It took a lot of research to put this together (besides reading a lot of comic books) and I wanted to thank the people at the websites listed in the links below. Every one of these sites was a huge help.
Continuity and Resources – DCU
Elfie’s Comic Book Lists
Some reading orders for Superman, Batman, Crisis to Crisis, and Hellblazer. Not very up to date, but one of the first sites that helped me with trade orders.
Continuity Nerd Forums and an amazing timeline for batty books.
The Unauthorized Chronology Of the DC Universe
A DCU Continuity Timeline. Not really a reading order, but fun for DC fans.
Great info on the main DCU teams like the JSA or JLA, as well as plenty of other features (like a Golden Age Batman Chronology)
The Unofficial Guide To The DC Universe
An unofficial Who’s Who for the DC Universe
The Real Batman Chronology Project
This blog chronicles an extensive effort to define and place every Batman story on a timeline.
Collected Edition’s DC Trade Paperback Timeline
The excellent book review blog also holds this gem of an annotated list for (mostly modern) DC trades. We don’t agree on everything, but the reasoning is great to have. It’s well worth your time to browse.
Continuity and Resources – Marvel
Marvel Masterworks Homepage
The absolute best resource for Marvel’s Masterworks and many other Marvel publications. Also home to the awesome Collected Editions Discussion Forums. I haven’t actually used this site much when researching our reading order (since Marc’s way ahead of that and most our issues are with modern trades) but we’ll never be dealing with all the variant editions for these books. The MM homepage has all that information covered!
Marc’s Marvel Comics Trade Paperback Timeline
This is an annotated list by Marc, who is also a contributor at this site. He’s been helping me develop the dynamic tagged version of this list. Since our list will not be annotated, this one is an essential companion!
The Center Cannot Hold’s Trade Timelines
There are timelines for other continuities here as well, but I originally found this site while looking for info on a couple hard to place Marvel books. Great work here.
Continuity – Other
Steve’s Buffyverse Timeline
A very helpful resource for Buffy comics.
Mike’s Amazing World Of DC Comics (and Marvel too!)
A huge database of DC information, for single issues, trades, and tons of other interesting things.
Millarworld Trade Paperback List
Not well updated in some time, but a good collecting guide for many titles, especially outside of the DCU.
The Comic Book Database
An essential resource for any serious collector!
A site with strange and outdated organization, but lots of amazing information on all kinds of superheroes. They’ve got a great page for Milestone, for example.
Often used research tool.
News and Reviews
Collected Comics Library
Primarily structured around an excellent podcast with news and reviews, this site also includes an extremely useful release schedule for upcoming (and past) books.
Awesome reviewing blog with a pretty good reading order for the DCU – has helped me with recent events many times.
Comic Book Resources
Tons of news, forums, and other… well, resources. I’m on the DC Forums here a lot.
This multi-author blog posts a lot of great reviews, as well as a fair amount of speculation and discussion of recent comics related news. Great resource!
With Great Power…
Marc has been doing some great graphic novel reviews over at his blog and I’m looking forward to seeing his Marvel trade timeline, which he’s told me should be up in the next couple months.
A great place for bulk orders on new books.
Barcodescan’s Store on Ebay
Barcodescan is currently my favorite Ebay seller, as he seems to list full runs of trades very often, usually with a low starting price point. I got about 50 showcase volumes through him for an average of 5 dollars per book by buying in bulk. It’s usually DC or DC Imprint stuff. Very reliable and always well packed shipping.
Primarily a store, but not to be overlooked as a source of information. The reviews are fun, but the page counts, ISBN numbers, and release dates are most useful.
Often the only way to find some books for a reasonable price, I’ve always got a couple saved searches running here.
Another place to compare prices. Always make sure to search by ISBN number here since many items are listed under the wrong title and cover image.