Welcome to MYSPACING COMICS, CBR News’ tracking of trends and “friends”on MySpace.com -- the nation’s most trafficked website -- as they relate to the comic book industry, most specifically with publishers and creators. This monthly feature endeavors to share our findings, chat with newsmakers and explore profile movement -- be it up, down or sideways.
Last month in MYSPACING COMICS, we mused that comics may be more popular than Republican Presidential candidate John McCain based solely on friend counts, as MySpace Comic Books outdistanced the Arizona Senator by nearly four-to-one.
Well, the GOP has rallied and Sen. McCain’s page has doubled in numbers the last 30 days and MySpace Comic Books now only holds a two-to-one edge with just over a month to go in the Presidential campaign.
Not one to back down from a challenge, former Dark Horse Comics marketing director-turned-author Sarah Grace McCandless is now looking to best McCain too. But she’s playing hardball — the Chris Matthews kind. The writer of “Grosse Pointe Girl: Tales from A Suburban Adolescence” and “The Girl I Wanted to Be” is leading the charge to topple the Republicans with her initiative — Comics Industry for... Obama!
“I think it’s important to rally Obama supporters across the industry for a number of reasons, and not just the artists and writers, but editors, publishers, retailers, and fans as well,” McCandless told CBR News. “This is shaping up to be a very close race — the numbers and polls are changing daily — but I believe the comics industry is an extremely influential and intelligent group, and one that can conceivably have a great impact on this election.”
Admittedly not speaking for the entire comic sindustry, McCandless continued, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this strongly about an election before, Presidential or otherwise. I believe our country is in a state of crisis, from the disastrous economy and environmental concerns to the lack of affordable, quality healthcare and educational resources — and sadly, that’s really just the tip of it. I choose Senator Obama because I fully believe not only in his proposed solutions, but also his ability to lead our country to achieve these goals, all of which are outlined in his Blueprint for Change, available at www.BarackObama.com
“I don’t expect miracles. I don’t expect him to be perfect. I don’t expect everything to work or to pass, but I do expect him to try. I do think he has the best interest of the American people at heart, as opposed to making decisions based on greed, corporate pressure, vendettas, self-interests, and other misguided motivators that we’ve seen and felt the sting of over the past eight years.”
McCandless, channeling her inner Michael Corleone, shared, “My pal Eric Powell (‘The Goon’) once told me, ‘Comics is like the mafia — you never really get out’ and he was absolutely right. I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain most of my relationships in the industry, even after leaving Dark Horse to pursue my own writing career, because the comics world is like a tight knit family. With that in mind, Comics Industry for Obama is intended to serve as a central meeting place where Obama supporters from that ‘family’ can mobilize, with the primary focus on voter registration and Election Day turnout, followed by fundraising efforts for Senator Obama’s campaign.”
Those efforts include fundraiser auctions — featuring art by Powell and Mike Mignola, as well as, original sketches, donated merchandise and other artwork. “It’s a little tricky, because we can’t really accept any donated sketches or art that features copyrighted characters (unless the artist making the donation holds the copyright), but regardless, a number of other artists and writers have already reached out about participating,” McCandless explained. “This includes veterans and rising stars to newcomers, and people are getting really creative in terms of their donations. I’m thrilled by the response so far — artists and writers interested in participating can email us at email@example.com to find out more about how to get involved.
“I expect the auctions to launch later this week. We’ve also created a Zazzle store featuring the Comics Industry for Obama logo as another fundraising source for Senator Obama’s campaign.
The obviously passionate partisan closed by saying, “I’m sure there are people in the industry who do not share my point of view, and that’s of course their prerogative. Comics Industry for Obama isn’t meant to suggest the entire industry only supports Obama — rather, it’s meant to provide a forum for those who do.”
TOP PUBLISHERS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Optimum Wound Comics: 89,878 (-512)
2. Marvel Comics: 66,731 (+1,886)
3. Dark Horse: 62,706 (-1,119)
4. MySpace Dark Horse Presents: 33,007 (+833)
5. DC Comics: 28,910 (+825)
6. TOKYOPOP: 21,466 (-120)
7. American Mule Entertainment: 19,598 (+265)
8. Top Cow: 16,735 (+143)
9. DC Nation: 15,484 (-195)
10. Virgin Comics: 15,048 (-164)
TOP CREATORS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Siya: 49,406 (+302)
2. Tara McPherson: 35,506 (+519)
3. Stan Lee: 29,004 (+1,458)
4. Jim Lee: 23,270 (+342)
5. Warren Ellis: 22,569 (+226)
6. Roman Dirge: 16,703 (+201)
7. Brian K. Vaughan: 16,235 (-117)
8. Brian Michael Bendis: 15,731(+105)
9. Steve Niles: 12,097 (+161)
10. Brad Meltzer: 11,620 (+159)