Jul 01, 2017

Behind the scenes updates

I am redoing the database and getting it ready for a new project. Atlas Tale should get some upgrades with these changes. I started some of these changes in 2009 but had a lot of code and data disappear on me (user error) and I lost momentum. However, things are moving along again!

Oct 23, 2014

New Start

I have not been working on this site regularly for quite some time. I had a lot of work to do to finish it. Since that is what I do all day long, I found it difficult to be interested enough to finish up.
I didn't answer all the emails that I should have. I intended to - but then it got to be weeks later and I gave up.
For all that I would like to apologize ... profusely.
Not sure what came over me but I decided to finish up a lot of the backend stuff this week - there is a lot to do but I got enough done that I can index stories again. While this burst of enthusiasm continues, I am plowing through the backlog of stuff that has piled up. There will be a lot of activity for as long as I can manage.
Thanks for hanging in there - I'm hoping that I can keep things from being dormant again. Wish me luck.
GREG

Jun 25, 2014

Site updated

I have finally found some time to get back to the site.

The look has changed and I have been doing some background fixes.

I have found many problems that needed fixing.
The character database is really bad - my parser didn't work very well.
I fixed a problem with the contact page - I probably didn't get a lot of emails. I hope I didn't upset anyone for not answering. If you sent an email and I didn't respond - I apologize.

I'm finishing the admin section too , so that I can enter some of the stuff people have been sending for entry.

Thanks for your patience.

Feb 13, 2013

New Feature and..

Added support for multiple cover images. This will work for variants, original art and back covers. Here is an example.

Also fixed the search. I found some of it didn't work at all!!! How did that happen??? Should be fine now - let me know if you find any problems.

Nov 10, 2012

Changes

Spent quite a few hours on the site this week. Finally made some color changes I have been tweaking for weeks. Some more of the administration section done as well - still have many more hours before it is done though. Thanks for your patience.

Aug 12, 2012

Still progressing

A bunch of behind the scenes clean up his week. This is all for future plans that will be revealed ... well .. one day. Site should be a bit faster and work better on smaller screens - including mobile devices. There will be a better mobile site one day - stay tuned.

RIP Joe Kubert

We lost another great. http://www.atlastales.com/creator/39

Jul 01, 2012

New site progress

Contributor and reprint information have been added. Lots of small changes and bug fixes have been done as well. I still need to add in multiple cover images, story scans and finish the admin section. Progress is slow but deliberate and steady.

I am experimenting with some social meda links to see if more people can learn about the site and (hopefully) enjoy it. The only clicks so far have been by me but I haven't made the big push yet - site must be "finished" first.

Much more coming!

Jun 13, 2012

New site soft launch

The new site is up but I haven't announced it anywhere because I still have some lingering infrastructure problems and a few code clean ups that still need to be done. To top it all off, I have to go out of town this weekend with no internet access.

There are some important elements missing (contributor information, story scans, admin section) - I am working on those and will put them up without much fanfare as soon as they are ready.

Thanks for all your patience. GREG

May 02, 2012

Site News

Things have looked quiet on the site for a while but I have been working behind the scenes designing and implementing a new database. There were some features that I wanted to add that were not possible in the original design (ex. multiple penciller credits for one story or cover). I reformatted the data and have moved it to the new data structure and have started a redesign to accomodate the changes. However, right now my web host is serving the files very slowly. They claim the site is the problem, I claim it is their network. Looks like i have to move to a new place - which is a little painful. I will update this as things progress and will be able to being the transition soon! Thanks, GREG.

Apr 17, 2010

Site Updates

Even though there hasn't been many indexing updates lately, I have been hard at work on some behind the scenes work. First, eBay's API began returning strange results. Upon debugging those problems, I discovered they were changing the API in June, so I had to rewrite the eBay code to use the new one. Second, my hosting company updated the database software. The new version did not support some of the AtlasTales queries and did not produce an error. So I had to go through and update a lot of the 5 year old code that just quit working. Third, I am redesigning AtlasTales again. There are a few limitations of the database design that have come to light as the project has moved forward. The new design will address those and add some other features that I think will make the site better. Also, I think it is time for a fresh look. Fourth, I want a mobile version of the site - but that won't be possible until the new database is ready. Possibly some mobile apps as well - I've already written a couple of apps for the iPhone and find it very intriguing. Thanks for your continued support! GREG

Nov 17, 2009

Fixes.

There were many hours logged this weekend fixing a few under the hood problems that crept in over time. One bug was found that had been radically slowing down the site since 2006 - discovered and squashed. Hopefully everyone will notice the increased speed of page loading.

Apr 06, 2009

Lack of Indexing Updates

There has been a lack of updates lately. I have several new projects and they all require me to learn new stuff to complete them. So, my time has been stretched to the max. I have finally turned the corner on several of them and am ready to get back to Atlas Tales and catch back up on what needs to be done. I will reveal the new projects soon! Thanks, GREG.

Sep 22, 2008

Issues Not Indexed List

Was finally able to put together the Issues Not Indexed List. It is rather large ...still... but at least it small enough to be manageable. I'll concentrate on knocking out as many as I can - as fast as I can.

Aug 10, 2008

New Features.

A GCD style quick search has been added to the home page. There have been a few requests for this and it makes it easier to go directly to a title that you want to see (a problem for quite a while). Also, added a partial list of cover scans that need to be replaced - this will continue to grow (and then hopefully shrink) as more scans are identified.

May 18, 2008

New reprint section and more!

As you can tell by the update links in the left column, I am adding a reprint section. It has been a ton of work so far - I should have the structure up by the end of the week - then comes the data entry. I have most of the Marvel reprints and will begin entering that info immediately upon completion of the database and design work.

Also, I am revamping the creator section - it has been neglected for way too long. Most of the changes are done already - just some final tweaking needed.

I also am adding a characters and article section. Both of those are started - but far from completed. Let's hope I can get those done before the next big (paying) project drags me away.

May 09, 2008

Atlas Comic on Lost!!

On the Lost episode aired on May 8, 2008 - there is a cameo made by Mystery Tales 40. You can get a better look at it here.

Jan 07, 2008

Back from Holiday!

I took some time off for the holidays but I am back and will be working furiously to get back up to speed indexing. Thanks for your patience!

I did find some time to fix a few bugs on the site. The graph page was repeating months when listing all the issues and some credits were being arbitrarily assigned, but I have it all repaired and all is back to normal!

Sep 01, 2007

Search Change

I changed the search a little. If you add a date (not a range) to your search, the results will now include any issues that have a season date (ie. Fall, Spring) as well. The only draw back is that they will be included in the results for 3 consecutive months - but at least they now show up! I'm working on the range but it is infinitely more difficult and it is hurting my head. :(

Aug 30, 2007

Horror Scans!

If you like old horror comic scans - you should check out Stephen Banes' The Horrors of It All. He's got some nice Atlas stuff over there too.

Aug 20, 2007

New Stuff!

First of all, I am way behind in my email - long story. If I have not responded to your email - I apologize. I will be digging through those this week.

I added a few new things to the site this weekend!
1. There is now a countdown for missing covers and an easy to find link for the list of covers needed. I know there are quite a bit that need replacing as well, I'm working on that list too.
2. For the 50 Years Ago feature: Since the covers are heading towards the implosion and less covers (well October anyway), I thought I would add another set to help offset the sparsity (thanks to Joe Moore for the suggestion). However, the 60 Years Ago is even worse! 2 covers this month and 2 next month. Arrgh. Any suggestions on what you would like to see instead?
3. I made the eBay searches on the side a little better. I'm trying to weed out Atlas/Seaboard books and all the other crap eBay sends back. Also, recently eBay started sending back invalid items. Arrgh! I have fixed that - for now - or until they break something else.

That's all for now. Thanks to everyone for their comments and donations - this site would be nothing without you guys and gals. Keep 'em coming!

Thanks, GREG

Jun 15, 2007

Vacation

I will be traveling around South Texas for the next week. Internet availability will be spotty. So, if I don't answer emails right away, you will know why. Thanks! Greg.

Apr 28, 2007

Fixed?

After 8+ hours of trying, I think the errors have been fixed. I had to make a custom PHP binary and after a few tries it looks like everything is back to normal. I'll keep monitoring, but everything looks good so far. Thanks for your patience.

Apr 27, 2007

Errors

Yes, the site has begun to error out randomly. My hosting people tell me that it isn't their fault (it is), but I have a work around. Unfortunately, it takes a few hours to get it in place. Hopefully, we will be back to full functionality tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Apr 24, 2007

Stats are good!

With a little more tweaking this morning, I believe the missing covers page is correct as well as the stats for issues and cover images. I have taken the time to make the database work cleaner (status flag for issues) thereby making the true count easier to get. Yea.

Apr 23, 2007

New Stuff

I found a couple of hours tonight to dig into some stuff I have wanted to add for a while. First of all there is now a missing cover scan page. It is not 100% accurate, I have discovered some unfortunate database problems that limit what I can do for now. I can fix it but it'll take more work than I have the energy to expend right now. Anyway, this will get us started.

I also added the stats for story scans! Also, the top 5 contributors is now reading the data that I have been adding since November. It is almost accurate - should be right by the weekend.

I also cleared all the cache files, so the site might run a little slow until those all build back up. Sorry, but there were just too many bugs caught in the cache that needed to be cleared out.

So, that was my burst of energy for today - hopefully there will be many more of those soon!

Apr 02, 2007

Checkin' in.

Today is my birthday - hence the lack of updates this weekend. :)

Anyway, just in case anyone is interested, the project that kept me busy in January is being released soon. It is an anthology being published by Viper Comics about the ever mysterious Sasquatch. I have a ten page story in the book titled Sasquatch Vs. UFOs! I did the writing, art, colors and lettering. It was a chore at times but also a lot of fun.
Here are a few links if you want to see what it is all about:
www.thisisnotahoax.com is the book's official sample site.
There are a few art samples of mine a few posts down.
Those same 5 pages are going to be in the Viper Comics Free Comic Book Day issue. Here is a pdf of the entire issue.
So, besides this site - that is another thing that keeps me busy!
The good news for me /bad news for site is that since the Sasquatch pages went so well - I have been recruited for two stories (23 pages) in the next anthology (about ghosts). So, if I seem to disappear - that is what I am doing. Don't fret, I enjoy working on this site as much as anything I do, so I will be adding as much as possible time wise.

Thanks for all your support! GREG.

Feb 06, 2007

I'm back!

Hello everyone, sorry for the delay, but the nebulous 'other project' has been finished and I am free to concentrate on Atlas Tales once again! I wanted to pay attention to the site but was so far behind on the other project, that I dared not divert my attention for even an hour. The main problem was that I had estimated a part of the project to take 16 hours when in reality it took almost 100 hours. I actually had to ask for an extension on the deadline - which I never do. Oh well, live and learn.

If you sent me an email and I did not answer, I apologize. I will be getting to all of them this week - thanks for your patience. Let's hope this doesn't happen again.

Jan 06, 2007

Another Big Project

I have another big project that needs to be completed by the end of this month (January 2007).I have tried to get ahead so that the deadline didn't affect my work on Atlas Tales, but I am running behind and need to spend all my time finishing it up. Hopefully, I will still have some time to add stuff sporatically. Just wanted to let everyone know what is going on - hopefully the project will work out and I can announce it sometime in February. Thanks, Greg.

Dec 20, 2006

Super-size!

After some discussion with MichaŽl Dewally, I realized that the super-size images were not doing exactly like I wanted. I really like the really super big images (especially the cover images I borrowed from Heritage), but they can be hard to see in your browser. So, I added some javascript to resize the image to fit the browser while still giving you the ability to see it super-sized. This won't be as noticeable on the smaller scans - especially the story scans but it should be helpful.

Click here for a good demonstration.

Dec 07, 2006

Export Problems

Thanks to MichaŽl Dewally, I now know that the Excel Spreadsheet export on searches is broken. I spent a couple of hours on it this morning but haven't been able to restore it. Looks like Excel is confused on which character set to use, so I am trying all sorts of fudging to no avail. I will try again tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience.

While looking at this, I noticed that there were some problems with the Word export as well - how do these things happen? I have fixed those but they are not live yet. I will move them up with the Excel fixes - hopefully tonight.

Fixed!

After much trial and error I fixed the excel export. Some weird characters were being introduced in the output that was corrupting the spreadsheet. I couldn't track down where they were coming from so I just cleared the output buffer before making the spreadsheet and it all worked again. What fun!

The artists and titles are now being filled in on the cover searches and Word export. The cover gallery link now works on the individual issue page (thanks MichaŽl).

I did lose a whole night of inputting information - but oh well. Next time!

Dec 06, 2006

New Developments

Because it was a challenge and I thought it was cool, I changed the '50 Years Ago' section to a flash slideshow of all the covers. We lost the title but I thought that was a cool trade off for being able to see all the covers without reloading the page all the time. I know you will need the Flash plugin, but hopefully everyone has that already? Let me know if you guys like it or not. It's not difficult to change it back.

I also added a custom error handler so that now I get an email for every error that occurs on the site. Should help me fix any problems faster.

Why am I still doing all this when I should be indexing and adding images? I don't know!

Dec 04, 2006

Still Developing

There have been a lot of updates lately, but mostly behind the scenes. The administrative section - where I enter all the scans and data - has had a few bugs and that slowed me down yesterday. Looks like we are back on track now. I have a huge backlog of indexing data and scans to input that I hope to clear out as soon as possible, but I think a kind estimate of completion would be a month...but the Holidays are coming up.... Busy! Busy!

Added a bunch of new product links to the Timely and Atlas Marvel Masterworks at Tales of Wonder for you guys' shopping needs. They have always treated me right.

Technical Stuff I have moved the Smarty plugins I wrote out of the Smarty directory and put them into the main filesystem and commited to CVS. Also upgraded to the newest version of Smarty. Added a creatorScan table and the affiliateProducts table to the database.

Nov 24, 2006

Some changes.

Thanks to the comments from everyone.
I have made a couple of changes:
1) In the creator section, the art samples now have the actual credits for the art sample displayed and a filter at the top so you can choose to just look at pencils by that creator..or inks or both. Oh, I even put author in there - we'll see how that works.
2) I realize that just the last 3 story scans and cover scans on the front page aren't enough, so I made 2 new tabs in the updates section that show more. It will show the 30 latest of both - if we decide we want more we can change it later. I added a link to those sections on the front page under the 3 scans that are there now. http://www.atlastales.com/at/u/cs http://www.atlastales.com/at/u/ss
Secret feature: Since I have so few story scans entered right now, I made it possible for you guys to get all the story scans through the search page. Just choose 'Stories with scans' and nothing else - it will work. Once I have a ton of them in there, I may turn this off but enjoy it for now! :)
Or....click this link:
http://www.atlastales.com/at/s/z:ss
Linkable search results! Cool!


Nov 23, 2006

Atlas Tales V2

For a nice US Thanksgiving diversion, I have launched Atlas Tales Version 2 today. I have learned a lot over the previous 3 years of operation and finally found the motivation and time to make the sweeping changes.

Short Version:
Plenty of new features have been implemented. One of the main mistakes I made in V1 was not properly crediting the contributors, that has been addressed. I added a creator section so we can learn more about the creators and see sample art. I have introduced story scans to go with cover scans - and both may come in a 'super-size' version. Searches are now linkable and exportable to Word or Excel. And lots more.

http://www.atlastales.com/

If for any reason you don't like the new version, the old one is still up - but at a new URL:
http://timely.atlastales.com/

Of course all input and suggestions are welcome. I would like the site to be a useful place for all to go to for research and/or enjoyment.

Long version.
New features

General
1) Attributions on all stories, cover scans, story scans
2) super sized images
3) more links for finding Atlas comics for sale
4) new creator section - needs lots of info!
5) faster site - leveraging caching of pages
6) new design - lighter cleaner.
7) New development environment - so I can develop bigger projects without disrupting normal operation of the site
8) New technologies - PEAR (PHP code dispensary), Smarty (templating and caching engine), CVS (code tracking and versioning)
9) better contact us page
10) new 'how to help' page

Front page
1) latest scans and story scans thumbnails
2) New statistics for most viewed issue and top 5 contributors. Number of story scans coming soon.

Titles
1) story scans
2) Better navigation for titles - no more drop down
3) attributions for all covers, cover scans, story scans and story credits. where I didn't have any before, then all contributors are listed.
4) new, better gallery mode
5) new previous/next issue navigation with images. It also spans titles when the title name changed.

Creators
1) Biography and images of the creators
2) all Atlas credits for the creator
3) sample art if we have it!

Search
1) linkable search results
2) export search results to Excel or Word
3) You can now search both stories and covers at the same time. So,if you want all the credits for an artist - it can be done!

Things still to do
1) multiple credits per discipline
2) My Atlas section - exportable checklists, ?
3) review section
4) reprints section - 70s Marvels, Alan Class, Canadian and other non-US flavors
5) marketplace - buy/sell/trade
6) comments on stories, news, reviews

Ideas for more
1) Characters - images, descriptions



Oct 22, 2006

New Site

The new site is just about here. Watch it grow and change.

New Homepage

The new homepage has been designed to give you the most information possible.

Apr 07, 2006

Atlas Tales Redesign

With a redesign of Atlas Tales imminent, I have begun to experiment. The newest feature is a tooltip to help you to tell who the creators are in the issue index. The creator's names are now red - and will one day be clickable - when you mouse over them, the creators full name will appear. More to come.