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Markers

Markers indicate changes in the narrative. We use markers to denote new chapters, scenes, story arcs, epilogues, even bonus material — anything that begins a new set of pages. They’re vital to organizing a comic — but not required.

A marker is assigned to one page that acts as the beginning of a section, chapter, whatever. Any given comic page can have one marker, and a marker can only belong to one page.

Markers vs. daily strips

If your comic is a daily or occasional strip without a set story arc, then you don’t need markers. And we’re fine with that. But it’s important to realize that your archives are organized by markers, even if readers don’t notice the difference while browsing the comic.

Where do markers appear?

Markers are most visible to readers in the book’s archive page, which is organized into discreet sections by — you guessed it — markers.

You say chapter, I say story arc

You can change what markers are called in the Grawlix CMS. By default, a top-level marker is a “chapter” and a second-level marker is a “scene.” Both are optional and changeable. For example, you could rename chapters to “story arcs” or “volumes,” and scenes to “part” or “chapter.” The important thing is, you can rename them to suit your needs.

Using markers

Marker diagram

Create a marker

  1. Go to the comic page browser in your admin panel.
  2. Tap the “plus” icon in the marker column of the page you want to be your first page in that set.
  3. You will be prompted to name the new marker. And you’re done.

Remove a marker

  1. Go to the comic page browser in your admin panel.
  2. Tap the minus icon adjacent to marker you want to zap.

Removing a marker will not delete any comic pages.

Change a marker’s name

  1. Go to Book View in your admin panel.
  2. Click the name of the marker you want to rename.
  3. You will see a list of comic pages between that marker and the next. Tap “edit title” in the upper right.
  4. When prompted, make the appropriate change on the marker editor page and tap “save.”

Changing a marker’s name will not change the name of the comic page to which it’s assigned.

Why markers?

We discovered that chapters’ pages could run willy nilly across a book. Sort_order — the technique we used to keep pages and chapters in line — was too random-access. Too web-like.

Diagram of the problem

It wasn’t an edge case, either. The problem cropped up quite often in let’s-rearrange-a-hundred-pages-at-once tests.

So instead of a top-down approach, the Grawlix CMS uses markers to denote the beginnings of sections like chapters. Only pages, not chapters, get sort_order functions, which eliminated possible conflicts. As a result, markers move naturally with their pages, and the orderly line became a reality.

Diagram of the new approach

We got the idea from studying novels. When we looked at chapters, we didn’t just jump to any page — we started at the beginning and took things one page at a time. Yes, officially every page is “in” a chapter, but chapters only end when another begins.

See it in action