MYSPACING COMICS: Social Networking Goes BOOM!

Over the past several months, CBR News has been tracking 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. In our ongoing effort to deliver to the world the premier online comics magazine, this monthly feature endeavors to share our findings, chat with newsmakers and explore profile movement – be it up, down or sideways.

The big news of late was of course the release of "North Wind" #1 by BOOM! Studios simultaneously in stores and on the interweb at MySpace Comic Books. CBR News Staff Writer Andy Khouri already covered the story ever so eloquently here but MySpacing Comic Books wanted to check in as well, along with Chip Mosher, Marketing and Sales Director of BOOM! Studios, to see why the soon-to-explode publisher has decided to add a friend like MySpace. "With 160,000 friends that they market directly to, and millions more contacted indirectly, there are not many better ways to generate reader interest than MySpace Comic Books," Mosher told CBR News. "BOOM! Studios was one of the first companies to use MySpace Comic Books with a preview of 'Left on Mission" #1 last year and we broke new ground this year with our simultaneous release of the entire 'North Wind' miniseries. And we look forward to working with MySpace Comic Books on many more promotions in the future."

MySpace Comic Books, the site's official comic book portal that exists alongside similar initiatives for music, film and comedy, added 3,228 friends this month and now boasts a grand total of 160,365, which for those scoring at home is more than John Wraith and Captain Kirk combined.

As has become typical in this feature, the most moving and shaking of the publishers was Dark Horse, who gained a massive 7,434 friends. Since CBR News started tracking these numbers last April, the home of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8" has leaped from 18,980 to its most recent tally of 57,953.

The MySpace-based Dark Horse Presents page – fuelled by original work from many of the industry's top creators as well as brand new talents discovered on MySpace– has its own 24,335 registered friends, which places it third in the publisher category behind only the Dark Horse main page and Marvel Comics, with its 44,067 friends.

The ranking creators remained locked in their positions from last month.

Tara McPherson ("Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall"), who provided copious amounts of art for the bedroom and locker of Ellen Page's titular character in the Oscar-winning "Juno," made the biggest push by adding nearly 900 friends in February and now has 28,831,

However, McPherson still sits second behind relative newcomer Siya, who is tops with 46,949 friends. According to her website, Siya is watching MYSPACING COMICS so perhaps we'll hear from her soon to find out all the latest on this rising star.

As one can guess, when tracking a site as massive as MySpace, many profiles are going to be missed. Reader feedback not only helps CBR News track the many thousands of comics-related profiles on MySpace, but also can cause quite the shake up in the rankings as is the case this week. As this feature continues to expand, we ask that readers help creators and publishers make themselves known to us so that we can create more comprehensive rankings in the future.

So fear not, Division 18, CBR News is watching.

TOP PUBLISHERS (Total friends, monthly shift)

1. Dark Horse: 57,953 (+7,434)

2. Marvel Comics: 44,067 (+1,554)

3. TOKYOPOP: 19,151 (+195)

4. American Mule Entertainment: 17,116 (+397)

5. DC Comics: 16,933 (+706)

6. DC Nation: 15,700 (-304)

7. Top Cow: 15,544 (+1,002)

8. Virgin Comics: 14,939 (+1,094)

9. Evil Ink Comics: 10,871 (+126)

10. Devil's Due: 6,093 (+75)

TOP CREATORS (Total friends, monthly shift)

1. Siya: 46,949 (+285)

2. Tara McPherson: 28,831 (+861)

3. Warren Ellis: 20,537 (+225)

4. Jim Lee: 19,596 (+613)

5. Brian K. Vaughan: 16,560 (+87)

6. Roman Dirge: 15,268 (+197)

7. Brian Michael Bendis: 14,075 (+255)

8. Brad Meltzer: 11,056 (+54)

9. Steve Niles: 11,010 (+198)

10. Geoff Johns: 10,087 (+110)

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