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Longbox Soapbox (Summer 2016 Edition)

Longbox Graveyard #162

The sleeper has awakened! Longbox Graveyard is back! 

Captain America #101

My thanks for sticking with me through this month-long hiatus. After five years of continuous publication here at LBG, going away on vacation for a couple weeks seemed a good opportunity to step back from the blog (and Twitter, and Instagram) and take stock of my online comics fandom efforts. My return coincides with this summer edition of the Longbox Soapbox, where I reveal blog stats for the last several months, and determine if Longbox Graveyard will continue.

First things first — Longbox Graveyard will continue! I do still enjoy doing the blog, and you guys seem to like reading it, so I will commit to another year of publication. But my frequency will decrease. LBG started as a weekly blog … then moved to twice-monthly … then to once-a-month … and as of now, will be published “irregularly,” which means that I will aim for once-a-month for big “numbered” articles, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to publish just to publish, and while I still have plenty of enthusiasm for comics blogging, the refractory period between those enthusiastic outbursts is getting longer and longer. It happens to all of us as we age, honest!

This shouldn’t impact LBG’s readership too much. The blog has been on a slow drip for quite some time (my frantic publication of Marvel reviews notwithstanding), and I effectively missed the last month entirely and the world still kept spinning. In fact, it kept spinning at a remarkably stable rate, which gave me a picture into the blog’s base traffic level, absent any sort of promotion on Twitter or Instagram. (I abandoned promoting on Facebook ages ago — not because it was a poor source of traffic, just because I don’t like Facebook).

Anyway, it looks like daily search traffic and the occasional visit from Longbox Graveyard diehards guarantees about 2000 views a week for my little one-man blogging operation, down from roughly 2800 per week when I am actively adding content and promoting up a storm. The chart below bears with out, with the last four full weeks on the graph showing activity when the blog was mothballed while I was on vacation (and the right-most week being partial at the time of this screenshot).

Longbox Graveyard weekly traffic

That level of traffic might be kind of sad if I was trying to monetize Longbox Graveyard, but seeing as I’ve turned off most advertising here (again), it’s more than enough for a cozy little fannish operation that is primarily an outlet for my four-color obsessions, and a safe space to discuss the same with a loyal cadre of leaders that have stuck with me through thick and thin. So I expect this to be my traffic level for the future, maybe ticking up a bit when I add new content, or return to Twitter and Instagram in force (and the jury is still out on whether I want to do that … it’s fun to interact through those channels, but it was starting to feel like work, and after a month away I find I don’t miss it much, whereas blogging is still calling my name).

And what might you expect here at the blog in the coming weeks?

I dunno.

shrug

I have a pile of DC Rebirth books here awaiting review, but I am having trouble getting traction with that project. For the most part, these books have failed to inspire the kind of strong emotion that makes for good reviews. Everything has been a “C” so far, and I’m not sure I want to devote a lot of digital ink to damning DC’s latest reboot with faint praise. I may yet take a run at this — if so, you’ll see the first reviews in a day or two.

Or not.

Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange

Looking farther out, I will certainly do something magic-related when the Doctor Strange movie comes out in November (probably in concert with Super-Blog Team-Up). I have a long-gestating Golden Age review series that looks at comics year-by-year that may finally see publication — I’ve written the 1939 entry, but need to finish my 1938 article to kick things off right. I might do something with Star Wars in December, to coincide with Rogue One’s theatrical release. I have special monster plans for October. There’s the second-part of my promised Fantastic Four Annuals review bumping around somewhere; I’d like to take a look at the Claremont/Byrne run on Marvel Team-Up; and I am forever saying I will get back to reviewing Tomb of Dracula, Master of Kung Fu, and the rest of Walt Simonson’s run on Thor. Maybe this is the year!

we miss you, Darwyn

But for now, it’s summer time. The nights are long and the living is easy. San Diego Comic-Con begins this week, and it is right in my backyard, so I expect I will be down there getting in trouble. I’ve been keeping up with a few contemporary Marvel series through my Unlimited digital sub, and several DC Rebirth books are still inbound, seeing as I preordered them months ago. I hope everyone out there is having a great season and reading lots of comics. In fact, that suggests a survey question:

Sound off in the comments, to let me know what you are reading, and to let me know you are still out there and a part of Longbox Graveyard! Thanks in advance for your support, and I look forward to visiting with you here at LBG for the balance of this year and beyond. Excelsior!

NEXT MONTH: Scooby Apocalypse!

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published once a month or so at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on July 20, 2016, in Announcements and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Welcome back! Subscribed to Marvel Unlimited so 6 month old Marvel stuff and the new Comixology Unlimited so lots of indie stuff. Also picked up some Rebirth but meh…

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    • I am right there with you. Still wrestling with whether or not do that DC Rebirth series. I liked the Batman books but the rest have been forgettable. I might sum the whole thing up in a single post instead of going issue-by-issue as I did with Marvel.

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  2. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago when I did a Google search for “Bronze Age comics.” Why was I looking for articles on Bronze Age comics? Let me give a brief background. I collected comics from around 1985 to 1993 or so. Only rarely in the last few decades have I bought any new comics. And for most of that time my collection has been in my parents’ attic, several states away.
    But then my parents decided to clean out the attic and my dad brought me my entire comic collection. I have enjoyed going through boxes of comics I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Along with the comics I remember buying myself were a few boxes of much older comics from the 70s and early 80s. (I’m not sure how I came into possession of these. I recall seeing some of them at my grandparents’ house.) Anyway, it is these books that caused me to look up comics from the Bronze Age and hence your blog.
    I feel like I have a starter kit of Bronze Age titles. I have mostly single issues but they span a wide variety of genres. I have horror (Tomb of Dracula, Where Creatures Roam, Monsters on the Prowl, Creatures on the Loose), sword and sorcery (Conan, Kull, Red Sonja), superhero (Spider-Man, X-Men, Sub-Mariner, Thor) and even Western (Rawhide Kid and Two-Gun Kid). I don’t know how good any of these are but I plan on reading a few and deciding if I want to find some back issues. And of course, I have to decide what to do with all my mid-80s to early 90’s comics. I’ve enjoyed reading how you sorted out your collection.

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    • Hello, John!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and sorry for this late reply — I am still shaking off the cobwebs from my vacation. It is a delight to know that readers are still discovering Longbox Graveyard for the first time, and if my blogging efforts help support and sustain your own romance with the comics we all love, then my mission is accomplished.

      That does sound like a treasure-trove of comics, and a solid run of horror and sword & sorcery comics is the backbone of any Bronze Age collection. Aside from Tomb of Dracula, I didn’t buy a lot of horror books during that period, and now I wish I had — both from the simple nostalgia for the things we never had, and because Marvel’s reprint record with many of those books has been spotty. When I pick up back issues at all these days, it is usually some random 70s horror book from a dollar box. On the original paper, and usually all beat to hell, the authentic original experience of reading a Marvel monster book usually beats the pristine reprint approach.

      I hope you go forward with sorting out your collection, and I hope you stick around at the blog … comments are always welcome here, even for articles several years old, I love it when a new reader reignites the comments section of an old post. And so far as that 80s/90s stuff is concerned … if you elect to purge them, I suggest setting aside anything you don’t want in a “purge box” for a week or two before they go. I’ve found a little time in purgatory helps me decide if I really want to keep something or not (and there is no shame in snatching something back from the brink if you decide you want to keep it, just like there is nothing quite so satisfying as knowing you’ve passed something on that was no longer bringing you joy).

      Thanks again for reading! Excelsior!

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  3. In the Age of reprints, modern comics have less and less appeal to me especially when an already failing industry loses one giant talent like Darwyn Cooke. I miss him.

    I also hope to find enough courage to tackle with my very own so-many-short-boxes graveyard, just like you did.

    Keep on the good work despite you being so misleaded on who’s the One and Only true Captain Marvel of the Kree!

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  4. Welcome back! I think I am reading more than I was last year at this time, Rebirth has worked in bringing me back to DC. At least somewhat. I was more than a bit surprised by how much I’m on board with Scooby Apocalypse. Oh, and DC has been collecting the Ostrander Suicide Squad in trades again so I’m 4 volumes into the series now and really loving it.

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  5. The graveyard is re-opened for business! What horrifying specter will next claw its way out of the longbox to strike fear in the hearts of the hapless townspeople?

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  6. Shamble on, zombie Mole Man.
    I don’t comment often, Paul, but its always a pleasure reading and the least I can do is let you know that its good to hear you’ll be keeping it up for the foreseeable.
    And anyway, seems like the last time I recall you discussing posting less, it wasn’t too long before the frequency actually went up 🙂

    To be honest, my own interest in newer comics isn’t really with Marvel and DC and I’m not generally into the superhero flicks (can’t really see the point of Thor with cgi instead of Kirby or Simonson) so no worries if you get stuck circa 1975.

    Weren’t you talking about a look at Byrne’s FF a while back? Byrne’s run is a fascinating mix of the brilliant and… erm, not so brilliant (later on) and you’ve been spot on with your FF stuff so far.
    So far as new stuff goes, I very much appreciate the occasions when you write about comics and digital media.
    Don’t know why I’m going on really, as you should just go for whatever interests you. Thanks for taking the time.

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    • Right you are, that the last time I threatened to reduce my frequency, I instead starting publishing daily … but I don’t think that will happen again. Thanks to my real-life vacation (and the extended blogging vacation that accompanied it), my stack of DC Rebirth books has become sadly out-of-date, and I still haven’t read half of them. I think I’ll just do one big summary review later this month, and call it a day.

      I did start reading Byrne’s run, and got distracted. I’ll get back to it. Glad you’ve liked my Fantastic Four stuff so far. I’ve also been meaning to do a review of the last film — arrgh, there’s no lack of material for Longbox Graveyard, it’s just that ol’ zombie Mole Man is so comfortable here in his grave …!

      Thanks for the kind words, Sean!

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  7. PS Hey, you have automatic emoticons in the comments. Whatever will they think of next?

    (Never used them before – I don’t mind placing a colon and bracket so I’m not misunderstood, but the full-on smiley face is faintly embarrassing for an old git like me. Damn)

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  8. Glad you’re back, I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago, and it’s quickly become my favorite comic blog, I try to turn as many people onto it as possible
    I’ve been down on Marvel big time: can’t get with the gender-swapping, diversity-for-diversty’s sake, coupled with yet another re-boot right around the corner , Moon Knight, Black Panther, Black Widow, The Vision, have been fantastic ,with Daredevil, The Punisher and the Scarlett Witch being ” ok ”
    Rebirth has been awesome! Batman, Detective, Wonder Woman and Green Arrow have been great, Hal Jordan, SuperMan and Nightwing and The Flash being good, and Justice League and Green Lantern(s) have been ” ok”
    I read a ton of Image, a ton of Darkhorse especially anything Mignola, and all the Conan stuff, and I’ve enjoyed IDW’ TMNT and Godzilla a lot, Warren Ellis’s James Bond has also been stellar
    I’m 45, still enjoy em as much as ever, I do really need to cut back though
    Again, enjoy your blog immensely keep up the great work !

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    • Hey, Marty! Welcome to Longbox Graveyard! Thanks for reading and commenting, and thanks for talking this place up to your friends. I don’t post as much as I used to, but new readers are always welcome, and there is plenty of content to explore. Feel free to comment on any article, old or new — I will always get back to you with a reply (though it might take awhile!)

      Your’s is the first genuinely enthusiastic endorsement I’ve gotten for Rebirth … I will get to that stack of books eventually, but I’m still running a little comic book hangover, I guess. I’ve been keeping up with Marvel via the Unlimited app, which means I read new books once a week or so. It’s just about spooled up to the point where the series I began in print with my review project several months ago are now rolling onto my digital service, so I’ve been able to keep up with Vision and Hercules and a few other books from the relaunch that I liked. That seems about the right pace for me right now, but it isn’t translating into an inspiration to write more reviews (yet).

      But it is reading comics that counts most, after all, so in that I am still active, though this blog shows little signs of life these days. The Mole Man slumbers! It is not an Odinsleep, though, not yet. And comments like your’s keep me from slipping into that comics coma. Thanks again for writing!

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  1. Pingback: The Superman Novels of Elliot S! Maggin | Longbox Graveyard

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