line I think I might've uh... broken the code that does that. It's something I'd like to try to fix at some point.