Today marks the fourth birthday of Major Spoilers. Another year older, another year wiser, and another year full of reasons to give thanks for all we’ve been given.

FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY

Four years ago today, I was bored out of my mind.  I had just finished my first training DVD, wasn’t teaching any summer courses, and had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. My wonder wife had come on board as a recent comic book convert and our recent tours of comic book conventions around the country seemed to foster my urge to do something new. Something different, yet something very familiar with what I had done in the past.

With access to the tools, the software, and the server space needed to host a budding website, Major Spoilers was born in the matter of a few hours.  Over the years, we’ve made some fantastic contacts with some of the coolest people in the comic book industry and our cup is running over.  Along the way, my life has become quite a bit more complicated, I’ve had a wonderful addition to the family in the form of my awesome son, and I’ve been promoted at my regular job.  Yet as busy as I am, I enjoy spending as much time working on the Major Spoilers Experience and keeping it going for each and every one of you.

THE WEBSITE

One of the great things about running the website (for me) is the ability to write and write and write every day.  In previous jobs I would to crank out on average 500,000 words a year.  With Major Spoilers, I’m easily double that amount, and the more one writes the better one becomes with the craft.

And there’s a good reason I’m writing so much – the interest in comic books and pop culture is at an all time high, and my e-mail box is flooded each day with news and review copies that are begging to be covered.  It’s gotten to the point that we are becoming even more selective on the types of stories we’re running on the site, and are looking each and every day for more original content we can write for you, our wonderful readers.

And while we try to cover all the big issues and titles that arrive at our door, we’re super excited to cover smaller books that strike our fancy.  A big thank you needs to go out to all our public relations contacts in the industry for sending us all the news and reviews we can handle. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next year when we kick things up another notch.

We had a few set backs over the past year, that always send me to dark places. Even though the Major Spoilers site moved to a dedicated server, there were still moments when the site would go up and down.  Those moments are always the result of higher than normal traffic, which is both good and bad.  It’s great because there are more readers to Major Spoilers than ever before, and upsetting because the site kept going down right when we are on a roll.

The most catastrophic moment of the year came in May when we had a hard drive failure on the server, and because our hosting company was saving our nightly backup on the same hard drive, the site ended up going down for three days, and we suffered a major loss of three months worth of heavy duty work.

As with any tragedy, we have to move on, and several hundred dollars later, we’re back and running, with a backup plan that shouldn’t fail us moving forward. Let’s hope we don’t have to deal with anything like that again, but if we do, we’re prepared.

For those that are wondering about past articles, we’re trying to add those back in as soon as we can, but if you need/want something sooner, just fire me an e-mail and we’ll see what we can do to make your experience on the site a productive one.

THE MAJOR SPOILERS PODCAST

When the Major Spoilers Podcast launched just over two years ago, I didn’t know how important it would become to the throngs of listeners who download the show each week.  I’m always concerned about the length of the show, and when we started having too much stuff to talk about in a single show, we started to experiment with additional issues, which has evolved to the Major Spoilers weekend edition.

I really look forward to sitting down and recording a show with Rodrigo and Matthew each week.  We’ve all become closer friends over the last year, and often a two hour recording session turns into a four hour marathon of goofing around and chatting up between recordings. It’s great fun, and one that has become a natural part of my week.

Skrull Bryan continues to exert his subtle influence on the show with his mellow tones leading us into and out of the show, and if next year happens like I want it to, we’ll be seeing more of Skrull Bryan on the site.  Thanks Bry for all you do!

Another small but important player on the Major Spoilers Podcast is our good friend Dr. Peter Coogan, the director of the Institute for Comics Studies.  Dr. Coogan continues as a regular guest on the show, and it has been a real pleasure learning from him about the comic book industry. We know you dig having Dr. Coogan on the show, and we enjoy having him on too, which is why you will continue to hear more from him in the future.

CRITICAL HIT: A MAJOR SPOILERS DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS PODCAST

When Rodrigo suggested we record an entire encounter complete with a group of people I had never had interactions with, I was a bit concerned we were going to bite off more than we could chew.  My year long education in the ways of Dungeons and Dragons has been a fun one, and becoming friends with Rob, D&D Brian, and Alex (the random voice you’ll sometimes hear in the background of the shows) has been wonderful.

Critical Hit joined the Frogpants Network this year, and has quickly become the most popular part of the Major Spoilers Experience. From the thousands of emails we receive, to the custom made miniatures we received last week keeps us going each time we sit down to record.

MAJOR SPOILERS ADVENTURES

OtterDisaster has been a long time friend of Matthew, Skrull Bryan, and myself, and when he started creating a web comic about the adventures of the Major Spoilers Crew, I knew we had to make it a regular feature of the site.  Over the last year Bruce has offered up hilarious one-shots, epic arcs, and new characters that have become part of our daily conversations in the Major Spoilers Manor.

Thanks Bruce for creating something I look forward to each and every Friday!  If there’s one thing that brings a smile to my face on Fridays, it’s the Major Spoilers Adventures.

NEW FACES/OLD FACES

I’ve said it time and time again, but I really owe a great deal of thanks to  Matthew and Rodrigo for everything they do.  These two have helped the site and me, more than you might know. Whether it is the rapid exchange of e-mails during the late hours of a holiday weekend, or the conference calls over a beer at mid-night, Matthew and Rodrigo are two dedicated members of the Major Spoilers family, and without their wisdom, thought provoking dialogue, and great content, the site would have folded a long time ago.

Matthew continues to amaze, humor, and annoy the heck out of me with his well thought out opinions, while Rodrigo keeps a watchful eye on the Major Spoilers forum to keep order amidst the chaos.  When he’s not working to keep the forums flowing, Rodrigo is that calm voice in the storm that has offered a tremendous amount of advice over the year that has kept Major Spoilers from literally blowing up.  Thank you both for being awesome.

The year saw a plethora of new faces join the Major Spoilers Crew, and each has contributed in a unique way.  If it isn’t Sam, with his look at pop culture’s movie past, it’s Brian G and Scott Hunter with their reviews and perspectives on titles the rest of us may not even get a chance to read in our already busy weeks.  Then there’s Victoria – currently our only female member of the staff – who has amazed me with her take on cosplay and her ability to get fans excited about her passions.

Stacy B was the first “outsider” that joined the Major Spoilers Crew and worked his tail off.  Stacy stepped away for a while, before coming back again last year to offer up even more awesome work.  Sadly, Stacy B has opted to step away once again to spend more time with his family.  Matthew and I both know how important spending time with family is, and I want to wish him the best.  Thanks Stacy for being a part of the Major Spoilers experience once again!

THE BEST FOR LAST – THE WONDERFUL FANTASTIC YOU!

Even with the fantastic help of Matthew, Rodrigo, SkrullBryan, Brian G. D&D Brian, Rob, Victoria, Stacy B, Scott, and Sam, Major Spoilers would not be the site it is today without all of our fans and super-fans from around the world.

I’m not sure everyone is aware of how special each and every one of you are to me.  There are now hundreds of other comic book sites, publisher blogs, and fan based sites, and for you to take time out of your day to make Major Spoilers one of your stops is one of the high points of my day.  (You’ll have to follow me on Twitter for my daily High/Low Moments of the Day)

Without your feedback, suggestions, comments, and passion for comics, we wouldn’t have the drive and desire to do better each and every day.  And looking back over the last 365 days, seeing how much you have added to the site gives all of us at Major Spoilers a warm and fuzzy feeling.  The Major Spoilers Fans and Superfans are the regulars that make visiting the site each day enjoyable.  It’s like stopping off at your favorite pub and seeing those familiar faces scattered around the room, even if you don’t know them personally.

Those of you that work hard to promote the site are wonderful.  Those that contribute to the site in a meaningful way are fantastic. Those that have made a donation to the Major Spoilers Experience help us keep going.  And those of you that get a kick out of our work are welcome all the time.  All the kind words I have received from each of you are special to me, and keep me going on days when things get dark and troubled.

I can’t thank you enough for being a part of the Major Spoilers Experience.

THINGS TO COME

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers estimates that it takes 10,000 hours for something to become successful.  That roughly equates to five years of intensive work on a project, goal, or skill.  We’re now entering that fateful year, and while I really believe Major Spoilers is a wonderful place, I think we can do better.  We can make this Major Spoilers Experience better for everyone.

  • More original content for both the site and Major Spoilers Podcast
  • Season three of Critical Hit is just around the corner
  • More video content
  • New features
  • A Major Spoilers meet and greet?
  • More additions to the Major Spoilers Family
  • And a few more surprises we’re keeping close to the chest

It’s been another great year. I want Major Spoilers to grow, and I know you do too.  Please help out by telling all your friends, that stranger standing next to you in your local comic book shop, and your co-workers about the site. Heck, talk to that cute girl sitting next to you in class about the site. You’d be surprised at how many hot girls dig comics.

If you have comments, suggestions, or ideas, I’m always willing to listen to what you have to say.

Again, I feel honored to have you as a part of the Major Spoilers Experience.  From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you enough for making this site what it is today.

Here’s to Year Five and more great things to come!

Cheers
Stephen Schleicher
Executive Producer
Major Spoilers

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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25 Comments

  1. hectorbustnuts
    July 3, 2010 at 8:33 am — Reply

    No, thank YOU guys! Great site, great people!

    It’s a labour of love that’s certainly appreciated.

    Here’s to the next bunch of years!

  2. Larry King
    July 3, 2010 at 8:34 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday Major Spoilers! It’s appropriate that it falls on a Saturday, plop down in front of the TV and watch some cartoons.

    “A Major Spoilers meet and greet?”
    That sounds interesting.

  3. Ivdar
    July 3, 2010 at 8:37 am — Reply

    Happy birthday Major Spoilers ! As they say about some other obscure event…FOUR MORE YEARS !

    Thanks to all the crew for their hard work and the wonderful, fascinating content they produce. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I’d be reading comics anymore.

    Here’s to hoping that Major Spoilers sticks around for many years to come, and that one day you can all quit your day jobs and work on it full time. Cheers !

  4. July 3, 2010 at 8:39 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday guys. You’ve given us all hours and hours of endless entertainment.

  5. Horatio Thundercloud
    July 3, 2010 at 8:58 am — Reply

    Congrats guys! The sites become such a regular stop i’d forgotten how long you’ve been at it. Also a meet and greet? i’m gonna be first in line for Meatloaf-con 2010

  6. GoldConvoy
    July 3, 2010 at 9:04 am — Reply

    Happy birthday and congrats guys! Love the site and appreciate everything you guys do.

  7. Kirby
    July 3, 2010 at 9:48 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for all you’ve done from getting me started on things from Invincbile to Doctor Who. Can’t wait to see what you have in store in the ensuing year!

  8. Ricco
    July 3, 2010 at 10:10 am — Reply

    Wow, 4 years. Congratulations, here’s to 4 more years!

    “Stephen Schleicher
    Executive Producer”

    What happen to Undisputed Master of Everything? Did you get a demotion?

  9. brenton8090
    July 3, 2010 at 10:22 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday Spoilers! You are the only site that I look forward to reading this much, listening to various podcasts, and just leaping into the whole experience. You guys are great, and are the only site I ever bother to post comments on, because I know they have some effect. Thanks for everything you do.

  10. Torontofrog
    July 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    I blame you, Major Spoilers. Yes I blame you. I came to the site by the Critical Hit podcast. And now I am buying comics from my friendly Comic book store and on the Comixology app on the iPad! (Yes Matthew it is great!) I look forward for every edition of the podcast, even if I know maybe barely a fifth of what you are talking about!

    Continue the good work. This site is awesome as is the whole ”Major Spoilers Experience”

    @Horatio: You should register your trademark on the Meatloaf-con. That will be worth lot of money in the near futur!

  11. Vistapa
    July 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Congrats for the birthday, and thanks for all the hard work.

  12. July 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    I’m going to be sincere for a moment, and I will deny every having said any of this, so read quick-like:

    Thanks to all of you, the Faithful Spoilerites. You’ve allowed me to turn a lifelong love into something approximating a real career, and there have been times in the last four years where the work I do here is the only work that I felt was well-recieved or appreciated.

    Thanks to everyone who contributes, from Rodrigo to the regulars to Otterdisaster and everyone on the forums who infuriates, educates, inebriates and entertains me. It’s great to log on to discussions this passionate, jokes this funny and general merriment. It’s also rare for me to find comic books that even *I* have never heard of, but now thoroughly enjoy.

    Most of all, thanks to Stephen… I didn’t realize when you showed up in the shop four years ago what your presence foretold, but I wouldn’t change any of it, not even the four a.m. crash sessions to finish Hero Histories, the five dead computers, or the inability to get the theme song out of my head. You’ve been the best boss I’ve had yet, even if it took a while to get the Dillons to accept Luthor dollars, and your matter-of-fact support has gotten me and my family through some “interesting” times in the last couple years. Thanks for all that you do, and for helping me channel all this knowledge into something other than wowing the occasional customer who doesn’t think I’m a crazy comic book Rain-Man. Wait’ll you see what happens when we hit TEN YEARS!!!

  13. Aldo
    July 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    You guys rock. I serously can’t believe how much I’m into MSP and CH to the extent that I hardly download any other podcasts at all. You guys have introduced me to so much fun stuff that I just didn’t consider myself. I can’t believe I would have never ever had met the Doctor if not for you guys. I think is the awesome chemistry Between Matthew and Stephen and the balance that Rodrigo brings to the table that makes the podcast so much fun. I do think that the wheels for a MSP/CH-Con (even if it is a small get together) should be put in motion. I know I would fly to Hayes for a weekend of beers, hero history panels, dinner and a couple of D&D sessions. Hell, I’ll even commit to a quick seminar on how to paint your own minis!!! Congrats on one more year and hope the experience continues many many more.

  14. theSuperAlbino
    July 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm — Reply

    Thanks to Stephen, Matthew, Rodrigo, and the rest of the Major Spoilers crew. I feel that our little community is truly unlike any other comic community on the web. We don’t get into nasty arguments about what comics we like. The one thing I always loved was that we’re all kind to one another, never trying to show up the other person (Honestly, that seems like what all other comic communities do.) Anyway, here’s to another awesome year! Keep it up!

  15. July 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm — Reply

    Happy Birthday Stephen, Matthew, and the rest of the gang.
    My home page has been fixed for the last 4 years on this site.

    Saving the backup onto the same drive? I’ve never heard of such a great way to save money. I assume you didn’t know this until the drive failed.

    Keep up the great work and give me a call if you need something (you know where I’m at).

    • July 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm — Reply

      Nope, I was not aware they were saving the backup on the same drive – even though I had an additional drive installed last year!

  16. July 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    From the end of the third paragraph…”and the more one rights the better one becomes with the craft.”

    Stephen, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that that sentence is a subtle and hilarious joke!

    Seriously though, I was very honored when you invited me to do Major Spoilers Adventures as a regular feature. I just considered myself a fan and supporter and was having fun putting together the occasional strip for the forums, usually riffing on something in the podcast. I can’t believe I’ve managed to put together almost a year’s worth of material, and get it done on a weekly basis as an ‘official’ contributor.

    I wasn’t sure my little jokes, jabs and puns would fly on a weekly basis, but I’ve read dozens of nice comments in the last year, and I’m glad I’ve managed to make some of the Faithful Spoilerites chuckle.

    So, thank you Stephen, for the opportunity.
    Thank you Matthew and Rodrigo for endless inspiration, and thank you Spoilerites!

    Happy Birthday!

  17. July 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm — Reply

    Congratulations, guys! You’re my main source for comic news & reviews now. It’s not just the awesome original content and site personalities, but unlike certain Newsaramas that shall remain nameless, your site doesn’t try to infect my machine(s) with malware.

    Seriously, you’ve pointed me towards more good stories that I never would’ve found if it weren’t for this site, and you’ve made me genuinely interested in D&D as well. Here’s hoping you enjoy many, many more years of success with Major Spoilers!

  18. July 4, 2010 at 7:39 am — Reply

    Happy birthday to you, Mister Spoilers!

    Keep up the awesome work and be safe from more hard drive crashes!

  19. July 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm — Reply

    YAY! I love majorspoilers, congrats guys.

  20. July 5, 2010 at 10:21 am — Reply

    Harpy blafday, Major Spoilers! Here’s to another 4 years!

  21. Damascus
    July 6, 2010 at 2:46 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday Major Spoilers, may you eventually attain the rank of General. Maybe not, what with Matthew’s hatred of Wizard transitioning from actually being a comic magazine to a general entertainment magazine. Either way, I love what you guys do here. I’m constantly either listening to the podcast or reading reviews on the site, whether it be at work, home, in the car, heck I even have an earbud in and listen to the podcast when I’m laying in bed trying to get my 2-year-old to fall asleep.

    I’d like to thank Rodrigo for two things first of all, (being from Ohio, but that’s not one of them) getting me really wanting to get back into D&D and helping me to understand Magic enough that I’m not buying cards like crazy and still have no one to play against. That’s the frustrating part though, I’m so crazy to try and learn this stuff better and to play and have nobody I know that plays. My current D&D books are from like 2001 so they’re Version 2.0 I think. Oh well, I’ll figure it all out. I’ve never known how to play Magic and now I really want to play after listening to an old podcast where Rodrigo lays most of the rules out. Quick question though, I did buy some cards back in the day and wondered if the Unglued set would work in current games? That’s the stuff I got back then.

    On wanting to get new people involved with the site, I’m always available, and I have a great idea for a slightly different review that I could do, Dusting Off The Longbox. With my inability to buy massive amounts of newer comics all the time, and the fact that I don’t get advanced or free issues from the publishers, I could grab an old issue of some crazy item out of one of my longboxes and write up a review on it. If anybody is interested in reading a review of The Starriors or Brute Force, Clive Barker’s Hyperkind or a whole bunch of other odd titles. I had a affliction as a kid where I bought quantity over quality so I ended up with some strange titles.

    Love the podcast, I’ve been listening from Episode One (Slagathor!/Grand Mal Soul Split) up through in sequential order and I’m a little over halfway through them and they just keep getting better and better. I was listening to the “Live” 100th Episode in the car with my wife the other day and she was laughing at me because I knew all of the Major Spoilers (and non-Major Spoilers) trivia that you were asking. I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience so far and like theSuperAlbino, I do feel that our little Spoilerite Faithful are a community/family all our own. We see a lot of the same faces on many of the posts (I’m trying to fit that category too).

    I feel like we all try to bring something to the table to discuss and argue over, but we don’t devolve into petty comments or anything. I may vehemently believe one thing about a character or their costume lets say (just for s&g’s) and I will express my opinions, but my opinion is only that and in no way do I feel like anyone else has to share my viewpoint. That’s what I like, I feel like you all foster that kind of behavior through the way you run this site, you aren’t taking potshots at Rob Liefeld, which though easy to do and I’ve been known to many a time, you guys don’t. You state your opinion but don’t try to rally everyone else to see it your way or try to state your opinion as fact.

    Once I start writing, I can’t stop. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep checking the site every time I sit at my computer before I do anything else.

    • Damascus
      July 6, 2010 at 2:47 am — Reply

      Oh my Thor, I didn’t realize how much I’d actually written until I hit the Submit button.

  22. Patrick
    July 6, 2010 at 10:46 am — Reply

    Stumbled upon your site when I was looking for “Heroes” spoilers…and after checking the news a bit, I was at work doing some non-engaging work and needed something to listen to and thought I would try the podcast since the topics listed seemed interesting (and would catch me up on comics since I don’t read/collect them anymore)….

    and I AM SO GLAD I DID! I then found Critical Hit…and listen to both religiously. Some rough days, I turned you on at work…and I can’t help but laugh out loud. Thank you for saving the day…well, my day anyway. :)

    As someone who has a love of comics but has also done some production and journalism work, I really appreciate the quality of the podcasts and what you do.

    Happy 4th…Viva Major Spoilers! ;)

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