Layout & Design
In addition to being an accomplished writer, I also have a knack for web site design and page layout. My style is of web design is to keep a site simplistic while remaining informative and easy to use. This is nowhere more evident than with my own personal site Adam Arnold's Vanishing Point, which began its life as a series of DC Comics fan sites.
With the exception of a few issues, I have been the main person in charge of the actual coding and layout of each new issue of Animefringe: Online Anime Magazine. My chores during that time involved basic html coding of text, some php/php3 scripting, graphic editing and placement of pages within a prefabricated layout designed by Animefringe's graphic designer, Steve Diabo.
I also partnered with Steve Diabo to help build Gomanga.com for Seven Seas Entertainment, a manga company based out of California. Once the actual site was designed and operational, I took over as the site's webmaster and have maintained daily updates and have moderated the site's forums ever since.
Feel free to visit Animefringe: Online Anime Magazine (www.animefringe.com) and Seven Seas Entertainment's Gomanga.com (www.gomanga.com) to experience first hand the amazing work these sites exhibit.
Below you will find samples of some of the other sites I have been a part of or layouts that I have created myself that are worth noting. Even more samples are available by contacting me through e-mail.
www.SgtFrog.com (November 2003)
In the last half of 2003, my editor at TOKYOPOP, Jake Forbes, was busy readying the first volume of Sgt. Frog and asked if I would like to have a part in the marketing of the series by creating a web site for the series. I jumped at the chance because I had actually played a huge part in getting Sgt. Frog (known as Keroro Gunso in Japan) brought to North America. I wrote the Internet's first English language feature article on the manga for Animefringe back in September 2001 (Keroro Gunso - A Frog On a Mission). The next year, I meet up with Jake Forbes in California for Anime Expo and we went to a few Japanese books stores and I purchased the latest issue of Monthly Shonen Ace, the magazine the series is serialized in, and showed it (and the still unlicensed Love Hina Zero) to Jake Forbes. From there Jake went about the process of championing the series and making sure ADV didn't get it.
The web site was conceived to be have the quarky feel of The Official Ninja Webpage and have the same qualities that make all viral marketing campaigns a huge success. The actual project descption was as follows: "The html address www.sgtfrog.com will become the "personal" website of the fictional character, Sgt. Keroro. Rather than emphasizing flashy, expensive, commercial web design techniques, the site will look like an amateur site, complete with a regularly updated weblog, webcam photos, and other simple features. All content will be written in the voice of the Sgt. Keroro. Rather than being a purely informational site, the site will instead focus on "stupid humor" of the sort that 15-25 year-old males like to forward to their friends. The goal is to create widespread recognition for the characters of Sgt. Frog and the title. In addition to the web-only "stupid humor," there will also be samples of the manga itself."
By the end of November 2003, the basic web site template, the main blog, web site logo and several pages of content had been written and created for the project. I had even submitted a completed contract and spoken with TOKYOPOP's web gurus about our overall plan for SgtFrog.com. Unfortunately, there was a shift within the company and the series was handed to another editor and the plug was pulled on the web site. Real shame because the Machine Gun Poetry section would have been a laugh-riot.
Adam Arnold's Vanishing Point
Main Page (September 2002)
By September 2002, Animefringe Online Magazine had moved to a new server and my fan sites were in desperate need of a makeover (in a drastic liposuction kind of way). I also had enough raw visitor data and search engine placements to know what really attracted visitors and which of my sites were the most popular. With this knowledge, I went about crafting a long-term layout that would be not only easy to navigate, but would be easy to manage.
Though I have tweaked some minor colors and changed a few images since launching the current Adam Arnold's Vanishing Point layout, it has largely remained untouched. The title image appears at the top of every page and a semi-standard disclaimer with contact information appears at the bottom. Under the title image is a series of two thin tables (the red stripes). The top table contains the list of all the main sites on Vanishing Point and the lower table has all the topics of that particular sub-site.
Adam "OMEGA" Arnold's Vanishing Point
Main Page (January 2000)
This main page layout from January 2000 consisted of three separate images connected side-by-side horizontally against a black background. The left-most image was designed to be an image map that took the user to the main page of whichever topic they chose. The large, middle image was actually a series of twelve different images (one per site topic) and they would change depending on the hour of the day via the use of Java Script. The right-most image contained another image map that took the user to site disclaimer information, what's new and contact information. It is also interesting to note that the three images were originally designed as a single large image in Adobe Photoshop and then split apart into separate images so that they could easily be tweaked at a later date.
Overall, the page was designed as simply a main gateway to a much larger site. It was best viewed at a resolution of 800x600 with the browser set at normal proportions (i.e. not full screen). These dimensions were chosen because the page was not meant to have any type of vertical scroll to it.
Adam "OMEGA" Arnold's Vanishing Point
This special limited time site (online a month and a half) marked my second attempt at a frame-based layout. It was best viewed full-screen on a 800x600 monitor with the left-payne allowing the user to choose a topic and the right-pane to display the results. The site is interesting because it featured a number of experimental ideas that I would use again later when Animefringe had its one year anniversary in January 2001.
Annivery 2: Remember the Future (November 1999-January 2000)
As far as content goes, this site featured the story behind Vanishing Point's creation, emulated versions of the original Vanishing Point sites, a side-by-side comparison of my ever-improving fan site layouts (see image) and few other goodies.