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.
MySpace Dark Horse Presents welcomed an incredible 5,281 friends this past month. One of main reasons that Dark Horse's online anthology grows bigger and bigger every month is the fact new content - not only new to cyberspace but new to the world - debuts there every 30 days. Next month is no exception, as Dark Horse Senior Editor and Vice-President Publishing Randy Stradley told CBR that January marks the return of popular Star Wars franchise title, "Dark Times," which went on hiatus last June to make room in Dark Horse's publishing schedule for books dedicated to "The Force Unleashed" videogame and "The Clone Wars" animated film and television series.
"I'm really excited about this new story," said Stradley. "[Writer] Mick Harrison and [artist] Doug Wheatley have been planning this since before the 'Dark Times' issues of the 'Vector' crossover, and I'm as anxious for it as the readers.
"The story title alone, 'Blue Harvest,' should get Star Wars fans excited."
For Star Wars neophytes, "Blue Harvest" was the working title for "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi."
Stradley revealed the January and February editions of MySpace Dark Horse Presents will feature a two-part story starring ex-Jedi Dass Jennir as he tries to find his way in a galaxy where being a Jedi makes you a wanted man. "The down-on-his-luck Jennir finds himself in a dive bar on the former Separatist stronghold of Cato Nemoidia," explained Stradley. "His friends have abandoned him and his only companion is a droid who hates him for killing its former master. Jennir is down to his last credit when this woman walks into the bar..."
The online story sets the stage for the "Dark Times" title's April return. Set in the time between "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," the title features regulars, Jennir, a Nosaurian named Bomo Greenbark and Darth Vader.
The Man, Stan Lee, added 2,383 friends in November and has now surpassed 33,000, which puts him third behind the Lee and Kirby of MySpace: Siya and Tara McPherson.
There will likely be a new sheriff in town next month, as MYSPACING COMICS is considering adding Kevin Smith to the list of top creators. Smith has 187,896 MySpace friends and wrote DC's three-issue miniseries, "Batman: Cacophony." With the first issue in stores now, "Batman: Cacophony" is scheduled to be released on New Year's Eve.
Brad Meltzer, primarily a novelist, is currently listed in the Top 10 amongst creators, so Smith really should be ranked, as well.
TOP PUBLISHERS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Optimum Wound Comics: 88,883 (-517)
2. Marvel Comics: 74,384 (+5,262)
3. Dark Horse: 64,695 (+2,283)
4. MySpace Dark Horse Presents: 38,531 (+5,281)
5. DC Comics: 31,212 (+1,667)
6. TOKYOPOP: 21,089 (-279)
7. American Mule Entertainment: 19,889 (+291)
8. Top Cow: 20,261 (+372)
9. DC Nation: 15,174 (-158)
10. Virgin Comics: 14,750 (-168)
TOP CREATORS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Siya: 50,941 (+730)
2. Tara McPherson: 37,339 (+885)
3. Stan Lee: 33,039 (+2,383)
4. Jim Lee: 23,650 (+117)
5. Warren Ellis: 22,835 (+149)
6. Roman Dirge: 16,933 (+102)
7. Brian K. Vaughan: 15,921 (-114)
8. Brian Michael Bendis: 15,990 (+61)
9. Steve Niles: 12451 (+272)
10. Brad Meltzer: 11,651 (+22)