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Category Archives: Editorial

Site news of interest to Longbox Graveyard readers.

Longbox Soapbox (Fall 2013)

Longbox Graveyard #118

This week marks the mid-point of Longbox Graveyard’s third year, which means it is time for another Longbox Soapbox, where I look inside the numbers of my blog, and decide if I will continue this experiment in terror for another six months!

Read on for my semi-annual blog about blogging!

Experiment In Terror!

Here are quick links to my past Longbox Soapboxes …

Normally I’d be looking back at twenty-six installments of the blog, but as I switched to “bi-monthly” status in June of 2013, I’ve only published thirteen new blogs since my last editorial.

Sort of.

For reasons that are important only to me, I reserve a Longbox Graveyard “number” only for “full” blogs, and by that count, I did indeed publish just thirteen blogs these past six months.

Calendar Man

I know … not even Calendar Man really cares about this stuff!

But not included in the numbering are my numerous Pinterest Galleries, F.O.O.M. Fridays, and sundry other announcements and plugs. Just looking at raw postings, despite “cutting back” to a bi-monthly schedule, Longbox Graveyard published more frequently than ever before in this period. In November alone, I published on every weekday save one!

F.O.O.M. Friday!

check out my F.O.O.M. Friday series!

This strategy of thinner content spread over more days is a big reason Longbox Graveyard is continuing to grow. In the six month period from June to November 2013, Longbox Graveyard averaged a bit more than 10K views per month, up 26% from the preceding six months!

Longbox Graveyard blog traffic, month-by-month

As always, the bulk of my increased traffic comes from a gradually-improving Google search rank, and more and more content here at Longbox Graveyard — particularly images — for Google to search. For example, Google “Captain America Villains” and you should find my Top Ten Captain America Villains article above the fold — it has seen strong traffic ever since the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie trailer dropped several weeks ago. That particular post is now the all-time most viewed article at Longbox Graveyard!

Captain America: Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier has been very, very good to Longbox Graveyard

(Now all I need is a way to improve my Gizoogle search rank!)

My traffic was also helped by a couple record-strong days …

Trends & Highlights

REDDIT TRAFFIC SPIKES: Longbox Graveyard had two huge days since my last editorial. Mark Ginocchio’s Best Frenemies Forever guest post powered a single-day record 2663 views for Longbox Graveyard on June 19th. Some of this traffic owed to that post receiving a Freshly Pressed recognition from WordPress, but the greatest traffic came from Reddit, which remains a source of cheap hits for the blog.

Freshly Pressed!

I don’t go to the Reddit well too often, but with the right headline, results can be spectacular — my The Day They Walked Away: Captain America post drove 2112 hits on November 20th, largely from Reddit. Yet the following week, my Top Ten Superhero Lairs post failed to generate any real Reddit traffic at all, despite a Top Ten format that usually draws clicks.

So it goes.

GUEST BLOGS AND COLLABORATIONS: Longbox Graveyard was blessed with several guest blogs this season past. In addition to his Best Frenemies Forever, Mark Ginocchio of Chasing Amazing contributed a personal blog about Marvel’s intrepid investigative reporter, Ben Urich. Tom Mason and Chris Ulm gave us their Top Five Ultraverse Comic Book Movie Properties. Will Kountis offered his opinion of Pedigree Collections, and Pat Bishow told us about his web series, We Might Be Superheroes. I also participated in a quasi-guest blog via the “Super-Blog Team-Up,” where I and several other bloggers all wrote on the same subject on (almost) the same day.

Take This Ring And Shove It!

Green Lantern quit … but I’m hanging in there!

I remain committed to providing a platform for other voices at Longbox Graveyard, and I have a guest blog coming up in January about the Charlton Comics line (something I knew very little about, myself!). If you’d like to be published at Longbox Graveyard, please pitch me your idea at LongboxGraveyard (at) gmail (dot) com. There’s zero pay and frustratingly few hits that funnel back to your own site, but your name will live in Longbox Graveyard glory forever!

NARROW FOCUS: I did do a couple outside blogs — writing Who Is Don Blake? for Sequart and First Cut for The Longbox Project — but I otherwise stuck to my knitting these past several weeks, averting blogging burn-out and providing myself with more time to read comics, instead of writing about them. I do still have some regret about ending my Dollar Box series, and I sometimes toy with the idea of resurrecting my Longbox Graveyard Podcast, but overall I was wise to wind-down those commitments in favor of focusing on this blog. I’m open to guest blogging opportunities (and always happy to appear on podcasts) but I’m not chasing those gigs the way I did in the past.

Who Is Don Blake?

my recent Thor post for Sequart

REPRINTS: I also began “reprinting” the Dollar Box columns I did for Stash My Comics as regular Longbox Graveyard articles, and with good results. Face-To-Face With The Lizard, The Power And The Prize, and Vengeance Of The Molecule Man all performed in line with “first-run” Longbox Graveyard posts. I even managed to have an original Longbox Graveyard post — The Last Days of Supermanreprinted over at Sequart! Since there’s been no outrage at this re-purposing of legacy material here at Longbox Graveyard, I intend to continue the practice in the months ahead.

And, yes, I did just bury the lead … Longbox Graveyard will continue, at its present bi-monthly pace, through June of 2014! I already have the next six months sketched out, and am confident I can continue this blog up through #130 or so (and I have pretty good confidence I can go all the way to the end of 2014, too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Celebrate!

Longbox Graveyard will continue! Huzzah!

Social Media

I remain active on Twitter, and continue to post now and then to Facebook and Google+. My Pinterest boards are thriving. I’ve seen good growth with my Instagram feed, and plan to make that channel the center of a web comics experiment I have on the boil (and more about that in a minute). I tried out a new blogging platform — Medium — with a reprint of my Supergods review, but nothing came of it and it was a pain to reformat for that system, so I will be confining myself to WordPress for the foreseeable future.

Really, my social media promotion has become pretty routine at this point, and I’d like to find a way to automate it even more than I have (though you will find I almost always pop in on Twitter with “live” reactions when someone responds to one of my pre-scheduled Tweets). I’m feeling a little complacent here, but that mysterious web comics idea I just mentioned should be getting me out of my comfort zone before too much longer.

Longbox Graveyard on Instagram

Longbox Graveyard on Instagram — daily comics posts!

The Accumulation

I made big strides with the Accumulation in the second half of 2013. Indeed, I’m coming in view of the end of this blog’s foundational project in that my Accumulation is very nearly a Collection. I built-out a comic book Man Cave where I can store and enjoy my treasures, and I think I’ve got the comics I want to keep all partitioned off, with just the rump end of the old Accumulation still for sale (or possibly bound for the recycling bin!). All that really remains is to bag-and-board about a half-dozen longboxes worth of books. Then I can transfer everything into clean new longboxes and update my catalogue software, and I daresay the project will be “done!” Of course, this kind of thing will always be a work-in-progress, but the crushing weight of careless accumulation that I felt when I started this blog back in 2011 is now mostly a thing of the past, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me. In truth, without a disaster in the garage looming over me, I feel a little lost!

Bulk Comics For Sale!

please buy my comics!

Monetization

Longbox Graveyard has begun to throw off a little bit of cash, although this never-intended-for-profit effort is still well in the red. I sell a comics bulk box every once in awhile, and by switching to fixed-price Buy It Now listings on eBay, I’ve had better luck then when I was auctioning off stuff at a loss. I even sold an autographed bundle of my Paranoia comics for $19.95, which put cash in my wallet and also made a little deposit in my self-esteem account. If you’re looking for a way to support Longbox Graveyard, please look at those various listings (or my single comics for sale) — and if you don’t see something you like … ask! I’ve been known to dig up special treasures that aren’t listed on my site. I’ll also haggle on price, so don’t be shy — it gives me great satisfaction to sell stuff to readers.

comic book money!

“fool all yours friends”

I also re-activated advertising on the blog, and as my hits rise the (fractions of) pennies roll in. Knock wood and I should be receiving my first credit from Google this month or next, as my accumulated earnings finally go above the $100 payout minimum (I’m presently earning about $14.00/month for advertising).

Reading

Aside from a binge on Tarzan novels, about all I’ve read this year are comics. In the weeks to come you’ll see articles on Iron Fist, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Joe Kubert’s Tarzan, and (maybe) more Master of Kung Fu. I’ve also read a lot of stuff that probably won’t show up here — like Silver Age Legion of Superheroes, Roy Thomas’ Earth-2 Justice Society stories, Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman, and various DC New 52 collections. I could write about these things, but if nothing sparks, I don’t want to force it. Longbox Graveyard shouldn’t be homework, for me or for my readers. My night stand has a tottering pile of comics and trades to read, and there are more things I want to read than I have time to read them. It’s a happy problem to have.

Iron Fist

coming soon: Iron Fist!

Community!

A strong community remains the backbone of Longbox Graveyard, both here in my comments section and on Twitter. My articles continue to draw comment and hardly a day goes by that I don’t get to talk comics with someone on Twitter or Instagram. I connected with regular reader and international man of mystery Horace Austin for a bit at Comic-Con, and I’d love to meet more of you in the flesh! If you’re coming out west for Comic-Con, WonderCon, or San Diego Comic Fest, please drop me a line to see if we can connect!

The Future!

The future of Longbox Graveyard should look a lot like the past — a big new post every odd-numbered Wednesday, and lots of little galleries and shout-outs in between.

The major new undertaking for the blog will be … original webcomics!

test panel by Billy King

test panel by Billy King

I’ve long wanted to host comics content directly on this blog. I posted one of my full books here — Dudley Serious Saves The World — but it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. I’m hoping this new initiative, in concert with the supremely talented Billy King — will fare better. I can’t believe my good fortune in having Billy contact me out of the blue to create experimental comics here at Longbox Graveyard. It may be a single strip, or it may be a continuing commitment — only time will tell. In the meantime, it is encouraging to find my creative impulses have begun to stir just a bit as I’ve come to grips with my comics hobby and my own past as a comics pro.

In Closing …

That’s enough blithering … thanks, as always, for your loyal support of my meandering efforts here at Longbox Graveyard! If you’ve read this far, please leave me a comment, to tell me what I can do better, to request a specific article, or just to let me know you are out there! Don’t be shy — every comment gets a reply!

And, whoops … I’ve gotten to the end of this article without offering up by Longbox Soapbox poll! So let’s settle this once and for all — your vote is required!

Thanks again for reading!

IN TWO WEEKS: #119 Cover Gallery: DC Superhero Christmas

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Freshly Pressed!

Normally I save these “transparent traffic stats columns” for my bi-annual Longbox Soapbox entries, but these events will be cold by the next time one of those columns rolls around …

Freshly Pressed!

Longbox Graveyard was “Freshly Pressed” last week. This is a recognition afforded by WordPress to blogs publishing on their platform that they wish to spotlight. The selection criteria is obscure, but as the official site notes, “There are half a million of you and a handful of us,” so being selected for one of the eight daily Freshly Pressed spots is a significant endorsement for Longbox Graveyard.

Feels good!

It also feels a little strange, because this particular endorsement came for Best Frenemies Forever, a guest blog about the relationship between Spider-Man and the Human Torch, ably provided by the talented Mark Ginocchio of Chasing Amazing blog. So, yes, Longbox Graveyard was Freshly Pressed, but not in recognition of the work I’ve done here the last two years so much as for Mark’s very fine contribution. I said I wanted to welcome other voices to Longbox Graveyard, and I meant it, so I will still happily accept this recognition, whatever mixed signals it sends to my ego. My only regret is that the feature didn’t send more clicks over to Mark’s home blog, which is excellent and worthy of a Freshly Pressed feature all it’s own (and you should all click over there right now).

visit Mark at Chasing Amazing!

go there now!

Reading the experiences of other bloggers who were Freshly Pressed, I expected my airbags to deploy from the impact of thousands of views, but that effect never quite materialized. Rather than thousands of hits and hundreds of comments, Longbox Graveyard’s traffic was in the hundreds during my Elvis Week(end) … but that’s OK, and probably about as much as you can expect for a long-form Bronze Age comic book blog. If we’d posted about something more accessible — like an excoriating review of Iron Man 3, or some kind of hunky pose-down between Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans that generated plenty of heated comments — then I expect we would have gotten a lot more traffic.

Freshly Pressed!

For Longbox Graveyard, the Freshly Pressed effect was felt not as a spike but more like the tide coming in (and staying). Near as I can tell, the WordPress dashboard lumps views from within WordPress itself with organic views, so exact numbers aren’t available, but from Friday through Sunday (when Longbox Graveyard was at or near the top of the Freshly Pressed site), I appear to have averaged about 325 additional daily views that I can ascribe to the promotion, more than doubling my usual weekend traffic. For the week as a whole, I also gained 139 new followers for the blog (versus the 100 that had signed up in the preceding two years), and also garnered 58 “Likes” (also, easily, a record for the site). Those Freshly Pressed floodwaters have also been slow to recede, and as of this writing my daily views are still running noticeably ahead of normal.

Another impact of an elevated profile inside the WordPress ecosystem (which I didn’t really know existed before this) were a series of “reblogs” from other bloggers, which I gather is a kind of endorsement. It would be churlish to question the value of a Human Torch and Spider-Man article to the Chinese Massage blog, but there we are (and if you find yourself in Beijing and want a pretty girl to help you get “vigorous and comfortable,” well, now you know where to go. Flame On!)

Elvis Week at Longbox Graveyard

note the big spike above is NOT from Freshly Pressed — that’s the Reddit Effect — Freshly Pressed traffic starts arriving on the 21st!

Because it never rains but that it pours, the Freshly Pressed tidal surge was foreshadowed by a flash flood, and followed by a thunderstorm. First, a link to Mark’s post got traction over at the comicbook sub-Reddit, driving 1600 views on what turned out to be an all-time record day for the blog (2,630 total views). I suspect that visibility had a lot to do with WordPress discovering Longbox Graveyard for their Freshly Pressed recognition in the first place. Then, out of nowhere, my Panel Gallery of Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Faces was featured at Tor.com, adding another couple hundred views on 6/25, right when the Freshly Pressed effect was beginning to abate. (Tor.com? Who knew?) It is possible that my Dikto piece was discovered as a result of Freshly Pressed traffic, but I think I’ve traced the origin of the Tor endorsement to a retweet of one of my routine promotional Twitter messages on Sunday. Whatever the source … thanks, and I’ll take it!

Freshly Pressed!

That’s all I can tell you about Freshly Pressed! I have no special insight on why Longbox Graveyard was selected, or how you can make that happen for your own blog. I do know that it is a legitimate accomplishment for Longbox Graveyard, and I’m proud to have had it happen. Thanks to WordPress for the recognition, and thanks especially to Mark Ginocchio of Chasing Amazing for his great work and contributions to this blog! Thanks also to my many readers — both those who have been with me from the start, and those who have joined in just the last week — for making Longbox Graveyard such a rewarding endeavor!

(And if you are a new reader who discovered Longbox Graveyard through Freshly Pressed, or Reddit, or Tor.com, or a prophetic dream, or even a tip from your cellmate, why not post in comments and introduce yourself? I won’t bite).

Longbox Soapbox (Summer 2013)

Longbox Graveyard #104

And just like that six months have got behind me and it’s time for another Longbox Soapbox!

Twice a year I take stock of where I am with Longbox Graveyard, solicit feedback in the form of a poll, reveal some numbers behind the blog, and take a formal vow to continue Longbox Graveyard for another six months (or not).

the infinitely-renewing contract

Those interested in blogging minutia can review my past Longbox Soapbox columns:

This 104th “issue” of Longbox Graveyard is a big one for me, as it marks two years of continuous Wednesday publication for the blog. Starting as a means of keeping myself on-track in reducing and organizing my comics Accumulation (a job I have yet to complete), Longbox Graveyard has taken on a life of its own as a Bronze Age comic book nostalgia blog. A few recent guest blogs notwithstanding, Longbox Graveyard remains a one-man effort done out of love of comics, as well as a desire to communicate with my fellow hobbyists. Every half-hearted attempt I’ve made to monetize the blog has been met with indifference or disaster. Like Reed Richards, I’m a lunkhead when it comes to making money!

lunkhead!

let’s not talk about money

From the start I’ve kept this blog going by signing six-month contracts with myself. Once I’ve commenced on a six-month hitch of Longbox Graveyard I make myself see it through. When those six months are up, I either sign up for another six months, or put the blog to bed.

the Devil is in the details

do you recognize this devilish contract from the 1970s?

Will Longbox Graveyard continue, or will I shut it down? The answer is … both! (Sort of). More details in a moment, but before looking at where I am going, a brief survey of where I have been.

Statistics & Hits

Hits of course are the lifeblood of any blog. Traffic drives dollars if you are doing this for a living — which I am not — but even with a free blog, hits are your scoreboard, and it is hard to ignore them. I check my traffic several times each day, and if I am not so obsessed with these numbers as in months past, I would be lying if I said my traffic numbers were unimportant to me.

What is not a lie is to say my numbers are less important to me than the last time I did a Longbox Soapbox. After the crazy growth in the second six months of Longbox Graveyard’s life, my readership has plateaued a little, but I am still seeing decent growth. My monthly average readership in December 2012-May 2013 was up about 13% from the preceding six months. January 2013 saw the blog go above 10K views in a month for the first time, but the average for this period has been a more modest 8321 views/month.

LBG Tale of the Tape!

That will seem like a lot to a few of you, and nothing at all to more of you. For me, the numbers are what they are. I really have nothing to compare against. How many hits should I draw for a once-weekly, wordy, idiosyncratic blog about comics that are decades old?

I don’t know. I don’t think anyone can know. I can think of only a few comparable blogs (The Peerless Power of Comics seems closest, it is also a very good blog), but absent a dozen or so similar blogs, comparisons aren’t going to count for much. I have resolved that my numbers will be what they will be. I will continue to track them, but I won’t obsess over them, and I will put my effort into content rather than search engine optimization.

LBG traffic sources

Comparing these referrals to the last time I checked, we see that Twitter and (to a lesser extent) Facebook have been stepping up as traffic sources. Most traffic continues to come from search (of course), and I would expect this to grow as more and more content and images are added to the blog. Pinterest appears to have leveled off. Reddit’s comic books subdomain remains useful for driving spikes (giving my Darkseid poll a record-breaking day, and also pushing my silly Pepper Potts Pin-Up strongly over Iron Man 3’s opening weekend), but I have no evidence Reddit views convert to readers. Sneaking in at the end of my Top 10 are Stash My Comics & the Chasing Amazing blog, and speaking of Stash My Comics

Superduperman

not even a Superduperman can do it all … reducing outside commitments!

Stash My Comics & The Longbox Graveyard Podcast

Last month I concluded my Dollar Box column for Stash My Comics after twelve monthly columns. “Twelve” seemed like a good number for a mini-series, and as I have been feeling spread a little thin, it only made sense to wrap up Dollar Box. That content was so similar to what I do here that Dollar Box effectively meant that I was publishing Longbox Graveyard five times a month, and that was starting to take a toll. It was fun to write for Stash My Comics, and we drove a few hits for each other, but I’ve decided to suspend outside commitments to concentrate on Longbox Graveyard. I assume my articles will stay up at SMC for awhile. Going forward, I will be republishing my Dollar Box columns here at Longbox Graveyard after the one year anniversary of each article’s original posting (starting with last week’s Nick Fury post).

I’ve also ended my Longbox Graveyard Podcast after twelve installments, for many of the same reasons I ended Dollar Box. The Longbox Graveyard Podcast was showing strong numbers and building an audience, but my passion is with blogging, and not podcasting. It was a tough call to walk away, as Mo Kristiansen was a great partner and made it very easy to do the podcast. It was fun to experiment with that form — and I may return to it at some point — but in the interest of sticking with my core interest, I have retired from podcasting and will be giving this blog my full geek attention.

FacebookMan!

Social Media

I remain active on social media. Pinterest doesn’t drive a lot of traffic but my boards are easy to maintain, and they do provide a worthy visual supplement for activities here at Longbox Graveyard. Instagram is closely tied to Pinterest, and again it is no big deal to post an image every day. It may not drive traffic to the blog, but my Instagram images do generate comment on Instagram itself, and also help stimulate conversation on Twitter, which remains a vibrant channel for me. I maintain an information presence on Facebook and Google+ to provide updates for the smaller community of followers that keep track of me on those services.

I think that’s about all the social media I can handle! I do push image and blog updates to Flickr and Tumblr but that’s automatically handled when the blog publishes and I don’t otherwise do much on those channels. I tried Quora for a little while but ran afoul of their naming policy. They put me in the penalty box until I would identify myself as someone other than “Longbox Graveyard” — I decided I couldn’t be bothered and deleted my account.

It will be interesting to see what happens with readership with the pending demise of Google Reader. Will the death of the leading RSS platform stimulate on-site views and email subscriptions? Being insufficiently competent to back out my email and RSS numbers from the stats dashboard, I guess I will never know!

Bat Cave Man Cave!

The Accumulation

Continuing work on The Accumulation has stalled out a little as I’ve gotten hip-deep in the remodeling project described in my Mancave Monday posts. I regard this a good thing. My manic desire to recklessly reduce the piles of comics out in the garage veered into extreme territory at times, and if I am suddenly more comfortable with where things are in that regard … well, that’s progress. Also, by shifting my energy towards building out a space where I can better enjoy my comics, I’m demonstrating a kind of accommodation, acceptance, and capacity for joy in the hobby that I did not anticipate when I started this project.

peace

I am … at peace … with my choices

My pace of buying books has slowed down, as well. I’ve filled in nearly all the back issues on my list, and there are relatively few trade paperbacks on my shopping list. For the most part I am reading what I’ve got. I am still enjoying my Marvel Unlimited digital subscription, especially now that it is available in an iPad-friendly form. A similar, all-you-can-eat subscription service from DC would be welcome (and would substantially increase the number of DC books examined by this blog!)

Reading

Comic books continue to dominate my reading, split about 50/50 between books I blog about, and books I read for the heck of it. Sometimes I surprise myself — I didn’t expect to like Sgt. Rock as much as I did, and never intended to cover it here at Longbox Graveyard, but these unexpected discoveries are one of the real joys of writing this blog. Other times, long-gestating ideas will reach the blog in unexpected forms, like all the Superman reading that wound up in my comparative essay on the death of that character, or my Brian Michael Bendis article that began as a Daredevil review.

Hawkeye

impressive visual storytelling characterizes the latest incarnation of Hawkeye, by Fraction and Aja

I’ve been reading the latest issues of Hawkeye, Daredevil, Saga, Criminal, and Guardians of the Galaxy — which likely won’t end up on the blog — while vintage Master of Kung Fu, Iron Fist, and Tomb of Dracula likely will. It isn’t that I dislike the newer books or lack opinions on them, but there are plenty of places for new comics reviews, and I also feel I can’t really appraise a comics run until it has been complete for months (or years!). For this reason, my reviews will for the most part continue to be confined to comics of decades past.

But … I suppose this is as good a subject as any for my bi-annual poll! Please vote, below!

Community Community Community!

What I’ve found most flattering about Longbox Graveyard is that it has developed a genuine community over the years. Even the least of my posts will earn a comment from my dedicated group of correspondents, and some comment threads have been better than the posts themselves. It is a special joy to see an older post earn a new comment, because that lets me know that the blog continues to find new readers, and that my legacy material (even some of the stuff that is now out of date) remains of value.

I can’t say it enough — I deeply value the Longbox Graveyard community. I am immensely proud and flattered to have developed a cadre of discerning and insightful readers, and I always look forward to your comments. Thank you for following my blog, and keep those (virtual) cards and letters coming in!

Community!

The Future!

First, the good news. Longbox Graveyard will continue! I am signing another six month contract with myself and plan to continue the blog through December of 2013.

However … I will be reducing the frequency with which I publish major content. After some soul-searching I’ve decided to downshift from publishing every Wednesday to every odd-numbered Wednesday, effective immediately. I suppose this is the blogging equivalent of “going bi-monthly,” which was usually the kiss of death for Bronze Age comics, but I hope a reduced publication schedule will allow me to keep Longbox Graveyard going indefinitely. I might even go back to weekly publication in the future. But for now … tune in every odd-numbered Wednesday for a new Longbox Graveyard article (if this is too confusing you can always see what is coming up and when with a glance at my Checklist).

There will also be some content changes here at the blog. I’ve already run several guest blogs these past few months (mostly by the talented Mark Ginocchio of Chasing Amazing Blog — thanks, Mark!), and this is a trend I would like to see continue. I think Longbox Graveyard benefits from other voices every now and then. Mark will be providing next week’s blog on the peculiar history of Spider-Man and the Human Torch, and I know he has at least one other idea on the boil for us. If you would like to guest blog for Longbox Graveyard, drop me a line (LongboxGraveyard (at) gmail (dot) com) — I’m looking for material that falls into the general purview of Bronze and Silver Age superhero stories evaluated from a personal point-of-view. There’s no pay, but you can’t put a price on comics blogging glory!

We Want YOU To Blog For Longbox Graveyard

In addition to guest blogs, I will be running some reprint material here at Longbox Graveyard. There will be the aforementioned Dollar Box reprints, and I also plan to start spotlighting my Pinterest boards with twice-weekly posts pointing toward the collection of images I’ve assembled over at that site, along with the original Longbox Graveyard articles that inspired them. On off weeks, even if I am not publishing a full article, I will sometimes jump in with a pinup or a plug for another site, so in some ways the blog will be publishing more often than ever before — I just won’t be running my more in-depth articles as frequently as in the past two years. I also have a scratch plan in place to put of digital scans of a select few comics that I wrote back in the day.

Thanks in advance for your patience as Longbox Graveyard evolves!

please leave a comment!

That concludes this edition of the Longbox Soapbox! Thanks for reading this column and for your support of the blog these past two years. I do very much want to hear from you, so please vote in my poll, and leave me a comment below. If you comment on only one Longbox Graveyard column each year, let this be the one! Let me know you are out there, and tell me what you think of the blog.

Thanks again for reading! Here’s hoping for another six strong months of Longbox Graveyard!

NEXT WEDNESDAY: #105 Best Frenemies Forever

Longbox Soapbox (Fall 2012)

Longbox Graveyard #78

This seventy-eighth weekly installment of Longbox Graveyard marks this blog’s eighteen month anniversary … so it is time for another Longbox Soapbox, where I blog about this blog — it’s past, present, and future!

Statistics & Hits

In last summer’s edition of Longbox Soapbox it certainly seemed Longbox Graveyard was on the march. The blog had seen twelve straight months of growth and with several new initiatives on the horizon there was every reason to believe that trend would continue.

Alas … what I hoped would be a base camp for the assault on comic book Everest instead proved to be my peak month, as daily hits have declined by about twelve percent these last six months. I suppose there is optimism in that the rate of decline has been shallower than the steep march to my Elvis Month of May 2012, but however you slice it, I have fewer hits at Longbox Graveyard today than I did six months ago.

LBG hits by month

I can only guess why this might be so. Summer doldrums? Some mysterious shift in the blog’s Google profile? Are my old readers are getting churned out now that Longbox Graveyard is no longer such a novel thing? Maybe it is just down to topic selection these past six months — aside from my very successful Amazing Spider-Man column, this last run has seen articles on more obscure books like Tomb of Dracula, Killraven, Judge Dredd, and Master of Kung Fu (twice!) I suppose I could lift my numbers by writing about Batman, the X-Men, and Spider-Man all the time but my interests lay elsewhere and I have come to accept that not every topic at Longbox Graveyard will be of interest to all.

linkbait: Naked Batman

Whatever the reason, readership is down, and I’d be lying if I said it was anything but discouraging. Not discouraging enough to abandon the blog (which will always be a vanity project no matter how many hits I draw), but enough to find me frustrated at times, and wondering if there’s some obvious-to-everyone-else bit of SEO magic that I am overlooking for the blog. The good news is November was my best month since the benchmark month of May 2012, so maybe Longbox Graveyard has recovered from its slide and will start to build bigger readership numbers again. I have also received some very encouraging feedback recently from readers and listeners that make it easier to accept a dip in my numbers.

Super Tuesday, Dollar Box & The Longbox Graveyard Podcast

One of the reasons my readership decline is disappointing is that my previous growth was largely organic, while these past six months have seen me creating additional material here and at other blogs for the express purpose of driving traffic back to Longbox Graveyard. One such initiative was Super Tuesday — my series of brief blogs looking at comic book ads from the Bronze Age — which was intended to lift traffic on the blog’s slowest day of the week. The feature did result in slight gains on Tuesdays, but they were more than washed away by general declines on every other day of the week, and as I think the features have been weak overall, I’m scuttling Super Tuesday as a regular feature, effective immediately, though I may still publish them from time to time. (I didn’t publish a Super Tuesday yesterday. Did you notice? Neither did I.)

so long, Super Tuesday

Two higher-profile initiatives will continue. Both my Dollar Box column at StashMyComics.com and my Longbox Graveyard Podcast at We Talk Comics were just getting off the ground when I wrote the last Longbox Soapbox — six months on and I can first start to evaluate them.

Here are statistics showing traffic referrals to Longbox Graveyard:

WordPress won’t let me show just the last six month’s worth of data, so these numbers are for all-time, but from this chart you can see my work at StashMyComics has yielded only a dozen or so hits per month, while We Talk Comics is well down the list at two dozen hits, total. Neither project is doing much for Longbox Graveyard, and they are distracting me from my core work here at the blog … but I am finding both of those commitments intrinsically rewarding, and so I intend to continue them for at least another six months (or as long as my hosts will have me, whichever comes first!).

Podcasting has been an especially interesting experience, and is something I never would have done if Mo Kristiansen at We Talk Comics hadn’t convinced me to do it. I consider the podcast supplemental to the blog, and as a verbal form I have used the podcast to editorialize and talk about comics history and theory more than anything else — subjects that might be too much work to develop in writing here at Longbox Graveyard, and also subjects that would be of limited visual appeal. I like podcasting — most of the time — and a few shows have been especially rewarding, such as when my son Miles and I discussed Frank Miller’s Holy Terror. While the podcast has been of no real value to Longbox Graveyard, I think I have developed a small and separate audience for that particular project. From the latest numbers it looks like each podcast gets downloaded about 500 times when it goes live, with lifetime downloads topping out over a little less than twice that number (so far). I intend to follow this particular path wherever it might lead.

Other Media

I’ve continued to maintain my Pinterest boards, and while my followers over there have swelled to six hundred or so, from the chart above you can see these are another siloed group of users who do not come over to Longbox Graveyard in appreciable numbers. At this point I am happy to keep the boards going but I’ve all but conceded in my one-geek-war against handbags and hairstyles on Pinterest.

Doctor Strange, from my Pinerest gallery of Third Eye Black Light posters

Twitter remains a strong channel for me, and I do have fun carrying on conversations over there — it’s a way for me to have daily contact with the Longbox Graveyard experience, even if the blog only publishes once a week. I have 1700 followers on Twitter, and my Klout hovers around 60 (for what little that is worth). Twitter has proven the third-largest driver of traffic to the blog, though it only generates about a hundred hits per month. I’ve been using Hootsuite to monitor Twitter, and also to pre-schedule my weekly rotation of headlines, promoting the week’s new blog every day, along with pointers to older posts on the blog posted by Hootsuite at times the system ensures me are calculated for maximum exposure based on my follower’s habits. I apologize if these messages are tiresome or repetitious for my long-time readers but I do have anecdotal evidence that this promotion helps keep my past work alive, particularly for new readers, and it’s always a kick when a Twitter discussion springs up about something I wrote months and months ago.

Longbox Graveyard on Instagram

My greatest new media effort has been with Instagram, which I outlined in a blog post a couple weeks ago. I’ve leveraged that channel up to nearly six hundred followers, and near as I can tell it’s delivered zero traffic to Longbox Graveyard, but I am having fun posting images over there, and I’ve struck up a correspondence with a number of readers that seem unique to that service. As with Pinterest and the podcast, Instagram may be telling me that the Longbox Graveyard “brand” is going to be a distributed presence, rather than a single, growing blog with lots of little feeder channels.

I continue to post to Facebook and Google+, but may give up on them before long. Google+ is a ghost town (though it does seem to help my search ranking a bit), and while Facebook has driven its share of hits, I think most of that traffic comes from my personal page, rather than the dedicated “Mole Mann” identity I set up to support Longbox Graveyard.

The Accumulation & Comic Sales

I’ve arrived at kind of a truce with my comic book Accumulation. Things are better organized, comic book-wise, than they have ever been, but the rest of my hobby area in the garage has gone to Hell, leading me to think it is time to bite the bullet and embark on a concerted effort to build-out a “man cave” that might better showcase my crap and make me feel better about the stuff I’ve got.

kind of a dump in the garage right now

I am just about ready to grant an amnesty to all of my comics and stop trying to sell or give them away. I had a little bit of success in moving bulk boxes of comics over the summer, but there are still way more books here than I can sell in any reasonable length of time, and eBay remains a gigantic waste of time and money when it comes to selling my comics. I have the Accumulation curated down to just about what I want it to be, but I still have about a dozen longboxes worth of books without a home … so I may look into donating them, or leaving them on a curb somewhere, or (maybe) widening my collection and just keeping them after all. Dunno.

Reading

I’m still pretty much reading comics and nothing more, though my reading has shifted a bit from back issues and Marvel digital titles to graphic novel collections. Regular business travel takes me up to Los Angeles a couple times a month, and I’ve made it a little ritual to drop by the House of Secrets comic shop in Burbank and pick up something new each time. Thanks to this initiative I’ve been reading many of DC’s New 52 trade paperbacks, as well as other newish collections like Ed Brubaker’s crime comics collections (Criminal and Incognito), and even flavor-of-the-month books like Saga. I’m still not buying single issues but these past six months I think I’ve purchased and read more contemporary stuff than I have have back issues from the Bronze and Silver Age that has been the focus of Longbox Graveyard. It’s worth noting that I’ve purchased very few Marvel trade paperbacks as I can instead read that back catalog digitally — I’ve binged on the rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy, the Bendis and Brubaker runs of Daredevil, and even some old Thomas/Trimpe Hulks in digital form, which has saved me hundreds of dollars over trying to purchase those same stories in printed collections.

Rocket Raccoon, from the rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy

The Boys

My lads steadfastly refuse to become comic book readers — I think they are lost causes, and I need to come to grips with it. Miles did meet me half way with Holy Terror, and I did read Walking Dead at his suggestion, but if or when I read Sin City, I will have exhausted his particular interest in comics (several targeted collections I’ve left in his room have met with utter indifference). Jack went to the San Diego Comic Fest with me but I think his geek interests are more on the television and movie sides of the spectrum — the comics bug just isn’t biting him.

Jack at Comic Fest

While my attempts to home-grow comics fans have come to ruin, I have connected with a couple guys through work. My sometimes-collaborator Chris Ulm has gotten a contact high off of Longbox Graveyard and is reading comics more frequently than before (though he never really gave them up). He and I have been going through the New 52 together and will hash it all out in my December podcast. I’ve also got a commuting buddy for those L.A. trips and House of Secrets visits, who has proven a captive audience for my comic book rants; we’ve also shared a couple graphic novel recommendations together, and he’s happy to try new stuff, so I benefit from the odd title he picks off the rack at the shop then leaves on my desk when he is done with it. I have more books than I can read and people to share them with and so I can’t complain.

Finances

The blog is still a dead loss — of course it has never been a money-making venture, but duty requires that I report advertising revenue is in the ones of dollars per month, and my donate button might as well be the G-spot for all that people can find it. I had an internet casino contact me about putting a banner on my front page but they only wanted to pay ninety bucks a year and I didn’t think it was a good fit. I host a banner for my pals at StashMyComics.com that along with my Dollar Box plugs drives maybe thirty-odd clicks a month to their site (which I see now is a bit more than I get in return, hmm …), but that is all gratis and in exchange for clicks from their site.

are ads distracting you?

I will probably keep the WordPress video ads running for another six months or so, just so I can get to my hundred dollars credit and cash out. They’re pretty ugly and they do slow down my page load. I also occurs to me that those ads have been running during this period of declining readership and that there might be a relationship. My feeling on ads is that if you live next to a river, you might as well put some lines in the water, but if they are negatively impacting your opinion of Longbox Graveyard, I will give them the heave-ho.

This seems a good subject for my poll!

Community

While my hits are down I think my comments are up, or at least holding steady, so it might be that my community is solid or even growing while my drive-by hits are waning. Your thoughtful comments are treasure to me and are always welcome at the blog. I try to reply to every one of them, or at least give them a thumb’s-up. I like the “permanent record” nature of threaded comment boards and I like seeing discussions flower here but I find I have better luck engaging readers in more real-time environments like Twitter or even Instagram. Still, the comments field is there for you and I hope you feel welcome to use it, even for older posts which haven’t seen much activity for awhile.

And as has become the tradition with these Longbox Soapbox posts, if you are reading this column, please post in comments, even if just to let me know you are lurking out there!

The Future

And so I come to that part of the blog where I declare if I will continue Longbox Graveyard or not. I have gotten this far by signing six month contracts with myself — knowing that I cannot quit during the contract, but that I can walk away when the contract is complete has kept me on track so far, and sustained this blog through a few discouraging and busy patches these past six months when it might otherwise have lapsed into inactivity. While I have seriously considered shutting down the blog or transitioning to bi-weekly publication, I am going to step up and commit to another six months of weekly publication. Partly this is because I feel I have unfinished work here. Partly it is because it would give me a kick to publish an Issue #100 of Longbox Graveyard (scheduled for May 2013). Largely it is because my gut is telling me not to keep going, which means I surely should.

thought about it …

So I will continue to publish here on Wednesdays, as fate will allow, and I will post up monthly podcasts and Dollar Boxes, too, and there may be some other surprise appearances along the way. Expect a few format tweaks here, and a departure from my strict attempt to alternate reviews with other types of columns every-other week. I hope you will continue to support Longbox Graveyard, and tell your friends about the blog to improve my readership (and lift my spirits!). Mentioning the blog in your own social channels — Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. — all help with the virality and discoverability of my blog, so if you find a post you like, don’t shrink from tapping that blizzard of buttons in the “Share This” bar at the bottom of the column to recommend me to the wider world of the world wide web. Mentioning Longbox Graveyard in online comic book message boards or other communities is also very helpful.

That’s it! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you back here next Wednesday for your regularly-scheduled Longbox Graveyard! Don’t forget to post your mandatory-every-six-months comment below. And please accept my sincere appreciation for supporting Longbox Graveyard, my podcast, and all my crazy comic book hobby endeavors on the web!

NEXT WEDNESDAY: #79 Out Of The Holocaust … A Hero!

Longbox Soapbox (Summer 2012)

Longbox Graveyard #52

How do you write nearly 100,000 words on old comic books?

One. Week. At. A. Time.

With this fifty-second installment, Longbox Graveyard marks one year of weekly and uninterrupted Wednesday publication. Pause for a creepy slow golf-clap while I turn a solitary little victory lap in the isolation of my garage-bound comic book Accumulation.

As was the case twenty-six issues ago, I’ll use this anniversary moment to blog about blogging with an editorial overview of Longbox Graveyard itself — where it’s been, how it’s doing, and where it’s going. If you came here looking for superheroes and this is all too self-referential, then please skip to the end of the column, take my survey, leave a comment to let me know you’re breathing, and then check back here next week for your regularly-scheduled comic book review!

comic book popularity is everything I dreamed it would be

Statistics & Hits

I already wrote in detail about which blogs attracted the most attention this past year, and the trends are broadly clear. Aside from the anomalous success of blogs about Young Justice and Operation Ajax, the bread-and-butter for Longbox Graveyard are my comic book reviews, which will continue to appear once every other week. A review every week might be nice, but I can’t maintain that pace, so you’ll continue to get comics culture and other stuff (like Panel Galleries) in the off-weeks between reviews.

When I last did a Longbox Soapbox, my best month was about 2,200 hits — this past May, Longbox Graveyard did nearly four times better than that. The blog has been pushing 300 views per day these past few weeks, fueled largely by hits on my Avengers-themed posts published when the movie came out. Time will tell if this growth is sustainable.

It’s been a slow climb, but now with a year of accumulated content, Longbox Graveyard is seeing significant traffic from Google Image Searches looking at my legacy posts. The size of this blog now provides a baseline of consistent daily traffic regardless of the day of the week or the popularity of my latest post. There are a lot of people out there looking for superhero images — almost as many as are looking for Chris Hemsworth Naked, Chris Evans Naked, Jason Momoa Naked, and Jennifer Lawrence Naked! Unfortunately, a lot of that search traffic is running the tap with the drain open, and it’s unlikely I’m converting regular readers from those sources.

A once-weekly, wall-of-words blog about old comics is always going to have limited appeal, but I am trying to find readers in other places. My personal Facebook page generates referrals each week, but I’ve given up my half-hearted attempt to maintain a Longbox Graveyard page on Myspace. My Twitter account is approaching 1000 “Followers,” but I’m unclear how many of those people read the blog. I do keep up a pretty constant conversation on Twitter, though, and I consider it as much a part of Longbox Graveyard as this blog. I’ve been posting to Google+ for about a month, without great results — I’ll keep it going for awhile but I think I agree with reports that Google+ is a ghost town. I did recently start a Facebook page for Longbox Graveyard — I’m not crazy about Facebook, but you have to fish where the fish are. If you’re on Facebook, please visit my page and throw me a “Like.”

Longbox Graveyard on Pinterest

My most recent experiment has been with Pinterest. There are a lot of pinnings and re-pinnings going on over there, my Follower numbers are growing, and I’ve struck up few conversations, but again it is difficult to determine how many people track me back to Longbox Graveyard. I think I will stick with Pinterest, as it provides a nice place to archive all the images I’ve excerpted for the blog (including some images that I never published here), and is just generally an interesting site in its own right, although it is heavily skewed towards handbags and hairsytles. Please check out my boards and join the site if you like what you see.

The Accumulation

I am still buying books faster than I get rid of them, but I feel like I’ve hit a kind of base camp in my assault on the Accumulation. I am better organized than ever, and I can lay hands on most books within seconds. I need to do one more triage of the pile of books out in the garage, to round up some strays and maybe opt another book or two into the Collection, but for the most part I think I’ve circled around the books I want to collect. Once I fill in a few more Tomb of Dracula and Fantastic Four numbers I will take a deep breath and decide what comes next. I’m feeling a hankering for the old Marvel Logan’s Run, and Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar. I’ve also been thinking about collecting Iron Fist and Marvel Two-In-One but I need to confirm what I already have first. You can see my up-to-date collection and wishlist by clicking here.

rather than collect Iron Fist AND Marvel Two-In-One, maybe I should just get Marvel Two-In-One #25, featuring Ben Grimm and Iron Fist!

I’ve finally made some progress selling my books, which you can track on my Departed page. I’ve had excellent luck with a few private sales, but eBay continues to disappoint. It is a buyer’s market over there, and by the time you deduct for eBay fees, Paypal fees, postage, and bags and boards, I feel like I might as well be throwing my comics in the street. One particularly painful transaction saw me lose thirteen bucks out of pocket selling the Squadron Supreme mini-series. I don’t expect big profits from selling my books but having to pay to give them away is the definition of insult to injury.

Check my For Sale page for comic book treasures direct from the Longbox Graveyard collection! When I sell direct I save a lot of fees and hassles, and my prices reflect those savings. Only a fraction of my books are listed here, so if you don’t see something you want, be sure to ask. If it’s a Marvel or DC book from 1975-1990 or so, there’s a good chance I’ve got it. One Twitter pal recently scored an excellent deal on the first seventeen issues of Nova just by asking if I had them for sale. You can reach me through a comment here on the blog or via email at longboxgraveyard (at) gmail.com.

think of my For Sale page as your own personal spinner rack and time machine, all in one

Reading

I am still reading a lot of comics, and still not reading much of anything else. At times the reading has felt like a grind and I need to guard against that. A big shift in my habits has grown out of the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscription I got for Christmas — I have read hundreds of old Silver Age books through that service, which has changed the focus of Longbox Graveyard from re-visiting books in my collection to looking at classic Marvel runs of the past. This has expanded the scope of this blog project and delayed some of the reviews I’d planned to do by now — like Master of Kung Fu, and more Tomb of Dracula and Thor — in favor of a lot of books I missed as a kid.

it’s been fun revisiting classic Avengers via my Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscription

It’s been fun to knock off an issue or two of classic Avengers on my lunch break. There would certainly be more DC content in this blog if they had a similar digital archive service. And I’d do even more Marvel reading if their subscription service ran on my iPad! Regardless of the interface, I am largely converted to digital at this point and have slowed down on back issue purchases.

The Boys

A year of leaving breadcrumbs between my boys’ bedrooms and my comic book collection has yielded pretty much zilch — I think I need to accept that while the lads are superhero fans to one degree or another, they lack the comics gene and this particular obsession is going to die with me. S’okay. Jack accompanied me to the Marvel Movie Marathon and has since gone back to see Avengers a couple times, so he has the inside track on inheriting my books, even if he won’t know what to do with them (hopefully he won’t lose too much money by unloading them on eBay). Miles will continue to get a big graphic novel every Christmas whether he wants it or not. Neither boy has the slightest interest in visiting comic shops, though they’re good for a day at Comic-Con once a year. They regard Longbox Graveyard as a quaint obsession and will talk about comics with me every now and then, which is probably good enough. Jack might yet come around. He showed a momentary interest in the Infinity Gauntlet graphic novel. A candle burns in the window.

proof that Jack reads comics (sometimes)

Finances

Longbox Graveyard itself still operates in the red — I do pay for hosting and domain mapping, which is nowhere near offset by my Amazon Store, MyComicsShop.com referrals, or my donate button (which has yet to collect a nickle). I’ve started running ads on the blog as part of a Worpress.com beta, but I doubt my traffic will result in many sales. Click them a time or two to send me fractions of a penny! I did sell some big-ticket X-Men books a couple weeks ago so Longbox Graveyard is yielding an indirect income.

Money is neither here nor there with Longbox Graveyard, but if you’re going to make a back issue purchase, or you’re shopping on Amazon, please consider going to those sites through my links to the left. It will push some income my way, which won’t make me rich, but helps to further validate my efforts on this blog.

Community

The Longbox Graveyard community continues to grow. Once comments were a rarity, but now I can count on pretty much every column attracting a comment or two. Your feedback is invaluable and goes a long way toward making me feel more like a columnist and less like a crazy man making a castle in the desert out of Pontiac hubcaps. To everyone who has commented on one of my posts, or engaged with me on Twitter or recommended my content — thank you.

thank you … yes, YOU!

The blog has had an unexpected side-effect of getting me out of my shell a little bit. I hosted a panel at WonderCon, and I have another panel coming up at San Diego Comic-Con (Thursday, 2-3PM, Room 32AB, to discuss Malibu Comics with the company founders). The success of Longbox Graveyard has also led to interviews and podcast appearances (two of them!), and some guest blogging, like the T-Rex Beatdown I did with my pal Matthew over at Mars Will Send No More, and my monthly Dollar Box column that debuted at StashMyComics.com last week. I will also be doing a monthly Longbox Graveyard podcast for We Talk Podcasts — the first episode should be up in about a week. I suppose there is some conflict saying I can’t maintain a pace of weekly reviews here at Longbox Graveyard while at the same time working for other sites, but it is flattering to be invited to contribute to other venues, and in the long run I hope those opportunities will drive readers back to this site. You can find links to all my extracurricular blogging activities on my Longbox Graveyard On The Web page.

The Road Ahead

You can always take a peek at what’s coming up on my Checklist, which extends into the future as well as the past, but it’s worth setting out some goals for the months ahead. I’m going to lay up a little and only pledge to continue Longbox Graveyard for another six months, getting me into mid-December for issue #78. I will almost certainly continue the blog past that point (the lure of one hundred issues will be difficult to resist), but it is by signing little contracts with myself that I am able to continue this effort. There’s no way I would have committed to doing this blog for a year back in June of 2011, but here we are.

One week at a time.

Judge Dredd is coming — both to the movies, and to Longbox Graveyard

My view of the blog is cloudy past July. I will do a column on Judge Dredd to coincide with release of the under-the-radar feature film, about which I remain cautiously optimistic (this from the guy who carried a flame for Conan and John Carter!). I will eventually blog about the Collectorz.com comic book software I’ve used to track my Accumulation, and I suppose I will someday put all my hard-won eBay knowledge about buying and selling comics down in one place. I will return to Tomb of Dracula at Halloween, and the next six months must certainly see my long-delayed Master of Kung Fu review come to light. Mostly I will be making it up as I go along, and I certainly welcome your suggestions for future Longbox Graveyard columns.

I will be here, one way or the other, for the next twenty-six Wednesdays (he said, knowing that stating your plans is one way to hear God laugh).

Survey

In my last Longbox Soapbox, I asked how you read this blog. This time I’d like to find out the kind of content you prefer here on the blog. I’m going to assume that reviews are the most popular feature, but if I’m not doing a review, which of the following categories of post do you prefer?

Comments!

And thus closes another Longbox Soapbox! Thanks for sticking with me this past year, and I hope you will stick with me in the year ahead. As was the case six months ago, if you are a reader of this blog, I hope you will post a comment below, even if you are a habitual lurker. Think of it as signing a guest book — it helps me know who has been here. You don’t have to be clever … just say hello.

please comment below!

Thanks for reading. See you again next Wednesday — and every Wednesday — for more Longbox Graveyard!

NEXT WEDNESDAY: #53 Thanos & The Infinity Gauntlet

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