Welcome to MYSPACING COMICS, CBR's 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.
That said, CBR admittedly is no Wolverine. We try our darndest each month to seek out the industry's top artists and writers and see what each is posting on their MySpace pages. But we're human (unfortunately). And we miss some.
That's why we rely on CBR readers to do some sniffing too. And lo and behold, who did we find this holiday season but fan favorite illustrator Skottie Young, who has more than 13,000 friends. How did we miss this guy?
For the past decade, the Chicago native has brought his trademark designs to titles including "New X-Men" and "Cable & Deadpool" and is currently illustrating the Eric Shanower-scribed "The Wonderful World of Oz" for Marvel Comics' Marvel Illustrated line.
Young told CBR News that the social networking site has really helped him share his artwork with more people than he ever thought possible. "I publish my own sketchbook every other year and my sales stay high all year round because of MySpace," said Young. "I really see it as a hub for new people to find out about my work and then branch off to my site and other places they can learn more.
"I've been entertaining the idea of using MySpace to release an online comic, but I'm just in the planning stages of that."
With "The Wonderful World of Oz" #2 due in stores January 14, Young said he has already completed the first four issues. "I have four more to go on this first arc," said Young. "And that's keeping me pretty busy on the art side of things but I've been doing some writing, as well. I've got four or five short stories in various books at Marvel and we're planning a few longer stories too. I've also got a few personal projects that have been cooking for awhile. The next few years are going to be very interesting."
Teaming with Shanower - a renowned Oz expert known for his own Oz-based graphic novels- Young knew "The Wonderful World of Oz" was going to be special. He just didn't know anyone else would. "The response to 'Oz' has been incredible. I really didn't think that it would fall on anyone's radar. I figured we get in there and have some fun on a classic kid story and people would wonder where I went," laughed Young. "But honestly, I've had more attention from this book than anything I've done before. Spidey, Human Torch, Venom, X-Men, Runaways, New Warriors -- none of them seem to hold a candle to little, old Dorothy Gale. It's been flattering beyond belief and I'm honored to be apart of this project."
Adding Young and new top dog Kevin Smith to the creator popularity rankings has pushed mainstays Steve Niles and Brad Meltzer out of the Top 10. With DC's release of "Batman: Cacophony" #1 in December, MYSPACING COMICS decided it was time to add the revered and irreverent filmmaker to the monthly totals. Smith has a history writing comics as he has contributed groundbreaking runs on titles like "Daredevil" and "Green Arrow" over the years.
A special belated birthday wish to Stan Lee. Born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, "The Man" turned 86 this week. Mr. Lee must have hosted one whale of a party as he added 1,624 friends to his MySpace page in December.
On the publisher side, as both DC Nation and Virgin Comics have been inactive for months, MYSPACING has bumped Image Comics and Devil's Due Publishing into the Top 10 amongst publishers.
Marvel Comics eclipsed 80,000 friends this month, adding 5,700-plus in December. At this rate, the House of Ideas should surpass leader Optimum Wound Comics by March.
MySpace Comic Books, the site's official comics portal, now boasts 269,827 friends, which makes comics slightly more popular than Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie combined. How's that for a simple life?
TOP PUBLISHERS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Optimum Wound Comics: 88,538 (-345)
2. Marvel Comics: 80,135 (+5,751)
3. Dark Horse: 68,532 (+3,837)
4. MySpace Dark Horse Presents: 39,248 (+717)
5. DC Comics: 32,559 (+1,347)
6. TOKYOPOP: 21,158 (-69)
7. American Mule Entertainment: 20,640 (+751)
8. Top Cow: 16,911 (-3,350)
9. Image Comics: 11,230 (NR)
10. Devil's Due Publishing: 6,647 (NR)
TOP CREATORS (Total friends, monthly shift)
1. Kevin Smith: 188,377 (NR)
2. Siya: 51,504 (+563)
3. Tara McPherson: 38,062 (+723)
4. Stan Lee: 34,663 (+1,624)
5. Jim Lee: 23,925 (+275)
6. Warren Ellis: 23,037 (+202)
7. Roman Dirge: 17,081 (+148)
8. Brian Michael Bendis: 16,056 (+66)
9. Brian K. Vaughan: 15,824 (-97)
10. Skottie Young: 13,065 (NR)