At some point down the line most webcomic websites realize it would be a good idea to set up a forum for their readers. It keeps them talking and interested in your stuff on days you don’t have a post going up, and allows your readers to connect to each other to form a stronger community. Plus it’s just fun to see what will be posted and what kind of feedback you will get.
I have seen many attempts to make a forum plugin for WordPress, but surprisingly I think it’s a bad idea.
Why? Because most hack attempts on sites originate from privilege escalation, where a regular user can somehow trick the site into thinking they’re an administrator. Most of the big content management systems that also work as forums (phpnuke, drupal, joombla, mambo) have had security issues related to this. I think it’s best to separate things like a forum, store, and other visitor login stuff from your main site to reduce the chances this can happen.
I like and use phpbb, but there are many others out there. The main differences come down to how they look, what features you can add (and how easy it is to do this), and how easy they are to administer. Phpbb for me sort of hits the middle spot for all of these. Whatever you do though, keep up on any updates or security patches that come out and add them as soon as you can–no one wants to see some porn spam as their main page of their site after getting hacked.
While I don’t really post much about phpbb here, I’ll definitely monitor it and post about updates and such to it also.