We discussed the challenge of turning comics into e-books. It’s just a matter of time before the technical problems are solved, considering the desire to innovate and the drive to make money exist.
Comic Book Apps could be the launching pad to solve e-comic obstacles.
The Big Three
ComiXology is the leader of the pack, featuring more than 50,000 titles.
They use “Guided View Technology” , an innovation that mimics the natural movement of the eye when reading a print version of a comic, allowing you to read a comic full screen or panel by panel.
ComiXology has a very straightforward interface. Comics are arranged under different categories like Best Seller, Series, Publisher, Genre, etc. This makes it very easy to find your desired publication.
There is virtually no platform on which the ComiXology app is not available. Apple, Kindle, Android, PC and Mac are all covered. Across device syncing is enabled which makes reading your comics easier.
There is a huge variety available through this service. All the major publishers are available, including DC Comics and Marvel Comics. In fact 75 publishers, besides independent comic creators, are present on this site.
Providing that you meet their standards, you can also make your own creations available via Comixology.
There are quite a few free comics available. DRM free backup is another feature of this service.
Comics are sold for anything from $0.99. Most are in the order of $1.99 but you do find comics that go for as much as $4.99. The service itself is free and you do not pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
ComiXology was recently bought by Amazon. There have been some complaints about changes instituted by Amazon like killing the impulse buy that spurs further purchases.
The name gives it away, doesn’t it? These guys are the creators of all time favorites like Superman, Batman or the Joker and Lex Luthor if you prefer the darker side.
The DC Comics app is free. It is available on various platforms including iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. The iOS version now features retina display.
The app is generally appreciated as it does what it promises. Depending on the device, HD is also available. Generally new issues are available the same day that print issues are published.
The DC Comics app does not have a Shopping Cart and this can be irritating at times. There are free and 99¢ comics available, but most are charged at $2.99
Again, the name tells us a lot. Here we have the home of Spiderman, Hulk, the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus.
Marvel Unlimited charges a monthly subscription of $9.99 (or $69 per year). You can then read as many comics as you want. If you consider that comics go for about $2.99, this is not as expensive as one might think.
Marvel Unlimited does allow you to buy select comics.
A big drawback here is that new issues only become available 6 months after the print version hits the shelves. Considering that there are more than 15 000 Marvel comics already available, this app gives you access to a huge variety and helps you to keep busy while you wait for the latest Thor or Superman adventure to become digitally available.
You can download up to 6 comics. These can be read even if you do not have an internet connection.
Life Hacker and Esquire feels that this is the best comic reading app for the iPad, and it would also be a great app for your Android device.
Comic Zeal, $4.99, is a reader or comic organizer, a bit like a Kobo reader. This zealous lot does not publish comics—you buy them elsewhere and load it via your devices and USB ports, via WIFI and DropBox. Once uploaded, the app automatically places the comics into the correct genre. This is done via metadata tags in each file.
The Dark Horse Comics app, available for Android and iOS, features various franchises like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars and Mass Effect. Sin City and Hell Boy are also part of the Dark Horse stable, not to mention manga and manhwa titles.
The app itself is not as smooth as some of the others discussed here but it does a decent job. It’s not as though reading a PDF on a Nook is easy either—lots of edges to smooth out when it comes to the perfect reading experience.
Oh yes! You can also read right to left if the story line requires it- now that’s a plus!
Again the name gives us a very unsubtle hint about the comic content.(Mangas are from Japan and manwhas from Korea.) This free app, available on Android and iOS, is like the Swiss Army Knife of manga apps. It is a comic reader, a download manager, a discovery engine and a library.It also helps you to find so-called manga scanlations– fan-translated versions of the Japanese or Korean originals.
It is clear that the interest in e-comics is huge. You might be tempted to equate e-books with Amazon because of the popularity of the Kindle, but when it comes to e-comics, the landscape is much wider than one publisher. This is true even though Amazon owns ComiXology, the most popular e-comic app and service at this time.
Zen Scribe would love to hear from all you e-comic readers out there. How about sharing your favorite e-comic app with our old robed man?