One of the reasons that Wizard magazine finally had to cease publication is that its monopoly on superhero news and discussion had long since evaporated. Today, you can find numerous sites that include interviews, reviews, and commentary about superhero comics, past and present.
They roughly fall into three different categories: news, creator, and fan sites.
DC and Marvel, the big two, of course have their own official websites. Marvel‘s site has the comics listed as a subset of an overall site that also includes movie and television productions. It also lists the newest digital releases. DCComics.com is far more comics-centered but the best feature of the website is the The Source, a blog that is updated regularly with previews, news of the latest creative teams, and interviews with creators. Unfortunately, neither site offers much in the way of forums. DC had to shut down the comments on The Source because they became abusive and hateful. Thus far, comments haven’t been re-opened and DC’s message boards are not exactly a friendly place to new posters. Marvel does better. First, they have clearly defined rules posted at the top of their forums with the stated intent to make them all-ages.
Moving on from the official sites, there are news sites that I would define as those that pay their writers, however little. These include Comicbookresources.com, Ain’t It Cool News, and Newsarama. Of these three, I like Comic Book Resources the best because of their regular blogs, especially Comics Should Be Good, and their active and heavily moderated forums. The other two will certainly provide the latest news but I find Ain’t It Cool harder to navigate and while Newsarama often has breaking news, chances for interaction between fans are limited. CBR tends to offer the mix I favor. I asked friends for recommendations as well and got several for ComicsAlliance. It certainly has a user-friendly home page and a really nice mix of subject matter, including a section on webcomics, a truly nice touch. There’s also the long-running The Comics Journal.
There are a large number of creator and fan sites, too many to list them all, so if you don’t see your favorite among my articles, feel free to recommend your own favorites in the comments below. Creator and fan sites tend to be the most fun to read because they’re the most eclectic, personal, and have a very specific point of view such as Sequential Tart, which is a webzine offering a women’s point of view on sequential art.
Often, like Peter David’s blog or Gail Simone’s forum on Jinxworld, they are about far more than comics. Jinxworld, the home of prolific comic writer Brian M. Bendis, also hosts Bendis’ own active forums and forums for eighteen other creators.
If you Google your favorite superhero writers, chances are you will be able to find their websites along with a message board where you can interact with them. Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Ed Brubaker all have interactive sites, though it looks like Brubaker is best found on Twitter, like so many other comic creators. (You never really know who’s out there on Twitter. I publicly thanked Judy Blume for her books helping my daughter to love reading recently and, poof, the tweet was soon found by Judy Blume.)
One of my favorite new sites is Tastes Like Comics, which was started by posters who’ve known each other from various comic message boards over the year. Full disclosure compels me to reveal that a number of the writers for this site are friends of mine and that I may be prejudiced in their favor but I love the off-beat voice of the site and they don’t cover just comics — witness the steampunk fashion articles.
Recommendations also led me to Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun! and I got lost for a while in there.
Tumblr is also the home of a large number of comics-related blogs all with a distinct personal voice. Since I’m a DC Comics fangirl at heart, my favorite of those has to be DC Women Kicking Ass, which is just celebrating its first anniversary. Content is added everyday, and there are fun events like the recent contests about the most memorable moments for DC heroines. This Tumblr provides a much-needed voice that is not often heard on traditional comic sites.
And, sometimes, your own comic shop will often have newsletters and features. Once a week, I get a newsletter from Modern Myths in Northhampton, Massachusetts, with news of the latest releases and in-store events.
With all these sites and the thousands of others that I didn’t list, it’s easy to see why Wizard wasn’t needed and lost relevance. So what are your favorite sites?