Looking To The Stars 12.29.03: Want To Know It All?

I often get asked, “Starman, how do you know so much about comics?” More often I get asked “Sir, are you going to leave quietly or do we have to call the police?” But that’s not important right now. What is important is that a lot of you out there often turn to me as a source of enlightenment. I answer every question that I can, but even I get stumped once in a while. And a few of you even ask if I can help make you as well-read as me and expand your knowledgebase.

The answer to that is no, I can’t. Nothing can make you well-read except reading and only you can make yourself do that. Well, maybe the more financially well off of you could employ somebody… maybe a woman in a nun costume… to stand over your shoulder and smack you with a ruler every time your eye wanders off the page… but I doubt it.

Still, while there is no substitute for reading the comics, there are a number of websites that offer a lot of good information regarding various books. So if you seek illumination, or maybe a few hours amusement and distraction, peruse this list of links from the library of your favorite media smart alec; good ol’ Starman.

The Starman Compendium

This is the best website about the comic that inspired my nickname, despite having been irregularly updated over the years since the end of the series. The site contains original summaries of the main books as well as rare specials such as the hard-to-find “The Shade” mini-series and the Batman/Hellboy/Starman crossover.

Spider-Fan

The same blokes who run this site had a hand in writing the recent Spider-Man Encyclopedia. And Encyclopedia just about sums up this site! Profiles of all the major characters and most of the minor ones, regular reviews of the core Spider-books and anything where Spidey makes a cameo along with reviews and summaries of the older issues going all the way back to the days of Lee and Ditko, you could easily lose yourself for weeks reading through this entire site.

Man Without Fear

Without a doubt the best website about Daredevil ever, this one even boasts a schedule of what Daredevil related projects are coming out along with release dates, notes of delays (although noting the delays on a Kevin Smith book expected a year ago seems a tad redundant) . There’s also a message board, along with the standard profiles and issue summaries- all in a database that is searchable by creator, artist, inker and even editor!

The Unofficial Green Lantern Corps Webpage

Another great website not updated in far too long, this labor of love still remains the greatest depository of old-school Green Lantern knowledge, with indexed and footnoted profiles of a good portion of all the extra-terrestrial Green Lanterns as well as detailed explanations of the science of the GL rings and the technology used by the Guardians.

The Unofficial Green Arrow Fansite

Maintained by the two biggest Green Arrow fans anywhere, formed from the parts of their two respective websites, this website is a treat for anyone… even those who aren’t Green Arrow fans. Filled to the brim with issue summaries and reviews, as well as a time-line built to fit the current GA continuity. The real cool part about this website is a detailed account of darn-near every trick arrow ever used!

The Periodic Table of Comic Books

Fun and educational, this site details the times that different elements have appeared in the comics. So for all of you who ever wondered if Krypton gas was as lethal as Kryptonite, read on.

Jess Nevins’ Comic Book Annotations

Ever wonder about all the in-jokes hidden in the background of “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”? Wonder what the Bible passages quoted in “Kingdom Come” were? Jess Nevins’ explains it all (or at least a good deal) in this website. Nevins, it might be noted, recently had his annotations for “LXG” published in the book “Heroes and Monsters”.

Unca Cheeks Silver Age Comics Site

One of the greatest treasures of the web, this treasure was nearly lost following an unaffordable server-user pay-hike. Most of the graphics are gone, but the text to the funniest nostalgia web site ever remains. Unca Cheeks looks back at the classic comics of his youth with a somewhat sadder, definitely wiser and all-around funny eye. The love for the old-school style of comics is evident even as he ridicules such ridiculous concepts such as the Bee-Man.

Comics of the 1980’s

An interesting companion piece to Uncle Cheeks is Mister Meesh, who runs this website devoted to the comics of the 1980’s. Inspired by Cheeks in both site design and humorous content, this website isn’t quite as large, but deserves points for detailing what may well be the silliest bad comic of all time; The A-Team!

Tune in next week! Same Matt Time! Same Matt Web-Site!