MYSPACING COMICS: MySpace Dark Horse Presents Wins Eisner

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.

While the real world converged on San Diego for Comic-Con International last month, the virtual world congregated at MySpace Comic Books. Fueled, no doubt, by the buzz created by world's largest comic convention, MySpace's official comic book portal has now eclipsed the 250,000 friend mark.

That's a quarter of a million friends in less than 18 months of operation.

That's more traffic than the official sites of U2 and Oprah combined.

That's a lot of people who know more about Batman than Bono or book clubs.

In other big MySpace-inspired news, MySpace Dark Horse Presents won an Eisner Award for "Sugarshock!" as it was named Best Digital Comic. Written by Buffyverse kingpin Joss Whedon and illustrated by Fabio Moon, "Sugarshock!" is a story that combines science fiction, rock and roll and pages upon pages of trademark Whedonesque dialogue. For free.

Scott Allie, who edits Dark Horse's "Buffy The Vampire: Season 8" and "Sugarshock!," told CBR News , "MySpace is great because despite all the corporate stuff that covers the main pages, it still has a feeling of being run by the users. They have certain control of how much input they get and from whom, and so I think it gives us access not just to our key age-range audience, but specifically to those who want to know what we're up to--more so than any other magazine or website."

Allie, who was instrumental in bringing the long-running "Dark Horse Presents" anthology series to MySpace, added, "We're getting at the people who want us to get at them. And because of the incredibly broad audience, we can justify the expense of doing free material--something I'd wanted to do for a while, an idea I love, that I think the web is uniquely suited for."

While he was thrilled with the win, Allie admitted he was a tad disappointed MySpace Dark Horse Presents wasn't nominated for best anthology. "But I'm not going to complain, it was nice to have the win for webcomic," said Allie. "To some degree, it validates MySpace's place in the comics' landscape, that it can bring such great material to people."

"The Big Two" also enjoyed 'big' months in terms of adds as Marvel Comics enlisted another 4,603 zombies in July while DC Comics expanded its nation by 3,460. Marvel's increase actually pushed its total past that of Dark Horse's page, giving the House of Ideas the number two spot behind Optimum Wound Comics.

On the creator side, the two Lees, Stan and Jim, both moved past Warren Ellis and now hold down third and fourth, respectively. Stan The Man almost added as many as Marvel this month as the legendary creator welcomed an impressive 4,230 friends in July.

The ladies are still on top in the category, however, with Siya adding nearly 500 this month to give her just shy of 50,000 friends while Tara McPherson said hello to more than a thousand giving her a total count of 34,226.

TOP PUBLISHERS (Total friends, monthly shift)

1. Optimum Wound Comics: 91,058 (-735)

2. Marvel Comics: 63,503 (+4,603)

3. Dark Horse: 63,086 (+1,839)

4. MySpace Dark Horse Presents: 31,577 (+2,458)

5. DC Comics: 26,951 (+3,460)

6. TOKYOPOP: 21,679 (+76)

7. American Mule Entertainment: 19,106 (+573)

8. Top Cow: 16,404 (+83)

9. DC Nation: 15,762 (-229)

10. Virgin Comics: 15,219 (-77)

TOP CREATORS (Total friends, monthly shift)

1. Siya: 48,708 (+493)

2. Tara McPherson: 34,226 (+1,306)

3. Stan Lee: 26,345 (+4,230)

4. Jim Lee: 22, 495 (+1,054)

5. Warren Ellis: 22,159 (+373)

6. Brian K. Vaughan: 16, 352 (-39)

7. Roman Dirge: 16,270 (+270)

8. Brian Michael Bendis: 15,626 (+232)

9. Steve Niles: 11,936 (+194)

10. Brad Meltzer: 11,422 (+96)

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