My first blog post, in this series, was deliberately aimed at looking through the reference books that are out there for people who love their comics. And as you can see from the header image, there are still a lot more that I have yet to mention. In some cases, there are a lot more that I have to find within the house!
But in this post, I am going to point people in the direction of some good comic reference sites. Because if you are collecting on a budget and you just want to know if the artist to a strip you enjoyed has done anything else, you don’t always want to or can afford to spend £30 on a reference book to just get one bit of data out of it.
Comics UK is the first site that I will point people in the direction of. It is a forum of like minded people who all have a passion for British comics and you will finds fans of all types on there. Many people join as they have fuzzy memories of a strip from days gone by and most active members will do their bit to help. I, for one, always go there as I can never remember the artist that drew Morgyn The Mighty in the 1970s for the Victor (It was Antonio Garcia by the way) and I know that I have that titbit of information on one of the threads in there.
Down The Tubes is the next one on my list and if you ever want to know what it is going on in UK comics today, this is your premier resource. There are also articles looking back on the history of British comics and the articles covers a wide range of British comics be it pocket libraries, books produced by artists or even a map of your local comic shops.
Bear Alley is the brainchild of Steve Holland and is my ultimate go to reference for anything to do with Amalgamated Press, Odhams, Fleetway or Egmont. Not only that, but Steve Holland has produced a number of useful reference books over the years. So, it is always nice to go and have a look at a few of them, sigh and then put the credit card away!
British Picture Libraries is an unassuming name for a website, but for any pocket library fan, this site is a must have. Vic Whittle carried out a task of herculean proportions when he set this site up in the early 2000s. He got hold of a copy of every single Commando ever printed, took a picture of the front cover and then placed it on the internet in issue order. He also listed every single title and has kept updating this valuable resource. My profuse thanks goes to Vic for creating this site, as there is rarely a week goes by when I don’t go on this site to find some piece of information regarding Commando. My thanks also goes to D C Thomson for not shutting Vic down as I have heard horror stories about some companies being a tad heavy- handed when it comes to sites that look at their back catalogue.
International Superheroes is a site that has not been updated for a couple of years, but is a wonderful site if you want to check out a specific hero. As the title indicates, this is aimed at heroes and giving a short synopsis of the character, their publishing history and their powers. It’s not a site I go to as often as I used to, but every so often something pulls me in and I can while away an hour or so just looking at the different characters and seeing if I can recognise any of the art.
Barney is the computer that does all the drudgery in Mega-City One. And what better name could there be for the website that is the go to resource for all things 2000AD related? Do you want to know how many issues the first arc of Halo Jones ran for? Then this is the site to help you find it. At times, a bit clunky, but the information is there and only requires a minimal amount of digging for the comic fan who needs to know who created Big Dave.
I will put these links into the Links part of the blog, but I thought it wise to give readers of this blog the reason I recommend these sites to you. And there are many, many more to come.