Now Playing: Elvis Costello
As much as it has been illuminating looking at the necessary and sufficient condition of being a fan, or somehow ending up with a comic book in your hands, fandom is an amorphous beast familiar to us all.
So what has changed for comics since the World Wide Web came into being? Here I'm not concerned with the amount of time spent online, which leaves less time and inclination for reading, or the advent of webcomics, which I think are a different form. Although comics creators and their eager readers got along quite fine before there was a search engine to look up a series or a blog of reviews to tell you whether it's worth picking up, the Web has as impressive an array of resources for the comics afficiando as for any other special interest group.
If you're pitching a story you can use an impressive grasp on history whether you're an artist or writer. What once necessitated a trip to the library or book store can now be had at the click of a mouse. You can see how the editorial process works across media. You can take lessons from oil and watercolour painters, charcoal artists, pencil sketches, chalk art. Actors approaching their role can inform the way you approach a character, directors and producers can provide insight as to how a narrative is constructed, or more effectively presented.
For that matter, any topic can be looked up on the Internet. Comics writers look to other writers, though the parallel to their enterprise is not in the novel and short story but in plays played right and the modern work of screenwriters.
It stands to reason if there's that much interest in arcania, then we're potentially connected to someone somewhere out there on the Web who has the very update on Roger Stern we've been waiting on.
So fans and obsessives need not feel left out.
There are places to go to sample pages of a key artist's work. With a friendly cyberspace tour guide.
When you find a website devoted to your favourite character, it's time to settle down.