New Month, New Post Editor

While I have been away over the last couple of weeks, I’ve also had some time at home, catching up on a few things here and there, relaxing and generally enjoying not being in work. One of the things I’ve finally got around to playing with is the new Block Editor in WordPress.

I say “new” – I’ve had the banner at the top of my posts for over six months telling me there’s “an easier way to create posts” and while I’d looked at it in the past, my approach to new software/upgrades is to wait for others to dive in and work out the bugs before I go ahead and try it.

But try it I have and, while I had a few grumbles, I’m sticking with it. Sooner or later, it won’t be optional so I guess I bite the bullet and work out how this damn thing works. I’ve been working through the annotations pages and converting them over to blocks one by one.

There are some definite improvements – my page of homages to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #7, the Death of Supergirl, was a table that I had to create and maintain in raw html. Adding a new image to that page was a pain in the backside as I had to copy the html, chuck it into my text editor of choice (Notepad++ if you’re interested) and then edit that in order to get a new cell in at the right place. I then had to paste the amended html back into the WordPress page.

The new Gallery block has made maintenance of that page a damn sight easier and should make viewing those images a better experience for the users, as well.

Inline images are a little clunky, though – I use them a lot for the annotations pages and while it’s doable using Blocks, it’s not straightforward. I have to create a paragraph block, then insert an image block above the paragraph and then align the image which then drops it inline with the paragraph. Clunky, like I said.

The one thing I don’t understand, though, is why the new editor is so much thinner than the original. Here’s a screen shot of a test page I was playing with in the classic editor – note the red rectangle:

That highlighted area was what I had to play with – it’s the amount of space in which I could type, add new images and so on.

Here’s the block editor page:

The new block editor is about half the width of the original – again, the red rectangle shows the amount of on-screen room I have to create my posts. As my site pages, when published, more realistically match the width of the classic editor, it’s going to be difficult using the blocks to get a sense of what the pages will look like before I publish them.

Still, I shall persevere and hopefully get a handle on this.

I’m hoping there’s a setting to change the editor font to a serif font as well, but that’s just me being picky . . .

The Value Of My Comic Collection

I’ve never really been bothered about how much my comic collection is worth; the majority of my comics and trades are from the 1980s onwards and with the exception of a few titles here and there, most of them – I imagine – aren’t particularly valuable.

There are some exceptions – I’m working at getting complete runs of the Silver/Bronze Age JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and GREEN LANTERN series and am on my way; currently 213 out of 261 for JLoA and 158 out of 224 for GL. Scattered amongst them are a handful of rare or key comics in varying degrees of condition. For example, I have issues #21 and #22 of JLoA that feature the first team up of the Justice League and the Justice Society and the first use of “Crisis” as a motif to describe the threat to both worlds; I also have #85 of GL where Speedy was revealed to be a heroin user:

Those are actual scans of my comics and, as you can see, they’re in pretty good condition on the whole. It makes sense from a collector’s point of view for these issues to have a monetary value as they’re not only relatively rare but also feature key or important stories.

More modern comics might fetch a price if they’re the basis of a popular TV show or film, or if they feature important events from comic history such as PREACHER #1 or JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #70:

Again, scans of my issues.

It makes sense to me that issues have value due to either their rarity and/or containing something significant in one way or another.

Hold that thought.

For the last fifteen years or so, I’ve used a comics database provided by the Collectorz.com company. It’s grown from being a fairly straightforward database to something much much larger – there’s an online master that you can download details from; there are mobile apps; even a web-based version so you don’t need to install anything; and the original software has long been customisable to one degree or another. I used to be one of the main suppliers of comic details such as creator credits and character appearances until they did away with the old forums and went solely to Facebook to interact with their customers – I’ve said before FB isn’t for me.

One of the things they’ve been great at is listening to customer feedback and improving the software as they go along and the latest release brings in something that many users have been asking for: automatic updates of the values of your collection. They’ve partnered with GoCollect.com and you can now download values for any comics that have been sold via auction sites.

It’s a nice, useful addition to the database, even for someone like me who’s never been concerned about the value of his comics. That said, once it’s in the database you can’t help look . . . which is why I’m writing this post. Not to brag that I have comics worth a couple of hundred quid but to offer up a word of caution and bafflement.

Like I said, significant and rare comics can easily command a good price, I understand that. But while my software now tells me that PREACHER #1 is worth $75, and JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #70 is worth $10, I cannot for the life of me understand why this comic:

has apparently sold at auction for $80. Eighty dollars?! Why? For the return of Booster Gold in the worst outfit he’s ever worn?! The Dan Vado run on the JLA in the mid-90s had nothing notable in it apart from the death of Ice, and was followed by Gerard Jones who ran it into the ground about a year later.

A quick check at mycomicshop.com shows the issue currently priced at $1.70 which is what I’d expect.

Maybe it’s just my copy, huh? Maybe GoCollect and Collectorz.com are working together and have realised that my copy of JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #80 contains a previously unseen page where an Easter egg has been laid that reveals the identity of Event Leviathan or something?

Maybe I should put it up for auction before anyone else realises . . .

Anyone have $80 they need to get rid of?