iPad as ultimate comic book reader

April 3rd, 2010 by

I’ll be purchasing one of Apple’s shiny new iPads tomorrow morning. Mostly because I’m a proud indie game developer, (and already working on a game or two for the device), but also because I see enormous potential for it to become my go-to device for consuming traditional media in digital form.

eBooks are cool, but lets face it, this thing is going to make digital comic books look gorgeous. It’s so obvious that Marvel and IDW already have iPad optimized versions of their libraries available for download. (The aptly named Comics app looks to be another good one, offering Marvel, Image, Red 5 and Zenoscope titles.) All of these apps offer comics for purchase. Looks like pricing is one or two dollars per comic.

Speaking of libraries though, lets say you have some comics on your hard drive in .cbr or .cbz format. (Or even in .pdf or .zip!) You already have two choices at launch for viewing them on your iPad:

The first is Mobi Reader, which I think looks to be the stronger of the two contenders. It’s got .cbr, .cbz, .zip, .rar, and .pdf support, right out of the proverbial box. All you need to do is transfer those files to your iPad somehow. (The app’s description says the syncing tool is not yet available on the iPad version. Boo!) This is also the more expensive option, at $14.99.

Your second choice is Comic Zeal, weighing in with a pricetag of $7.99. Comic Zeal doesn’t support all those fancy file formats, but there’s a desktop app you use that does read them, and presumably also manages the syncing to the iPad.

I’ll probably try out both of these apps in the next few days and hopefully report back with my findings. Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions in the comments!

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