Is this official?
No, "Fangs" is entirely unofficial and unaffiliated with Frontier Developments. This is entirely a fan-made project.
When will you post more "Fangs" comics?
Whenever I make them, which is whenever I have screenshots I like and a couple of spare hours to do something with them. There's a Fangs RSS feed to which you can subscribe if you'd like to know the very instant a new comic is published.
Who made this?
I did. My name is Lee and I'm a senior editor at Ars Technica. And, obviously, I like Elite: Dangerous. I also had a lot of help from my illustrator David Hall—Fangs book two wouldn't have been possible without him.
How are the images made?
Screenshots from Elite: Dangerous are loaded into The Gimp, sized (up or down) to 2560x1440, and then run through the Threshold filter. Sometimes I'll crop and rotate for dramatic effect, or cut and paste a few different pictures together into a single one. I twiddle with the threshold sliders until the image looks right, and then add the text boxes. Aside from giving the images that signature noir-style look, the threshold filter can hide details—which sometimes helps to cover up imperfections when I'm combining images together!
The character and interior illustrations are done in both Photoshop and Maya by David, who is way smarter at this art stuff than I am. I just make screenshots.
What's with the ".ink" URL? What happened to fangs.bigdinosaur.org?
It's the same site—just with a shorter URL. I'm hosting "Fangs" on my web server, which I also use for my personal domain, my blog, and The Chronicles of George (yeah, I'm the Chronicles of George guy, too. Small world!).
What kind of hardware and software is this running on?
"Fangs" is hosted on a dedicated server at Liquid Web. The box is a quad-core Xeon E3-1230 with 32GB of RAM, two 256GB SSDs in R1, and a 100Mbps uplink. The operating system is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The site uses Nginx mainline fonted by Varnish, with HAProxy for SSL termination. Finally, we've got Cloudflare in place as the CDN and edge cache.
OMG, did you learn to make web sites in 1998 or something?
Pretty much, yeah. In an effort to keep things as light and fast as possible, this site is all hand-coded static HTML and CSS (well, “hand-edited”, anyway—I use Espresso as my HTML and CSS editor). This was, on the whole, waaaaay the hell easier than setting up Wordpress or something and then fighting with the nightmare that is CMS theming. Sometimes, old ways are best ways. Plus, since the site is hand-coded and consists entirely of static assets, it continues to load very quickly even in the midst of a reddit death-hug.
Why does Ghostery and/or my ad blocker say there's a tracker on this site? What the hell?
That's Fathom, a self-hosted alternative to Google Analytics. It runs from "analytics.bigdinosaur.net" (which is on the same physical web server as "Fangs") and I use it for site statistics. Fathom respects DNT and only gives me aggregate information (see the product's demo dashboard for an idea). It really helps me out if you allow the Fathom script to run, because that way I can get an understanding of how many people visit the site and where they're coming from. However, if you're more comfortable blocking it, I understand.
Can I translate these comics into Hungarian, or print them out and make them into hats?
You can do pretty much whatever you'd like with them, except sell them. "Fangs" is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. See the copyright page for more details on what that means.
How do I download the full-resolution images?
There's a download link at the bottom of each comic page.
This FAQ has failed to address my question!
Send me an e-mail.