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  • Free

    Comics

    by comiXology

    ComiXology is the standard for digital comic platforms. It makes buying comic books as easy as downloading an app from the App Store. With its Guided View technology, readers can experience traditional comic reading in a fresh new way. ComiXology is also the engine that powers the standalone apps from top comic publishers, such as DC, Marvel, and Image. Naturally, books from all these publishers and more are available in ComiXology. With its many free offerings, extensive library, and growing collection of comic books available on the same day as their print counterparts, ComiXology has helped transform the comics industry.

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  • $4.99

    Comic Zeal Comic Reader

    by Bitolithic Pty Ltd

    Of course, one disadvantage of ComiXology is that it charges the same price as newsstands for many of its books. Paying three or four dollars for a single digital issue can become very costly if you're a comic collector. Furthermore, buying comics from ComiXology binds you to its proprietary ecosystem. A comic file reader like Comic Zeal lets you import files in popular comic formats, such as CBZ, CBR, and PDF. It also allows you the flexibility to read scanned-in versions of your own print comics, buy large digital collections, or download from sites, such as MyDigitalComics or The Digital Comic Museum. The latter site, in particular, offers a large library of free public domain Golden Age comics.

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  • $2.99

    ComicGlass [ComicReader]

    by RR Soft

    Comic Zeal is a popular comic reader, but ComicGlass makes for an excellent alternative. In some ways, it's better. While Comic Zeal has an arguably better interface and reading layout, ComicGlass offers more customizable options, enabling you to personalize your experience. This can be both a positive and a negative. I prefer my current ComicGlass layout over the default reading option in Comic Zeal. However, I spent many hours experimenting with the settings to get them just right; most people may not possess my patience, or fanaticism. Both Comic Zeal and ComicGlass are worthy comic file readers. Comic Zeal has more immediate appeal, but ComicGlass can surpass it if you're willing put in the work needed to make it your own.

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    Box for iPhone and iPad

    by Box.net, Inc.

    I've listed two good comic file readers, but they're both limited by the iPad's inherent storage capacity. It's great to be able to read your digital comic collection on your iPad, but you don't want to take up all your device space with comic books. I prefer to store my collection in the cloud. Dropbox is an obvious choice. I like Dropbox. I use Dropbox for my personal files. However, for my digital comic collection, I use Box. It offers more initial free storage space than Dropbox (5 GB to 2 GB), and I was lucky enough to qualify for a 50 GB account promotion that was once offered. Since I started writing this article, I've already loaded more than 10 GB worth of comics into my Box account. With my 4G LTE, I can take that library with me and read comics anywhere, without burdening my iPad storage space. You can also send your comic files from the Box app directly to your comic reader, although you may need to do it issue by issue.

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  • $4.99

    GoodReader for iPad

    by Good.iWare Ltd.

    I was unsure about including GoodReader on this AppList. It is a fantastic PDF reader and annotation app, but it's not designed for comic books like the apps already mentioned. However, for my own personal uses, I stumbled upon an interesting quirk about the app. Many of the issues I loaded into Box contained a proprietary watermark on every page, which became a bit of a distraction. I don't know why, but GoodReader removed the watermarks, so I could read the comic in its original form. Comic Zeal and ComicGlass did not do this. They are better pure comic readers than GoodReader, but if you have PDF issues with those pesky watermarks, you may want to read them on GoodReader instead.

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  • $2.99

    Zap-Kapow! A Guide To Comic Books In Your Pocket

    by Bam Ninja LLC

    Perhaps the digital revolution has convinced you to sell your comic collection. This price guide app tells you what your old books are worth. There are a variety of criteria by which you can search and organize your books. My favorite feature of the app is its ability to save comic book cover images directly to your camera roll. It's a great indirect way to decorate your iPad with excellent comic wallpapers.

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    PullList

    by comiXology

    This iPhone app is also made by ComiXology, but you don't use it to buy or read comics. Instead, it tracks comics and gives you a sneak preview of the hottest titles to hit your local shop each week. You don't know where your nearest comic book store is? No problem, this app can help you find one. It also has podcasts, columns, news, and more. If you're on the go, it's a handy way to absorb the world of comic books, even when you're not reading them.

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    IGN for iPad: Video & Mobile Game News, Reviews & Guides

    by FOX Interactive Media

    IGN is known for video games, but it also offers high quality comic book coverage. Simply open IGN Touch and touch the "comic" option on the left sidebar. You will pull up a well-designed layout of the latest comic news and reviews, as well as some interesting lists, such as "The Best X-Men Rosters." It's not a dedicated comic app, but comic lovers will spend hours poring over the articles, and that's not even counting the video game ones.

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  • $5.99

    Batman Arkham City Lockdown

    by Warner Bros.

    Speaking of video games, there are some really good comic-inspired iOS games (as well as some not so good ones). If I had to pick one such game to play, it would have to Batman Arkham City Lockdown. Aside from the fact that Batman is arguably the most popular superhero around, the game is beautiful. It uses the same Unreal Engine that powers Infinity Blade 2 and has similar styled gameplay. The game is not quite as deep, but it's still beautiful and it's still Batman.

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  • Free

    Manga Rock 2 ~ Best way to read manga

    by Not A Basement Studio

    Japanese manga is a close cousin to American comic books. There are certainly stylistic differences between the two, but a fan of American comic books will generally be a fan of manga as well, or at least appreciate it. Manga Rock 2, by Not A Basement Studio, improves over the original Manga Rock app with a new design and enhanced reading experience. It features over 10,000 manga from three different sources. The app is free, although there's an in-app purchase to remove ads and download unlimited manga series. Manga Rock 2 is a great manga reading option for both casual comic fans, as well as the extreme otaku (used to refer to someone obsessed with anime or manga).

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  • $1.99

    ComicBook!

    by 3DTOPO Inc.

    Instead of reading comic books, you may want to create your own. ComicBook! allows you to do just that, using your photographs and a wide array of comic styled image filters, captions, and multi-panel layouts to make you the hero of your story. Please note, however, that underneath the quirky exterior of this app is a solid photo editing app with a lot of features. The app may use comic books as its namesake, but is not confined to that context. It's enjoyable in its own right.

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    Comic Geek Speak

    by Wizzard Media

    So far, all the apps mentioned have been highly visual. This is understandable, since the subject is comic books. The final app on this list may be the comic geekiest of them all, yet you don't see a thing. Topic aside, Comic Geek Speak is one of the best podcasts I have listened to. The hosts are knowledgeable, passionate, and naturals at conveying that passion to their listening audience. I found myself totally absorbed as I listened to hours of conversation about fantasy crossovers, cliffhanger spoilers, and other high level comic geek speak. You can find this podcast on iTunes and podcast apps, such as Instacast and Downcast. However, just as comic purists prefer original issues over trade paperbacks, I enjoyed listening to the podcast on CGS's standalone app.