Peter Sanderson is a comic book critic and historian, as well as an instructor/lecturer at New York University.
He is best known for his work as a researcher at the two main American comics companies, DC and Marvel, where he helped to catalog the various fictional characters that comprised their respective continuities.
Sanderson was first hired by DC in the early 1980s, where he was given the task of reading every comic book published by DC since 1935. His research was used by Marv Wolfman in writing Crisis on Infinite Earths and by Len Wein in writing Who's Who in the DC Universe. Sanderson then went to work for Marvel as their first (and only) archivist, and contributed as a researcher on the various Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Sanderson was also the writer of the Marvel Saga and Wolverine Saga limited series. These titles did not follow the typical art-centered comic book format. Instead, the two series focused on text chronicling the fictional histories of comic book characters - rather than writing new exploits of the characters, Sanderson culled information from comic books Marvel had published over the years. The text was supplemented by individual panels excerpted from the comic books that served as Sanderson's sources.
He currently writes an online column entitled Comics in Context, which (in Peter's own words) is "a weekly series of critical essays on comics, cartoon art, and related subjects" (those "related subjects" can run the gamut from film adaptations of comic books to other media that have been influenced by comics, such as Star Wars). The series started on July 8, 2003 on the website IGN.com, but has since moved to the Kevin Smith-affiliated website Quick Stop Entertainment. According to Mr. Sanderson, the "Powers That Be" in charge of IGN's comics section began to tamper with the titles of his columns and complain about some of the topics he covered, whereby a "change of scenery" was necessary. The first article to appear on Quick Stop Entertainment was published on June 23, 2006.
Sanderson also teaches the class The Graphic Novel as Literature at NYU, and reviews the latest in comics and comics-related material for Publishers Weekly.