If I have 2 minutes to read a paper, I will read the headlines, the weather, and the comics.
There are many sophisticated categories and critiques of the art of comics. The best book on the art of comics is Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud; published in 1993 by Kitchen Sink Press, Inc. The book itself is done in comic book format! His website, btw, is ScottMcCloud.com.
I used to have boxes and boxes of comic books but sadly enough, I only go buy comic books every now and then.
Just a few distinctions:
The word "cartoon" is related to the Italian cartone, the Dutch/Flemish karton, and the English usage of "carton" as in carton containers. They all imply a sturdy paper or paperboard. Illustrations on carton were called "cartoons". These were often studies or sketches preliminary to a more finished work. Cartoons were also perforated to mark lines on frescoes. A somewhat whimsical connotation has become attached to the word. The word has also become commonly used for animated 2D comics while 3D art (via computer modeling, claymation, etc.) or animated 2D "art" are not called cartoons.
The word "comic" from Latin comicus, from Greek komikos/komos which meant revel or to take pleasure. While a comic and a comedian are often synonymous, the word has also become synonymous with sequential illustrations that is often combined with text as in comic books, comic strips, illustrated stories, and graphic novels.
Anime is Japanese animation. Manga is Japanese comics/stills. I've bought lots of manga and will continue to do so. However you can find places to read them for free online but the sites change around. EG: onemanga.com has essentially been killed, but as of 2011-04-05 mangareader.net is still going.
Almost anything by Hayao Miyazaki. Mostly anime movies.
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. 6 volume manga, anime movie, and upcoming live action movie. Classic cyberpunk.
Gantz by Oku, Hiroya. Ongoing manga and live action movie. Freaky violence.
Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit or First Step) by Morikawa, Joji "George". Excellent boxing manga.
History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi by Matsuena, Syun. Manga and anime. Cheesy but it has martial arts.
Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Mao (Demon King Daimao) by several. 12 episode anime based on the manga. Interesting theism/antitheism theme.
Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) by Toboso, Yana.
Naruto by Kishimoto, Masashi. The number one hyperactive knuckle head ninja. Anime and manga with over 500 chapters and going.
Okami to Koshinryo (Spice and Wolf) by several. Refreshing and odd, focused on trade. Anime and manga.
Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003). Directed by Sylvain Chomet.
Simpson address: 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield, XX.
"Those critics who got it wrong at the start by billing the Simpsons as 'America's most dysfunctional family.' It's now clear that Homer almost always ends up doing the right thing; it is, it could be argued, one of the most moral shows on television today. According to Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams: 'It's one of the most subtle pieces of propaganda around in the cause of sense, humility and virtue.' "
Comics.com. Includes largely syndicated comics. See archived stuff too.
Comics.org. ' The Grand Comic-Book Database Charter. We are building a simple database that will be easy to use and understand, easy to add to, and easy for people to contribute to. We will include information on creator credits, story details, and other information useful to the comic book reader and fan. If we are able to take this to its ultimate conclusion, this database will contain data for every comic book ever published. '
Glass House Graphics [GlassHouseGraphics.com]. 'Founded in 1993, with offices in as far-reaching locations as Manila, Philippines and Sao Paulo, Brazil, Glass House Graphics, Inc. is a premier media service agency and studio devoted to print, radio, and TV advertising; corporate identity; traditional, flash, and 3-D animation; storyboards; product photography; web design; character sculpting and creature design; comic book and comic strip art; talent and licensed property representation; and lots more. '
Lambiek.net. 'Lambiek is Europe's first and most famous antiquarian comic shop, and is a hallmark in the world of comics. Located in Amsterdam, Lambiek has a great selection of comics in many languages. Discover your favorite comic artists in the Comiclopedia - a huge compendium of more than 5,000 international comic artists, with biographies and artwork examples.'
Marvel Directory [MarvelDirectory.com]. 'The database has been designed just like the comic book series "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe." We have the support of the Marvel Fan Site program, this allows us to bring you graphics and Marvel material that they provide and support.'
Vintage Superhero Comic Book Shop [vintagesuperhero.com. 'Are you searching for that one special superhero comic book from years ago? We've got the largest selection of vintage comics available anywhere. We also have the best prices available. Hey if we're lying feel free to send The Punisher over here to set us straight!'
VGCats.com. Online comics with a gaming/movies theme.
Webcomics Nation [webcomicsnation.com]. "Webcomics Nation is a place for comics creators to show off and share their work -- sort of like Flickr or Blogger or whatever, except that we're all about original webcomics (online comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and manga) instead of photos or blargs."
WordsAndPictures.org. A 'virtual museum, an exciting, constantly evolving portal to an unprecedented world view of comics'.