MySpace Dark Horse Presents has been a fixture of the comics area of MySpace, but recent changes there have forced it to seek a new home, at least temporarily. The MySpace.com/comicbooks subsite took a hit with the departure of Sam Humphries earlier this year (see “Sam Humphries Out at MySpace”), with another quantum leap downward when the company laid off around 30% of its workforce, around 400 people, in June.
The online content from MySpace Dark Horse Presents has already been collected into two trade paperbacks, with a third due out in August. With a growing fan base, Dark Horse Presents has been a successful online/print hybrid comics anthology. We caught up with MySpace Dark Horse Presents editor Sierra Hahn to get an update on the franchise.
The new issue of Dark Horse Presents isn’t up on the Dark Horse My Space pages, which don’t seem to have changed in quite a while. Why did you elect to put it up on the Dark Horse site?
The issue currently on MySpace Dark Horse Presents is issue #23 and went live on June 3rd. Issue #24 was supposed to go live on MySpace on July 1st, but due to the unforeseen layoffs at MySpace, and the changes made with the department that we’ve worked closely with for the last two years, it was clear that we weren’t going to be able to post issue #24 on time. The artists on these projects have worked hard these last months to generate great content for the newest issue, and I didn’t want readers to miss their Dark Horse Presents fix. So when we realized that it was too soon to sort out the changes with MySpace, we decided to host the newest issue on our site.
Is this move of Dark Horse Presents to the Dark Horse site permanent?
We’d like to continue our presence on MySpace, but it’s unclear at this time how our relationship with the networking site will change going forward.
Will you post DHP #24 on the Dark Horse My Space pages?
Our hope is that before the end of the month that we will be able to put issue #24 (which is currently on darkhorse.com) onto MySpace as well.
Is there anyone left at My Space who is dealing with the comic sites? They appear moribund.
The MySpace staff that we’ve been working with for the last two years are no longer with MySpace. Despite this loss, we are working with individuals there to help determine how Dark Horse Presents will appear in the near future.
If My Space doesn’t work out, are you looking at other online venues (other than the Dark Horse site)?
We’re open to evaluating and discussing all viable opportunities.
Did you notice a slowing in traffic at My Space before the mass firings? Have you any data on what has happened since then?
I hadn’t noticed a slowing in traffic by any means. Each month that we post a new issue the number of “friends” we would receive during that first week jumps by hundreds, which has been very encouraging. We now have over 40,000 friends following us on MDHP. That doesn’t include folks who don’t have MySpace accounts and just pop in to check out the newest issue. That’s a huge number of readers!
The Jo Chen/Joss Whedon Buffy story is spectacular—when will that story see print? Will it be included in the next Buffy Season 8 trade?
Joss and Jo’s Buffy story that is currently in issue #24 will be collected in the fourth collection of MySpace Dark Horse Presents that goes on sale in December, and then we’ll probably collect it in Buffy Season Eight down the road.