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Electronic books and magazines are no joke. Last Christmas alone, Amazon already sold more electronic issues than regular books.

International manga The 3 Best Sites To Read Manga Online The 3 Best Sites To Read Manga Online Read More fans have long been known for downloading their stories online, but now regular comics are appearing online as well. With copyright expiring, some of the great classics can now be downloaded for free, legally.

Most of these comics and manga can be read on your computer with your native image viewer, but to really enjoy them, you’ll want to use special comic book reader software. You can find decent comic book readers for most devices, but none of them will fare as well as ComicRack does on Windows.

ComicRack

ComicRack describes itself as ‘the best eComic reader and manager for Windows computers’. Having tried it, I don’t dare to refute that claim. ComicRack doesn’t just look good, it is an all-purpose solution; the Swiss army knife of comic book apps. It’ll function as a comic reader, a library management application, and a conversion tool.

comic book reader

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eComic Reader

The ComicRack reader supports the usual zip, rar, tar, 7z, pdf files, but also cbz, cbr, cbt, or cb7. These last four are essentially renamed archives of the first type, and are typical for eComics.

There are various reading modes. The one you see below, two page display, gives a real comic book view to it. For smaller displays, you can also view a single page at a time, or only part of a page with auto-scroll. I can picture a few Blake and Mortimer comics where that might be necessary.

comic book reader

Network Sharing must be one of the more exciting aspects of ComicRack. You can share your entire eComic library over your network, optionally passworded, and access it from another laptop or tablet wherever in reach. Other nifty features of this comic book reader includes a magnifying glass, auto-rotation for some tablet PCs, and even a special manga reading mode.

Library & Conversion

ComicRack is more than only a fine eComic reader, it allows you to organize and manage your soon all-encompassing library. Albeit digital, most collectors want to do more than just keep their comics within reach.

comic book reader

The library view – which can be opened simultaneously or in a different tab than the reader – offers you a shelf view of eComic thumbnails. You can find your way by launching a Quick Search, or creating a list or smartlist. The latter one allows you to sort on eComic information, like ‘author’, ‘series’, ‘read’, and so on, essentially creating a more dynamic sort of sorting than general lists and folders.

ComicRack also allows you to convert between every supported format. Do you have a PDF that you want to turn into a cbz or cb7 eComic archive? Just give the command! The application also supports batch converting, allowing you to take a whole folder worth of comics at once. Back in the library view, you can even modify the color scheme for a single eComic.

Do you know any other great eComic reading or management solutions? Perhaps for Linux or Mac OS X? Let us know in the comments section below.

  1. Inkeyes
    April 5, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I recently discovered ComicRack after using CDisplay for a few years and it's a gem. I love the way ComicRack organizes your chaotic comics folders into a single library, complete with thumbnails. The visuals are vibrant, with easy colour tuning and high-quality zooming. I'm sure the creator of ComicRack is a comics addict too, because every update (and they have been frequent) shows a labour of love.

  2. Qq
    March 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    i love ComicRack. there is nothing better for managing eComics.
    library and smartlists in ComicRack are so convenient for a collector. and now i can share library over internet with my second compyter or with anybody i want. just perfect.

    oh, and you can read various WebComics inside ComicRack... xkcd, garfield, etc. just check their forum for details.

    i only wish more publishers would sell their comics in digital format. that's the future! hopefully without DRM.

    this great app is waiting for them to join the ride.

    maybe they'll wake up. iPad should make them realize there's market out there.

    • Kamakazi
      March 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      I agree about the iPad, I hope more comics start to be released in digital formats somewhere other than the PSP, it seems like the perfect comic distribution system. And with all the color e-readers coming out it will only get bigger. What would be beyond awesome would be something similar with the Nook has with Barnes and Noble where you can preview books in the store only with comics and comic book stores. I feel like that would help drive business to comic book stores.

  3. AriesWarlock
    March 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Looks nice, I'll have to try it. I just use CDisplay.

    • Kamakazi
      March 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      I used CDisplay for a long time, then I moved to this. The thing I really liked about it were the smart lists, rating, and marking as read. Smart lists are just awesome because you can filter stuff by just about anything you want. Rating is nice because with all the comics I have it lets me keep track of the ones I might want to go back and read. And Marking as read is just great, I had a (rather) complex folder structure while using CDisplay which meant I was constantly moving comic files from one folder to another as they were read, this is so much easier.

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