Bill Schelly chronicled and contributed to the fringes of pop culture since the mid-1960s, when he became widely known for his popular comics fanzine Sense of Wonder. He began researching the history of comic book fandom in 1991, eventually compiling it in the book The Golden Age of Comic Fandom (1995). In 1998, he became Associate Editor of the magazine Alter Ego. His other fandom history books include Sense of Wonder: A Life in Comic Fandom (2000, expanded and revised, 2018) and Founders of Comic Fandom (2010).
Schelly has written several biographies of film and comics artists, including movie clown Harry Langdon and sci-fi/comics writer Otto Binder. Schelly authored Man of Rock, a biography of Joe Kubert (2008), followed by The Art of Joe Kubert (2011) and Weird Horrors and Daring Adventures (2012). In 2015, he wrote a biography of artist/publisher L.B. Cole for Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole as well as Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, which won an Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book in 2016. His last book was 2018's James Warren, Empire of Monsters: The Man Behind Creepy, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters, chronicling the life story of the visionary magazine publisher.
Schelly passed in 2019, having gifted the world a wealth of well-researched and sharply-written material about fandom and comics history.