The Apple iPad lineup has a wellspring of applications for reading comic books and with the advent of the New iPad, HD Comics are now available. It can sometimes can be a trial to find the best comic book apps out there that allow you flexibility within good ecosystem and freedom to load in your own comics.
The quintessential personification of capes and superheroes, Marvel has been the definitive pioneer in mass market appeal for its comic books. The company releases their digital editions on the same day as the print variants, so you can remain current when new releases come out.
Marvel Comics really shines on the New iPad with its HD comics. You get luscious and vibrant retina display quality art that really shines on the platform. You don’t exclusively need the new iPad to enjoy comics on iOS, but it certainly helps.
Recently the company released its new AR App that is available for free in the Apple App Store. It allows you to get bonus content found in some of the new releases in their comic lineup. The first comic to utilize this new technology is X-Men VS. The Avengers that gives you concept art, video, and audio. It does have some bugs, but it should be worked out over time.
Comixology is the leading indie company that has one of the best ecosystems on the iOS platform. They release a copious amount of comics on a daily basis, and have established relationships with DC, Marvel, and many more.
In December, Comixology established new relationships with IDW, which publishes the comics for Transformers, Star Trek, Doctor Who, G.I. JOE, 30 Days of Night, Templesmith, and the True Blood collection. These comic books used to be individual apps, but now they all fall into the company’s extensive portfolio. IDW used to be powered by iVerse, a competitor of comiXology, but have since gotten better agreements for digital distribution.
Comixology recently unveiled their retina display upgrade for the new iPad. This gives you very high quality art and text that can be enjoyed in a greater capacity than most of their competition.
Ideally you want to give Comixology a try because they have a ton of both indie comics and mainstream ones. You can get everything from The Walking Dead to Superman.
If you have an existing collection of comic books and want maximum freedom to load in your own, this is the app for you! Comiczeal recognizes most of the major comic book formats that you would download from the internet. It supports CBZ, CBR, RAR, ZIP, and PDF formats.
Many people find Marvel and Comixology sufficient, but comic book reading can be an extensive habit. There are many free comics found online and through alternative websites. You can load your own on your device fairly easily by using iTunes or Dropbox.
What I like about this app is the way you can organize your comics by series, so you don’t have to look through hundreds to find the one you want. Comic Zeal 5 introduces the innovative slider; you can push comics, series, and dividers into it. Then go anywhere in your library and drag them out. It’s an incredibly fast way to organize your comics.
Apple is getting into the business of comic books in a big way, with over 1,500 different editions and graphic novels on its platform. You can find everything from The Walking Dead, A Game of Thrones, Dilbert, and children-friendly titles from Disney.
This is one of the newest platforms to buy books and has its own dedicated section in the iBookstore.
Nook and Kindle Apps
Barnes and Noble and Amazon have successfully courted major and indie comic book publishers to offer a wide array of content on their platforms. Their stores have thousands of graphic novels and comics available for purchase. Prices are fairly competitive, but the one drawback is that you cannot make purchases within the application for the iPad or iOS. Instead, you have to use your PC or your web browser to buy stuff and then have it synced to the respective company’s official app. With the advent of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire, these two companies are really trying hard to outdo each other for your money, which benefits customers in the end with more deals to be had.
There are many independent apps out there that give you a ton of different content. Many standalone apps such as DC, Darkhorse, IDW, and others can be downloaded. Comixology is one of the best apps we reviewed because of the sheer amount of content that is applicable to a wide audience. I am a Marvel guy myself and find myself buying a copious amount of content on a weekly basis. Lately, I have gotten into web comics and other mediums that authors self-publish with DRM-Free editions that I can easily sideload using Comiczeal.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.