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Johanna’s long-running site Comics Worth Reading recently had some behind-the-scenes tech trouble, resulting in a corrupted database and years of lost posts. She’s going through and restoring some of the older reviews as she’s able to extract them, but…man, talk about a nightmare. My most empathetic thoughts are sent her way as she deals with this problem.
While this can be a drag, suddenly losing all that work built up over a decade or more, on the other hand I can see where it can almost be…liberating, in a sense. A lot of my posts, once you go back far enough, are so link-rotted or just generally awful that I’d almost prefer you didn’t go back and just read each and every post I’d made. There are lots of links to Haloscan comments that all went away went Haloscan vanished. There are interlinks between my posts that go to the old Blogger version of my site, which I still maintain copies of on my server just to that any old outside links to those old versions of my posts won’t be dead ones. Basically that means for entries from 2003 ’til whenever it was I switched over to WordPress — in 2010 or so — there are effectively two versions of my site here (though I’ve blocked the old Blogger pages from indexing, which should reduce any Googling confusion). Anyway, it’s a mess.
I’ve said before I’d almost want to start a Progressive Ruin 3.0 (2.0 being this site, 1.0 being the site I talk about in my first anniversary post), where I could just begin completely anew, and leave this site as a frozen archive for what has gone before. Or, I could bring over all the best posts from this site, leaving behind the worst ones, and retool the posts slightly so that they are less dependent on off-site links.
But that sounds like a mess, too. What I have been doing, on and off over the years, is that if I link to an older pre-Wordpress post in a newer post, I’ll go back and fiddle with that old post so dead links are either removed or noted as such, or any in-site links are corrected to the modern WordPress site rather than the archived Blogger pages. I haven’t been consistent about it (like in that first anniversary post I just linked to), but at least I try. At the very least I keep checking my first post to make sure it goes where I want it to go.
Ultimately, if I plan on keeping this site around for a while, I’m probably just going to have to bite the bullet and fix each post individually…or somehow program something into the site so that if you access a page here older than, say, 2010, something pops up that says “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” or, you know, something similar.
Anyway, again, my sympathies to Johanna, mixed with a little “there but for the grace of God.” Should probably look into backing up my WordPress database.
In other news:
…though I should have an End of Civilization post up tomorrow. Sorry, gang, I’ve had some long days of late and my blogging muse has temporarily flown the coop, apparently. I’m not asleep, I’m just resting my eyes.
Here’s a thing about my site that you probably don’t know about. When I started, waaaay back when, the plan was to some some kind of audio programming…I’m not sure “podcasting” was even a thing in late 2003, but I had half an idea of somehow broadcasting my dulcet tones across the internettings and into your earbuds. (Hmmmm…”PODgressive Ruin,” maybe?) I even have a soundboard here donated to me by pal Dorian toward such a purpose.
Alas, that never came to pass, but “never say never” I suppose, as someday the bug may bite me and I’ll put the effort into actually speaking to you, instead of hunting and pecking at the keyboard with this pen in my mouth, please, someone send help, I’ve been tied up here for days. Anyway, I created a subdomain on this site back before I even posted my first post, and that subdomain is right here. No idea where I snapped that clip art, though I’m pretty sure the coloring of said clip art is my fault. Also, that’s your reminded that my original color scheme for the site was going to be bright green lettering on a dark background, like the clunky ol’ personal computers of my rapidly receding youth. Friends advised me “that’ll make me want to put my eyes out,” so I wisely opted not to go with those colors.
It’s also a reminder that I should never use the phrase “coming soon” because that’s almost a guarantee I’ll not get around to it. Or only get around to it grudingly.
Well, enough about that. Remember, a new End of Civilization is coming…er, soon. Yeah.
First, please go back and check out my Fourth of July post, as our pal Bully the Littlest Stuffed Bull of Them All provided a lovely animation to accompany that entry.
Second, some instances of the unwanted pop-up video ads and possibly the page-redirect ads may have been traced to a stat-tracker I’ve had on this site for years that seems to have just recently (like, within the last few months) been causing these problems for its users. I’ve removed that plug-in, and hopefully that’ll solve at least some issues. (Please note that similar problems can be caused by installs on your browsers as well, so keep an eye on all those Firefox/IE/Chrome add-ons!)
Third…well, there is no third. I said only a “couple” of updates, after all.
1. I’ve had reports from folks using the Silk browser on the Kindle that they can’t access my site, receiving a “script not responding” message. (I’ve also had a message or two from folks who say they can bring up my site in Silk just fine.) Have any of you Kindle users had trouble accessing my site? I mean, I suppose if you only have a Kindle for web access, you’ll not see this message, but if you happen to also happen to have a Kindle in addition to whatever magical computo-box you use to look at my ramblings, please let me know.
1a. Alan tells me that searching for my site with the Kindle’s Duck Duck Go app seems to be a workaround, if that helps.
2. I also hear tell that Safari on a laptop also brought up some glitches recently. The only change I’ve made was installing a WordPress plug-in that would streamline the mobile access to my site, which shouldn’t affect Safari browsing, but who knows. Anyone else have recent trouble with my site via laptop browsing?
3. I’ve also once again heard about pop-up ads turning up on my site. Last time this happened, the culprit was adware/malicious plug-ins/etc. on users’ computers, not my site, so I’m hoping that’s the case this time. Well, “hoping” makes me sound like a jerk…I’m not really hoping you guys have viruses on your computers, but as far as I know and can tell, I shouldn’t have any pop-up anythings on my site here. If you see any, let know in as much detail as you can manage (like what they’re advertising, and if there are any “ad supplied by [x]” notations somewhere in the window).
I have multiple computers and phones and even a Nook, at home and at work, with various operating systems and browser types. I have about five different browsers on my personal desktop computer alone. I have never been able to duplicate any of the problems that have been reported to me, which makes me dependent on you folks to let me know when something seemingly goes haywire. Last night, I spent a lot of time bugging Twitter pals about this, including a couple of comic pros who probably could’ve been writing/drawing stuff rather than helping me debug my dumb webpage.
Now, it’s not like my site is cleanly-scripted pure HTML5 poetry. There are a couple of security plug-ins installed, this particular WordPress theme I’m using seems to have vanished from the Internet entirely so it hasn’t been updated in a while, and, well, those Amazon ads in the sidebar which everyone should use and click hint hint shouldn’t be doing anything to my site, and plus I’m secretly installing cookies on every visitor’s computer that will redirect Google image searches to pictures of Swamp Thing and Sluggo, but most of these things don’t seem to cause any access problems as far as I can tell.
The absolute last resort is refurbishing the entire site, getting a new WordPress theme, dropping all the sidebar plug-ins…well, no, the really absolute last resort would be restarting completely from scratch, burning down the old and setting up Progressive Ruin 2.0 (well, 3.0, actually) on the ashes, but nobody wants that. Well, I don’t want that, anyway…some people out there would be glad to see all this nonsense go up in flames. But I’m not ready to give up, and hopefully I can work out whatever quirks exist so that I can still talk to you all about comics without worrying whether or not anyone can see what I’m saying.
I started writing a long ol’ post about comic book ordering, but I’m not going to finish anytime soon, and it’s already really late, and your pal Mike needs his beauty sleep. I mean, really needs it. Have you seen Mike lately? Sheesh.
Anyway, I know my site has been a bit light in content lately…I’m still here, I promise. My goofin’-around-on-the-blog time has been in short supply, and some nights I’ve been getting in too late, too tired and too scatterbrained to put together an entry of any real substance (not that scatterbrainedness has ever been in the way before).
My comic ordering post should be up on Sunday, then I’ll be back on Monday and I’ve got an End of Civilization post coming this week (already? are months like only two weeks long now or something?) so I’ll be back up to speed soon.
I was going to maybe do a Sluggo Saturday post, but I almost can’t bring myself to get up, go to the other room, grab the stack of Nancy comics and flip through ‘em for inspiration. This is terrible. My mind is going, I can feel it. Daisy, Daisy, give me…your answer…do
So for some reason, instead of wanting to write new content for this here site, I spent an awful lot of my allotted late Sunday evening comics blogging time looking at some old posts of mine, and old posts from a friend’s site from a number of years back, the heyday of “let’s everyone get in on this comics-blogging thing” activity. Don’t know why I was feeling this weird sort of nostalgia for that particular era, where folks (including me!) were a little more earnest and angry and some of us bumped heads over things for no real good reason (and I don’t even remember who or what this was about at this late date).
I posted a links to a couple of old things I wrote on my Twitter account last night as I found them, and even reblogged some old Photoshopped thing of mine onto my hardly-used Tumblr, but…yeah, sorry, I just don’t have real content today. Just had an evening of thinking back to the way things used to be, the interactions I used to have with the other comics bloggers, and so on. This isn’t a “COMICS BLOGGING IS DEAD” post…it’s “COMICS BLOGGING IS DIFFERENT” what with your Tumblrs and Twitterers and I’m just feeling old, don’t mind me.
I really need to get back into regularly looking at the ol’ Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron (and it’s nice that the person running that site remembers that I was the one who came up with that name for the original comics weblog update lister) and see what new names are out there. I’ve been fairly insular, just doing my own thing here and not doing a whole lot of looking around beyond friends’ sites and whatever linking trackbacks I happen to spot in my referrals.
Plus, we had an enormously busy weekend at the shop, so I’m a little fried from that. The only unusual comic-related thing I did this weekend was that I finally got around to straightening up our poster racks, since apparently someone took all the rolled posters out of their proper slots and just shoved them back in there randomly and that was terrible. And I got it all rearranged just in time for our friendly Traveling Poster Salesman to pop on by the shop and offer his wares, and I was totally prepared for him. See, how exciting is that story?
Thus, no post today. Well, aside from all that you just read. Or skimmed, which I wouldn’t blame you for.
• • •
REMINDER: As noted a couple of days ago, pal Mark (cocreator of Fake AP Stylebook) and his wife can use a little financial help due to health issues and loss of work. Thanks to your generosity, they are way past their goal, but the fund drive continues for a few more days and getting that much more of a cash buffer would be of great help to them. If you have a couple of spare bucks, please consider donating. Thank you very much.
…as I have been too short on time in the last couple of days to give it the proper attention it deserves. It will be up Friday, I’m reasonably certain.
In the meantime, a few clarifications:
- It sort of dawned on me that perhaps I wasn’t clear about the origins of that “Mike Sterling is a jerk!” image that Bully, the Little Photoshopping Bull, made for me and I linked to at the end of this post. It was created in response to this Twitter post of mine in which I quote Employee Aaron expressing his opinion of me, based of course on the famous X-Men comic splash page. So, to be very clear, Bully does not actually think I’m a jerk, nor did I ever think he did. I know he was just teasing!
However, Bully does think Professor X is a jerk, and for good reason!
- For this post, my example of Power Pack #27 was used almost entirely at random. In fact, as I was writing the post, it was originally New Warriors #27, until I decided to write a little something about New Warriors #1 at the end. I thought “well, that’s two mentions of New Warriors in one post, clearly that violates some sort of zoning law” and Power Pack was the first thing to pop into my head to replace it. So, I wasn’t really making any kind of specific point about Power Pack #27, just a general one about guide-pricing versus real world sales potential.
However, in response to my mention, this nice person (who also says a few much-appreciated kind words about my goofy site) takes a more in-depth look at the comic in question.
- MrJM was only kidding with the “Thanks, Obama!” comment. Honest!
- A few of you have noted that Howard the Duck #1 was a comic that was once red hot and inflated in value, due to its 1970s popularity, and remained fairly pricy up until a certain movie of some note was released. I wish I’d remembered to dig up some of the old guides while I was at the shop to double-check pricing, but in general I do recall a sudden dip in demand and value on the comic. Exactly how much, monetarily speaking, I am not sure, but yeah, it certainly happened. In recent years prices have been creeping back up, partially because those comics are sort of crawling out from under the shadow of the film and regaining some critical appreciation again, and partially because it’s a noteworthy series that’s approaching its 40th birthday and it’s getting more difficult to find high-grade copies.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. I’ll bring a proper end to civilization tomorrow, I (mostly) promise!
…In case you needed reminding. Also, pal Dorian runs down the FCBD books
for this year.
In other news:
A small reminder: I’m about to wind down the daily posting over at pogressiveruin.com, the Internet’s #1 source for watching a middle-aged man slowly drive himself crazy wallowing in some fad from a couple decades ago. I don’t know if we’ve learned anything, but one thing’s for sure: we certainly got to see a lot of large scans of pogs.
Anyway, I originally intended to go into that site with a finish line in mind, and that finish line was always meant to be six months after I started. I figure that’s probably enough. It’s not grinding to a complete halt…I’d like to keep the option open for featuring any more future oddball cap discoveries from this collection, so there will probably still be a new entry every now and again. But, as of February 15th, the daily posts there are done.
If you followed that site, I appreciate it! Also…why? Are you nuts?
In other news: it’s time for me to start going through Previews for actual business-related reasons instead of End of Civilization reasons, and put together the monthly comics order. So basically, take this post and multiply it by several thousand items. Not every comic requires that much hemming and / or hawing over the numbers, of course. I have sales histories for many titles, and I can easily base orders on those, noting any increases or decreases and adjusting accordingly
And then of course there are the comics that never change sales levels, ever, no matter what the publisher does, what gimmicks they try, etc. For example, sales on one particular long-running-through-a-variety-of-publishers property have been pretty much unchanged for some time now. Don’t go up, don’t go down, don’t do nothin’ but sell the same number of copies every month. But when a second series featuring this same property was solicited, I thought the variety of different covers, plus the fact that it’s a new first issue of this once very popular character, might encourage additional pick-ups. And, when the comic came out…hey, we sold more copies of a comic based on this specific property than we normally have of late! …Then I realized that one of our regular customers who usually bought the other series bought one copy each of most of the variants of this new #1, so while we technically did increase sales of individual copies, we didn’t increase the number of actual customers for it. So while it was a good thing for me to bump up orders like I did, it didn’t actually bump up readership, but that’s okay. Not everything works like I planned…and I did sell more comics, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
History (well, really recent history, as the story in the previous paragraph wasn’t from that long ago) is sort of repeating itself this week, with the release of this new Ghostbusters comic from IDW. IDW’s previous Ghostbusters comics started off…okay, saleswise, but have slowed down a bit for us. I’m taking a bit of a chance on this new series, having bumped orders up a wee bit over what I normally sell on Ghostbusters, since I think the comic looks like fun, the covers stand out, and my plan was (which I in fact implemented last night as I was setting up the racks) to display each cover separately, rather than shoving them all together into a single shelf space, which should garner a little extra attention. I may just sell more of the first issue, and maybe we’ll be back to regular Ghostbusters sales levels with the second, but there would be no chance of increasing sales on #2 if I don’t have the #1s for people to try out right now.
Maybe it’s good money after bad, I don’t know, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. Ghostbusters is a known property that people generally like, and with a bit of sales strategy combined with a comic that looks a little more appealing than the previous GB attempts from IDW, maybe I’ll sell a few more copies. Worth a shot.
Now if they could somehow bring back the Slimer solo title, then IDW would be cookin’ with gas!
So I had a fellow bring by a couple of comics he wanted to sell…an issue of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1960s series) and a copy of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, both of which had these taped to the front covers:
As it turns out, these comics were stored in such a way that the tape essentially dried out, and with only minimal effort these additions came right off, leaving behind only minor discoloration where the tape had once adhered to the paper. And while I offered the customer many times that long ago asking price of two cents apiece, it still wasn’t a whole lot, since the comics otherwise were in what we like to call “previously well-loved condition,” and the customer opted to hang onto them. He did thank me for taking those tags off the covers, and now, here they are, for you to enjoy.
Also, please don’t tape things directly to your comics. Unless you’re going to bring them to me and I can show them on my site and say “look what this person did to his or her comic…can you believe it?”
• • •
In my End of Civilization post
from a few days ago, I noted the existence of the Batman and Robin action figures done in the style of Aardman Animation and how I was baffled that such a thing would even exist. Now…well, it is sort of amazing that such a thing is in the world, these Bat-Aardman figures, but I honestly hadn’t realized there are actual animated shorts by Aardman
featuring these characters. A quick Googling
reveals that this is hardly news to anyone except me, since I 1) cancelled my cable long ago and thus haven’t seen this DC Nation thing, 2) don’t read comic websites aside from my own, because I’m so amazing and perhaps somewhat self-aggrandizing, and 3) don’t really have a third thing. In short, that these animated shorts passed me by is just One of Those Things, I Guess, and since I do enjoy Aardman’s output, I should track ‘em down someday.
• • •
…this is a thing that is real. Just look at it. …Look at it.
Normally, I’d just delete spam comments, but this is a comment
in French extolling the virtues of hentai, so I just left it after editing out the website address because it made me laugh. YOU WIN, SPAMMERS.
• • •
So I discovered (or, given my usual track record for such things, “found out long after everyone else” — see earlier this post) that our funnybook distributor Diamond Comics apparently has a Twitter account
Huh. Well. …I mean, I’d happily run that account for them, for, you know, the occasional drop shipment of some coin of the realm, but, well, there might be a conflict of interest there for me.
• • •
In other news, pal and fellow Bureau Chief
Euge, AKA ADAM WARROCK
, will be performing at our shop in a couple of weeks
! This will soon increase the number of Internet pals I’ve met and touched in person by one! PREPARE TO BE TOUCHED, EUGE.
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