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Comicaster: The Comic Focused CMS is Ready to Download and It's Open Source

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Comicaster is a comic blog style content management system. I Built Comcaster to be able to play with new ways of interacting with my comic. I'll share more in the coming weeks about the hows and whys I built it and how it's been running Art Geek Zoo. For now, let's go over the key features and the details of how you can give it a try.

Key Features

  • Google App Engine hosted. This is a giant topic to itself, but it means your site is cloud-hosted, has a useful admin dashboard, is easy to upgrade/rollback versions, has free hosting up to very reasonable limits, reasonable prices beyond that.
  • Server code written in Python.
  • A site API to find, filter, and browse comics and posts.
  • Simple template system to customize the look of your site.

Installing Comicaster: The Checklist

  • app.yaml (settings for google app engine)
  • comicaster_config.yaml (settings for comicaster)
  • rocket/config.py (settings for backup/restore of your Comicaster site's Datastore)
  • apikey.txt (settings to use Akismet - the incredible anti-spam service from Wordpress, you'll need to get an API key from Wordpress.com for this)
  • Run your site locally via the Google App Engine Launcher
  • Test in a browser, make changes to the files in the templates folder to customize your site
  • When you're ready, upload it to http://appengine.google.com/ via the Google App Engine Launcher tool.
  • Visit your site's Dashboard on http://appengine.google.com/ to see useful activity, data logs, error logs, versions of your app, and more.
  • Visit your app, to login and make posts add "/login" to the URL.
  • Post some comics!

Comic Markup

Posting Via Your Site (uses Comic Markup)

Posting Via Email (doesn't use Comic Markup)

date: Tomorrow (use descriptive terms or a specific date-time mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm status: (published, draft, or scheduled) tags: (any comma separated list of single words) type: (blog, page, comic) book: (name of book it should be listed - optional) chapter: (name of chapter it should be listed - optional)

Example Email

To: your app engine's allowed post email address

From: any email account

Subject: This will be the post tile

Message:

date: Tomorrow

status: scheduled

tags: humor,comic,book2

book: The Fun Funny Times of Fun Folks

chapter: The Penultimate Plot Arc

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Stay tuned for the next exciting episode and thanks for reading my comic!

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