...that the gamma ray-riddled rocket in which the Fantastic Four acquired their powers crash landed just north of Ithaca? (as documented in Fantastic Four #245 & The Thing #10)
Comic fandom has flourished since at least the late 1960s, issuing zines, newsletters, bibliographies, price guides, and other publications, but the internet has broadened fandom's reach and influence far beyond comic conventions and local collectors' clubs. The list below highlights some of the more ambitious web sites and fan-created databases that contain a wealth of information on the history of the genre.
"The first goal of this project is to catalog every comic, graphic novel, manga, creator, character and anything else that could possibly relate to the field of comics. But that is only the beginning. The second goal of ComicBookDB.com is to make this wealth of information as useful as possible. This means making as many connections as possible from one issue, one creator, one character to everything else in the site."
"...covers book-length works about comic books and comic strips, from 'fannish' histories to academic monographs, providing detailed information and guidance on further research. Each entry will include the book's Table of Contents as well as (if applicable) a list of comics works reprinted in it (and their sources, sometimes undocumented), other general notes on content and organization, ISBN numbers, and reviews--either included on these pages, listed from print sources, or linked to from on-line sources. Books in any language, about comics from any country, are included." Also maintains a list of comics-related dissertations and theses.
Comics Research Bibliography
"This is an international bibliography of comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, cartoons, bandes dessinees, and related topics. We have divided the bibliography into four sections, arranged alphabetically by author, for ease of use." Searchable, or browse by topic. Last updated in 2009.
Web site containing covers for many U.S. comic titles, displayed in chronological/issue number order. No annotations or credits included, just covers.
DC Comics Database
A wiki-based resource that bills itself as "the world's largest DC Comics encyclopedia that anyone can edit, hosted by wikia. Our project contains 75,606 articles and 85,796 images." [as of 1/13] Focus is on the major DC superheroes. Searchable.
Digital Comic Museum
Provides free access to hundreds of pre-1959 public-domain comic books uploaded by users who often offer historical research and commentary alongside high-quality scans.
The Grand Comics Database (GCD)
Created by "a nonprofit, Internet-based organization of international volunteers dedicated to building a database covering all printed comics throughout the world." Contains more than 400,000 cover images, artist/writer credits, and individual issue annotations spanning the history of the form. It's goal is to "contain data for every comic book ever published in every country around the planet."
Marvel Comics Database
Wiki-based resources similar to the DC Comics Database.Covers the contents of Marvel comics published since 1939, including cover images, story synopses, credits, etc. Searchable and browsable by title, year, etc.
News and Culture
The Beat: the News Blog of Comic Culture
A "daily news blog of comics news, reviews, and information," covering comics culture, industry, conventions, publishers, and cartoonists." Also includes comics sales data.
Comics and Graphic Narratives Discussion Group
The Modern Language Association's (MLA) site for information on upcoming comics studies events.
The Annotated Watchmen
Doug Atkinson's annotations to the Alan Moore's Watchmen "are intended for the second-time reader, someone who's read through once, knows the basic plot, but missed a lot of the detail and wants to find it. If you are reading them along with your first reading of the series, you may find that it spoils some of the surprise."
Beyond the Funnies
From the National Library of Canada, an archived website that "explores the history of the graphic-narrative medium in Canada, from the earliest comic strips to the cutting-edge work of contemporary comic artists such as Julie Doucet and Chester Brown." Covers both English- and French-language comics. Links to Guardians of the North, another NLC site focusing on Canadian superhero comics.
An information resource for underground comics of the 1960s and 1970s. Includes cover gallery, a wiki, bibliography of reprints, and other features.