Longbox Soapbox (Summer 2015)

Longbox Graveyard #148

Another year goes by, and it’s time for another installment of my blog-about-a-blog — Longbox Soapbox, where I discuss the past, present, and future of Longbox Graveyard!

Batman #192

what does the crystal ball portend for Longbox Graveyard?

Issue #147 of this blog marks my four-year blogging anniversary. I estimate I’ve written about a quarter-million words about comics here at Longbox Graveyard — maybe twice that, if you factor in all my sundry “non-numbered” posts, guest blogs for other sites, and Twitter and Instagram blather.

That’s a lot of words! I’m not sure they’ve all been that great, lately — and when two of your most recent posts are Top 10 Super-Dogs and Chris Hemsworth Naked, a strong argument can be made that Longbox Graveyard has jumped the shark.

Action Comics #456

But I find I still have a few things to say about comics, so I have renewed my domain name for another year and I expect to continue publishing Longbox Graveyard through the summer of 2016.

But there will be changes.

Shade The Changing Man


I do still have things to say about comics, but I don’t need to say them so frequently. This blog has already downshifted several times when it comes to frequency, debuting as a weekly blog, but now publishing on the first Wednesday of the month. I will continue with a “numbered” post each month, but my off-week Wednesday posts will mostly go away. That means bye-bye to Pinterest Gallery posts and (yes) Naked Chris Hemsworth, but I don’t think anyone will miss them. Publishing every Wednesday was a happy habit, for awhile, but my non-numbered posts have too-often been empty content, and it is time for them to go.

Half the reason I was keeping to a weekly schedule was to help sustain the blog’s growth, but a glance at my stats will show that my readership has stalled over the last year:

blog stats!

The year 2014 looks like it was Peak Geek insofar as Longbox Graveyard is concerned, and for the first time, I expect my average readership will decline, year-over-year, when the final numbers roll in at the end of 2015. I’m down about fifty views a day — a significant number in a blog that only gets 400-500 views per day.

Maybe things will bounce back. Maybe they won’t! In any case, I’m tired of pedaling so hard just chasing views.

Fewer posts and better posts shall be my watchword in the year to come. Let me know how I do, OK?

DC Explosion!

comics explosion, comin’ at ya!

And what do I have planned for the year ahead? Well, I’ve been thinking about reviewing John Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four, but if that doesn’t happen before the movie comes out, it likely never will. I’d like to do a review of the Marvel Puzzle Quest mobile game — a little outside my purview, but my gaming articles have done well here in the past. Looking toward the end of the year, I’d like to do something about Star Wars and comics. I expect there will be another Super-Blog Team-Up, and hopefully another guest blog from Dean Compton. It is my perennial wish to return to my review series on Tomb of Dracula and Master of Kung Fu. I have a hankering to revisit the Claremont/Byrne age of Marvel Team-Up. And I might even get around to publishing those long-promised (and long-forgotten) web comics that I mentioned here a couple years back!


alas, Warchief, your copyright date mocks me

This summer should also see the debut of my original comics story 4 Seconds, published by Thrillbent, which is coming down the home stretch right now … but more about that when we have a firm ship date.

(Let me know which topics interest you in the comments, below!)

Taking stock of where I am personally, right now, comics-wise … all is well. Maybe it’s too quiet. Compared to last year’s Longbox Soapbox — when my neighborhood was burning down and a move loomed in my future — the present is positively sedate! I’m installed in my new place; my comics Accumulation has been catalogued, reduced, and tamed; and I am enjoying the occasional old comics read, more often in digital form than not. I do still enjoy having this blog, but I do see The End coming into view …

The End Approaches!

… but not yet!

Thanks, as always, to my many loyal readers (those of you who aren’t bots, at least!) As is the tradition with my Longbox Soapbox columns, please check in with a comment below — let me know you are are out there, and breathing.

And to that end, take my poll:

See you next month!

NEXT MONTH: #149 Ant-Man!


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on June 3, 2015, in Editorial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the candid update Paul! I love reading everything that you write, so you’ve got that going for you…

    For as long as you are willing to share your sweet thoughts I’ll be tuning in. We seem to have the same set of interests so whatever you want to cover is cool by me: bronze age, silver age, gold age, modern age, ios development, board gaming, card gaming, video games, movies, etc…

    The webcomic looks awesome btw… .

    I’ll be here reading as log as you are writing.

    John Lindwall


  2. PS What does it say about me that I owned 2 of the 3 comics whose cover images you chose for this post?

    Mike Grell was the first artist I knew by name! Loved seeing that Jaws cover again.


    • I had that Jaws cover as part of my Superman subscription, back in the day. It got caught in my Great Purge last year. Same with that issue of Shade the Changing Man (which one person on Twitter parsed as Changing Shades Man … Worst. Superpower. Ever!)


  3. Paul, I find you to be a thoughtful and gracious guy, and you were a pleasure to do business with (and donate to!). I’d really hate for you go away, but your candor is really admirable. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to tuning in for as long as you’re broadcasting!


    • Thanks, Andy. I’ll be around awhile yet. These changes are intended to stave off burnout and increase my glide path for at least the next year, if not longer. I’ll keep broadcasting, just not with the same frequency as before.


  4. I go with the comments above – very much like the blog and hope it will be around for a while to come, Paul. I fear there may be something of the self fulfilling prophecy going on here – the figures are down so you scale down so the figures go down so… you get the picture. On the other hand, quality is better than quantity and – don’t take this the wrong way – I think you might be right about jumping a few sharks lately (sorry)

    Anyway, as long as you’re up for it I’ll be here, first Weds of the month.
    Generally, its your stuff on the less well known comics of the 70s rather than the more obvious superhero stuff that got me into Longbox (absolutely loved that Deathlok piece), so I’m definitely up for more MOKF and Dracula. Having said that, count me as A vote for Byrne’s FF too.


    • Don’t be sorry — it’s good to get external confirmation that the site has suffered lately. This improves my resolve to increase my quality … starting with eliminating some of the more obnoxious ads from the site, about which more in a later post!

      I’ll see what I can do about some more Master of Kung Fu and Dracula, too. I have October circled for a return to Tomb of Dracula (but I had the same plans in 2014, alas!)


  5. I love it here, so thanks for everything you’ve done so far. I understand how things go, but we’ve really appreciated the great work up to this point.


  6. Patrick Hickey

    I love Byrne and Claremont Marvel Team Up. They were what I miss in comics today. Interesting books with good writing and art that I did not have to follow four books for a year to get to the end result which does not seem worth it. Two issue stand alone stories that flowed into each other nicely. I would love to see what you think of that run.


    • I will place an order to fill out my missing issues shortly … I do remember that run fondly, not least of which for providing more Byrne/Claremont Iron Fist, a favorite book that ended too soon.


  7. It would be cool to see the cosmic energies of the Longbox channeled into producing new work. Count this as a vote to get back on that web comic!


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