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iphone comicsI’ve always preferred to read comic books than novels. Maybe it’s the hot babes in tight suits with super powers, maybe it’s the dream of being able to fly, or maybe it’s simply the appreciation of great stories behind excellent graphic art. Illustrated stories captivate me more than plain text ones.

But I’m also more of a traditional reader who prefers the paper version of comic books than the digital version. One of the main reasons is because traditional comic books are easier to carry around and read than the digital version on laptops.

I don’t even consider the possibilities of reading comic books on mobile phone screens. While it’s definitely easy to carry around, and the only limit to how many books that one can carry is the storage size; the thought of having to continuously re-size the pages tells me it just not worth the trouble.  Boy how I was wrong.

Another Way Of Looking

I stumbled onto an iPhone app called Comics by comiXology. Out of curiosity, I downloaded the app. The page description says that this app solves the problem of reading comics on a small screen.

iphone comics

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The app is an iPhone comics reader and store, similar to what Apple does to ebooks with its iBooks. You can browse your (already downloaded) comics, see the featured titles, or browse and download comics based on the categories. Just like your friendly neighborhood comic retail stores, you can find comics from various publishers.

For those who would like to test the water before jumping in, there are lots of free iPhone comics that you can download from the store. Just tap on the “Free” section. But registration is needed prior to downloading.

iphone app lets me read my own comics

And what about the reading experience itself? Comics uses a page displaying method called “Guided View Technology”, which will show the comic art panel by panel instead of page by page. The flow of the panels is synchronized with the flow of the story.

You can rotate the screen following the orientation of the panel to get the optimal size of the panel. You can also pinch to zoom to get a larger image. To go to the next panel, tap on the right of the screen, and tap left to go back.

iphone app lets me read my own comics

Contrary to my initial opinion, reading a comic on the small screen doesn’t have to be inconvenient. I actually like the guided panel-by-panel approach as it gives me surprises along the way.

iphone app lets me read my own comics

Other Comic Apps

Addicted, I went back to the iTunes Store to find out more. Lucky for me, the store currently has a spotlight on iPhone comic apps. They are classified into three types : Comic Readers, Books, and Other comic-related materials.

Readers are similar to Comics, they are something like bookshelves where you can put your comic collections. Other than Comics – and other retail store type of apps, there are also apps from major publishers who specialize with their own comics.

dc comics on iphone

The second type is comic books which have been converted into individual apps. Just like other iPhone apps, you can download these types of books directly from iTunes and they will be installed onto your iPhone when you sync it.

dc comics on iphone

If you read comic books a lot, you will know that they are not only for children. There are also comics for adults with violence, red-penciled words, and other stuff that are inappropriate for little children. That’s why iTunes will give you this warning every time you are about to download age-restricted materials.

dc comics on iphone

Most individual iPhone comic books also display their stories panel by panel, but in a more simpler way than Comics.

05 Wallace Gromit.jpeg

The last type is comic related materials that will brighten the day of most comic maniacs.

 iphone comics

So if you love comic books, your iPhone could turn into a very addictive toy. Just a short visit to the iTunes Store and I ended up with a lot of comic-related apps to play with, and lots of comic books to read (and I’m still limiting myself to the free stuff).

Do you read iPhone comic books? Can you recommend other apps similar to Comics? You can share your comic experiences using the comments section below. And don’t forget to check out other articles on MakeUseOf about finding How to Find and Read Comic E-Books Online How to Find and Read Comic E-Books Online Read More and reading ComicRack - An Incredible Free eComic Reader [Windows] ComicRack - An Incredible Free eComic Reader [Windows] Read More digital comic books 5 Great Web Comics You Should Read [Part 2] 5 Great Web Comics You Should Read [Part 2] Read More , or manga The 3 Best Sites To Read Manga Online The 3 Best Sites To Read Manga Online Read More .

  1. thurana
    August 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Hi hairybeef,

    From all of the comic reader apps that I've tried, none of them has the combination you've mentioned.

  2. hairybeef
    August 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Are there any apps which have a feature similar to "guided view" AND allow you to import?

    • Anonymous
      August 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Hi hairybeef,

      From all of the comic reader apps that I've tried, none of them has the combination you've mentioned.

    • hairybeef
      August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      :( sad face. thanks for the reply ^^

  3. Ashwin Manoj
    July 29, 2010 at 7:01 am

    i've tried comics but there are less free ones .... i downloaded an app called comics+.... it claims to have many publishers etc....

    • Anonymous
      July 30, 2010 at 12:27 am

      With Comics I've downloaded more than 30 free titles (and there are more). But it wouldn't hurt to have more by adding more comic readers like comic+. Thanks for mentioning it.

  4. IshootPeople
    July 28, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Although the app is not especially intuitive i still kinda like it. Of course you'll have to make some extra moves, but you know...it's all good. You can read and see everything so i guess it's good.

    • Anonymous
      July 30, 2010 at 12:23 am

      Sorry, I didn't mean to say the app is bad. It's just not yet on my top list. And everybody can have his/her own preferences.

  5. thurana
    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Hi Dznr,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried the app before but I think the interface is not too intuitive. You'd need several click just to go from one page to another and the pages keep resizing to the small and unreadable size everytime we open a new page. Enlarging the pages to the readable size requires another few steps. These annoyances make reading comic less enjoyable.

    The app might be great for large screen devices like iPad, but I wouldn't recommend it for iPhone/iPod Touch users. At least not in the current state. I have high hopes for improved future version, though.

  6. Dznr
    July 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    ComicBookLover is the I've found. There is no "guided view" (which I don't like), but you can add your own comics through iTunes and use there desktop app for organizing and reading your comics on your computer. There are plenty of public domain comics out there to collect and read on these devices.

    • Anonymous
      July 28, 2010 at 12:11 am

      Hi Dznr,Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried the app before but I think the interface is not too intuitive. You'd need several click just to go from one page to another and the pages keep resizing to the small and unreadable size everytime we open a new page. Enlarging the pages to the readable size requires another few steps. These annoyances make reading comic less enjoyable.The app might be great for large screen devices like iPad, but I wouldn't recommend it for iPhone/iPod Touch users. At least not in the current state. I have high hopes for improved future version, though.

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