Longbox Graveyard has always been about nostalgia, but now I’ve found the ultimate way to swallow my own tail. That’s right, I’m leaning into nostalgia about nostalgia!
Starting this Friday, and on irregular Fridays to follow, I will be republishing select articles from Longbox Graveyard’s past.
In part this is inspired by my (somewhat) successful reprint experiment in the run-up to Avengers: Infinity War, but mostly this is an attempt to undertake a long-delayed editing pass of Longbox Graveyard.
As this blog approaches its seventh anniversary, I’m sitting on nearly seven hundred posts and over a million words of blogging here at Longbox Graveyard. The site is relatively well-indexed, but most of my older posts see little traffic, meaning I have a discoverability problem. And many of my posts are out-of-date, with broken links and text that could use another editing pass. So there’s a content problem, too.
Now, a sane person might conclude this is the time to bring their blog to a close. But a sane person would never start Longbox Graveyard in the first place. And a sane person would never … go back in.
By editing and revising past articles, I hope to make the site more contemporary — or at least as contemporary as a blog stuck in 1977 can be! I will edit for clarity, freshen up my links, and hopefully invite a new round of reading and comments for blogs otherwise lost to the mists of time. This will also help me get my material framed up for whatever Longbox Graveyard’s endgame might be — publication as a book, evidence at my trial, whatever.
So if you see an older article go off-line for awhile, now you know why — that means it has been edited and scheduled for republication at a later date. When that new old blog shows up in your feed, I hope you will consider it anew, and offer your comments. You might even be surprised to see your own comments from years ago, as part of the original blog! The snake of time devours us all!
See you Friday when I republish the very first Longbox Graveyard article, from the summer of 2011 — The Golden Age!
The sleeper has awakened! Longbox Graveyard is back!
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).
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 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.
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!
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!
Longbox Graveyard has gone ad-free!
I’ve used WordPress’ WordAds here at Longbox Graveyard for the last couple years. It never amounted to much — scarcely a dollar a day when the planets all aligned — but I kept it going because along with comments and hits it was another way to “keep score” with my blog. I’m a metrics guy, and I like watching little numbers go up.
Besides, I grew up in an era where comic books carried pages that looked like this …
… and so I rationalized that the increasingly ugly ads integrated into the flow here at Longbox Graveyard were just part of that tradition.
But … ugh … those WordAd serves were pretty tacky. Chances are you didn’t even notice them, but as the guy who looks at this blog every day, I was getting worn down.
Ads used to appear at the top of this page, in the top spot on my right sidebar, and at the end of most posts. Some ads were fine, but I really didn’t like the chumbox stuff:
And so they are gone.
I won’t promise they’re gone forever … WordAds only pay off when they’ve hit $100, and I might someday get sick of seeing my account stuck on fifty bucks, and decide to turn it on again. If my traffic really picks up again and I feel like I am leaving money on the table, ads might return. But I don’t need income from this blog, and giving up seven bucks a month in ad revenue is a small price to pay to be rid of this obnoxiousness.
(If it was your convention to click on ads to support Longbox Graveyard … thanks! If you are still in a supporting mood, consider purchase of a graphic novel from my sales page).
I turned a blind eye to ads here at Longbox Graveyard for a long time … if you are interested in what finally changed my stance, check out this article from The Awl.
See ya later, Chumbox!
UPDATE: Even after disabling ads, I’m still seeing them from time-to-time. Letter of complaint is pending to WordPress, I’ll let you know what happens!