Wikipedia:Webcomic sources

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Articles related to webcomics need reliable sources like any other Wikipedia article—content must be verifiable. Due to the nature of webcomic journalism, however, editors writing articles within the scope of this project may encounter problems finding or citing sources. This guideline aims to discuss some of the most common problem areas. None of the following directions apply in every single instance so always use reason and common sense when citing sources.

Because the fields of webcomic journalism, research, criticism, and commentary are relatively new compared to similar coverage of traditional media, traditional means of sourcing can be somewhat rare. In addition, the simultaneous development and expansion of Internet-based sources alongside the webcomic scene has led to a much higher degree of exclusive online coverage than is the case with other media. These factors make the determination of reliable webcomic sources a complex issue. To address this problem, this guideline presents the current consensus regarding the reliability and usability of specific webcomics-related sources. Any questions regarding specific sources not covered in this guideline may be directed to the talk page. Remember to search the talk page archives before starting a new topic.


Most sources listed here cover the comics industry in general, but happen to come up often while searching for webcomics specifically.

The Beat[edit] is a blog kept by Heidi MacDonald. The blog was originally launched under the Publisher's Weekly umbrella in 2006, but moved to its own domain in 2010. The Beat has featured writers such as Dirk Deppey and Tom Spurgeon (who have also written for The Comics Journal). Scott McCloud praised The Beat highly in 2010.[1] The website was acquired by Lion Forge Comics in 2017 and was described by the publisher as "THE authoritative voice of our industry." Bleeding Cool also praised MacDonald's work in comic book journalism.[2] The Beat is considered reliable.

The Booklist Reader[edit] is a blog from Booklist Publications, a part of the American Library Association.

Comics Alliance[edit] is part of Townsquare Media. It features editor-in-chief Andrew Wheeler (who has written for Huffington Post and The Guardian) and senior writer Chris Sims. ComicsAlliance has been used as a source by Paste Magazine,[3] The Hollywood Reporter,[4] and Comics Beat,[5] and is therefore considered reliable.

Comic Book Resources[edit]

The Comics Journal[edit]

Bleeding Cool[edit]

On 27 March 2009, Johnston announced his launch of the website, which he described as "Lying in the Gutters, four times a day, seven days a week." It is funded by Avatar Press. He recruited Warren Ellis, Si Spurrier, Adi Tantimedh, Josh Adams, Alex De Campi, and Denny O'Neil to provide regular content for the site.

Johnston's writing does not often impart sources. Johnston said, "I often obfuscate sources to hide their identity—even deny that a story has sources on many occasions." However, his column reported first on many topics of note regarding the comic book industry, something The Comics Journal attributes in part to "Johnston's discerning intelligence and an attitude that sometimes approaches iconoclasm." Johnston sees himself as part of a tradition established by the "British tabloid press, one that seeks to entertain rather than inform..."[6]

Bleeding Cool was nominated for the "Favourite Comics Related Website" Eagle Award in 2010[7] and 2011 and won in 2012. It was named as one of PC Magazine's top blogs of 2010.[8] and Technorati gave it a perfect 1000 score for influence in the comics category.[9] Rich Johnston was awarded the Shel Dorf Award for Best Comics Blogger for his work on Bleeding Cool in 2012.[10]

Bleeding Cool is currently considered reliable. / Read About Comics[edit] is a website by Greg McElhatton and Astounding Space Thrills-creator Steve Conley that launched in October 1999. Initially ran on Rick Veitch' Comicon Splash, moved away from news articles and started to focus exclusively on reviews. has had support from Jen Contino and Heidi McDonald over the years and reached a total of 1,000 reviews until it was discontinued. McElhatton moved on to create Read About Comics, a similar review website.[11] McElhatton was a regular contributor to Wizard: The Guide to Comics between issue #1 and #58, has served on the Small Press Expo Steering Committee since 1997 (taking on the role of Executive Director twice). McElhatton has also served as a judge for the Eisner Awards, wrote a column on Ninth Art for two years, and contributed to 2005's The Year’s Best Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga.[12]

McElhatton has been quoted by Comics Alliance,[13] but has otherwise not been covered much by reliable sources. McElhatton's two blogs are considered situational as he can be considered an established expert in the field of comics.


Monkeys Fighting Robots[edit] is a pop culture website that covers topics ranging from comics to film to beer. Its job requirements are fairly loose, but well-defined. Managing editor Larry Taylor is a freelance copy-editor for Stone Temple Consultant and DentalOne. Taylor Frantum has experience at the Dallas Observer, the Dentonite, and ThisNewBand. Monkeys Fighting Robots has been used as a source by various less well-regarded online magazines, such as Korea Portal[14] and Hall of Fame Magazine.[15]

There is currently no consensus on whether or not Monkeys Fighting Robots is considered reliable.

Newsarama[edit] has been awarded a large number of Eagle Awards, as well as an Eisner Award for "Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism" in 2008. The website is owned by Purch. Writing for The Comics Journal in 2005, Michael Dean criticized Newsrama for factual inaccuracies and point-of-view issues.[16] At the moment, the website is considered reliable.

Sequential Tart[edit] is an award-winning online zine created by an eclectic group of female comic book fans in 1998. Though the website has seen a large number of contributors, it has a clear editorial board, who work together to provide relevant news in and around the entertainment industry. The website has been used as a source by Wired,[17] Comic Book Resources,[18] and Bleeding Cool,[19] and is currently considered reliable, though its reliability has been contested.

The Webcomics Examiner[edit] was founded by cartoonist Joe Zabel in 2004. Staff and article guidelines are described on the website and the former shows a variety of experts in the field (see [1] and [2]). In 2005, Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade fame praised how well an article on the website managed to dissect aspects of his webcomic that he did not believe any outside party would have ever noticed.[20] Zabel himself has been a reviewer since 1994, having worked for Subliminal Tattoos, Indy magazine, and Steve Conley's[21]

Since its inception, the website has become unavailable, though many of its articles are available through The Wayback Machine. The Webcomics Examiner is considered reliable.

The Webcomic Overlook[edit]

The Webcomic Overlook is a blog founded by the Seattle-based El Santo in 2007. Santo has no formal background in comics, but has written for Comic Book Resources and various low-impact blogs. Lauren Davis mentioned the blog in a Comics Alliance article.[22] The website is currently considered unreliable in most contexts.


Websnark is a blog by Eric Burns that started in 2004. Burns was part of the Superguy writing group in the 1990s. Burns wrote a webcomic titled Gossamer Commons in collaboration with Greg Holkan in the mid 2000s,[23] and he shortly became an editor for Modern Tales in 2006.[24] Burns was also part of the Webcomics Examiner "roundtables".[25][26]

Burns is listed in Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives as a potential reference for webcomic criticism.[27] Burns was cited by[28] and Comix Talk noted Websnark's return in 2009.[29]

Burns can be considered an expert in the field of webcomics.


T Campbell's A History of Webcomics[edit]

Written by T Campbell, A History of Webcomics was published in June 2006 by Antarctic Press. The book details the history of the medium from the conception of the Internet until 2006. The book was somewhat controversial:

  • Before the book's release, PvP creator Scott Kurtz criticized Campbell's approach, accusing Antarctic Press of falsely advertising Campbell as a "world-renown webcomics historian" and criticizing Campbell's unbalanced focus on Scott McCloud. According to Kurtz, information stated in the book regarding Megatokyo is plainly false. Kurtz also stated that the book ignored the influence of Chris Crosby, though this turned out to be incorrect, as Crosby and Keenspot are described in detail one chapter later.[30]
  • In an interview with The Webcomic Overlook in 2010, Campbell himself made the following statement:
The book took the idea too far, and I wound up alienating a lot of people I respected, all for a project that I can’t even look at today. I still sort of like my old fiction, where the amateurishness gives it a goofy charm, but if I could burn every copy of that book I’d be happier and live longer.

T Campbell[31]

However, Campbell is still commonly used as a source, such as by Newsarama,[32], The Webcomics Examiner[33] and Comic Book Resources[34]

A History of Webcomics can be used as a situational source, granted the above is kept in mind and the book is only used to source noncontroversial information. Alternative sources are generally preferred.

Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics[edit]

Scott McCloud is a well-established webcomics expert, and his 2000 book has been covered by mainstream websites ranging from The New York Times[35] to Polygon[36] and The A.V. Club.[37] The book is considered reliable; however, the book mostly discusses McCloud's own ideas on the future of webcomics as a medium. Many of the ideas brought up in the book did not come to fruition. Because of this, usage of the book as an academic source should be discussed. The book barely mentions any webcomics specifically and may have little bearing on notability because of it.

Ted Rall's Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists[edit]

Ted Rall is a well-established columnist and cartoonist. The first two book in his Attitude: The New Subversive Cartoonists series (published by NBM Publishing) got attention and praise from various newspapers, though Attitude 3 (2006) has mostly been ignored. The three books are compilations of existing comics and features a large number of in-detail interviews. Text written by Rall is, of course, considered reliable information, and the book may help in establishing notability.


  1. ^ McCloud, Scott (2010-02-04). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Terror, Jude (2017-10-23). "Lion Forge Acquires Its Own Comic Book Website: Heidi MacDonald's The Beat". Bleeding Cool.
  3. ^ Hennum, Shea (2016-02-05). "What Does a Comic Section at Wal-Mart Mean for the Industry?". Paste Magazine.
  4. ^ McMillan, Graeme (2016-01-22). "How Many Captain Americas Is Too Many?". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ Lu, Alexander (2016-02-11). "Palmiotti and Conner Weigh in on the Cancellation of DC's STARFIRE". Comics Beat.
  6. ^ Dean, Michael (2005). "Online Comics Journalism: Does It Exist? Part 3: Rich Johnston's Honest Lying". The Comics Journal (266): 21–23. Archived from the original on 5 May 2006.
  7. ^ "2010 Eagle Awards nominations". The Beat. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  8. ^ Griffith, Eric (2010-11-11). "Our Favorite Blogs: 2010". PC Magazine.
  9. ^ "Wednesday Runaround – Going To Bat Law School". Bleeding Cool. 2011-09-21.
  10. ^ Johnston, Rich (2012-10-27). "Bleeding Cool Wins Shel Dorf Award For Best Comic Blogger (Other People Win Things Too)". Bleeding Cool.
  11. ^ McElhatton, Greg. "1000 Reviews Later... A Farewell Of Sorts".
  12. ^ McElhatton, Greg. "About". Read About Comics.
  13. ^ Wheeler, Andrew (2012-06-29). "Comics Pride: 50 Comics and Characters That Resonate with LGBT Readers". Comics Alliance.
  14. ^ Jie, Choi Ahn (2017-03-24). "'Star Trek Discovery' News: New Cast Members Added, Details Unraveled On CBS: All Access Show". Korea Portal.
  15. ^ Bhattacharjee, Budhaditya (2017-03-31). "Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 1 Leaked Today!". Hall of Fame Magazine.
  16. ^ Dean, Michael (2005-11-23). "Online Comics journalism: Does It Exist? – Part 9: The Report Card". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on 2006-05-05.
  17. ^ Lawson, Corrina (2011-09-07). "The Alternative 52s: Moving Beyond DC". Wired.
  18. ^ Alverson, Brigid; Parkin, JK (2012-03-05). "Comics A.M. — Sheldon Moldoff dies; record sellout for Comic-Con". Comic Book Resources.
  19. ^ Johnston, Rich (2014-02-19). "Bizarre Breasts: Starfire In Today's Red Hood And The Outlaws". Bleeding Cool.
  20. ^ Gabe (Mike Krahulik) (2005-09-30). "Webcomics Examiner".
  21. ^ "Joe Zabel". Lambiek Comiclopedia.
  22. ^ Davis, Lauren (2012-04-27). "'Just the First Frame' Helps You Discover New Webcomics, One Panel at a Time". Comics Alliance.
  23. ^ Burns, Eric (2005-10-17). "I wonder how T Campbell handles these situations..." Websnark.
  24. ^ "Eric Burns to Edit New Modern Tales". The Comics Reporter. 2006-01-02.
  25. ^ Zabel, Joe (2005-12-05). "The Artistic History of Webcomics II". The Webcomics Examiner.
  26. ^ Zabel, Joe (2006-06-20). "Gunfight at the Experimental Webcomics Corral –or– The Shroud of Tarquin". The Webcomics Examiner.
  27. ^ Weiner, Robert G. (2010-04-19). Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives. McFarland. p. 211. ISBN 0786456930.
  28. ^ Starr, Joshua (2009-03-14). "Ursula Vernon's "Digger" now free to read".
  29. ^ Xerexes, Xander (2009-07-19). "Websnark is Back". Comix Talk.
  30. ^ Kurtz, Scott. "March 2006".
  31. ^ Santo, El (2010-09-15). "Who writes the history of webcomics?". The Webcomic Overlook.
  32. ^ Benjamin Ong Pang Kean (2008-06-12). "Economics and Comics: How Do Webcomics Fit In?". Newsarama.
  33. ^ Various (2005). "The Artistic History of Webcomics – A Webcomics Examiner Roundtable". The Webcomics Examiner. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24.
  34. ^ Melrose, Kevin (2013-11-08). "Modern Tales founder Joey Manley passes away". Comic Book Resources.
  35. ^ Boxer, Sarah (2005-08-17). "Comics Escape a Paper Box, and Electronic Questions Pop Out". The New York Times.
  36. ^ Polo, Susana (2016-02-25). "STELA WANTS YOU TO READ COMICS LIKE YOU WATCH NETFLIX". Polygon.
  37. ^ Murrey, Noel (2015-07-21). "Reading comics on cell phones changes the way the medium works". The A.V. Club.