The world of print has nearly faded in to non-existence compared to what it once was, and that’s all because of the digital devices we carry around every day. While some industries of print have been hit harder than others, some have made the transition to digital so well that people actually prefer to read these materials in a digital form than on paper. Books definitely aren’t one of them, as there are plenty that like to feel the pages between their hands, but comics on the other hand have made an amazing transition to digital from paper. Sometimes it’s not just the same old flat comics either, publishers have even gone out of the way to deliver soft-animated graphic novels and the like with full narration and ways to make the material come alive like never before. While this isn’t the norm, it’s an unexpected bonus of the digital way of life, and if you’re interested in reading comics or manga on your phone or tablet we’ve got the definitive list of how to do it!
ComiXology has quite possibly the largest library of comics ever to grace a single service. ComiXology’s library spans the universes of Marvel, DC Comics and plenty of other smaller publishers and writers that you may or may not have heard of. ComiXology guarantees same day releases with the paper versions of comics, so those wanting the digital version don’t have to play the usual waiting game that digital can sometimes see upon release. Amazon recently purchased ComiXology though, and as such removed the ability to purchase via Google Wallet, which really ticked a lot of people off. If you don’t mind using Amazon for your purchases, this might just be the ultimate comic app with the most variety out there.
Dark Horse Digital
The Dark Horse Comics app features all of the Dark Horse published comics that you know and love, including big names like Star Wars, Mass Effect, Serenity, Hell Boy, Sin City and an absolute boat load more. This is the only place you can officially get Dark Horse’s comics, as they’ve decoupled from the other bigger comics distribution models to follow their own. Dark Horse features a cloud based system that’ll let you read all your purchases on practically any device you want too, so if your phone dies or you forgot your tablet but just have to read the latest release, you can always stop by any available computer and read it on there.
Comic Rack is intended to be a viewer to read comics you already have rather than a service to purchase the comics from. Featuring an excellent user interface and overall design, Comic Rack is one of the biggest comic readers out there, providing plenty of features like place holding synchronization between devices, so you’ll never forget where you left off again, as well as an awesome live wallpaper that randomly displays cover art of any comics in your library. The free version will let you read your comics without issue, but for those wanting the sync functionality as well as not ads you can purchase it within the app.
Marvel Comics are some of the most popular, most loved comics in the world, so what place better to get your comics than from the source? Marvel’s comics app is a well laid-out app that is pleasing to the eye, easy to navigate, and most importantly offers some truly affordable comics for the casual comic reader. Featuring plenty of categories that make looking for the perfect comic a super easy and pleasant experience, Marvel’s storefront is an excellent way to get the best from the company without hassle. Marvel has a solution for the comic fan that just can’t get enough, so check that out below.
Not content with reading a few comics per month? Need all the comics you can handle right now for a low monthly fee? $9.99 per month will net you such a deal on Marvel Unlimited, which like many streaming music services out there gives you unlimited access to all of Marvel’s 15,000+ comic books, ensuring you never go without a new comic to read as long as you’re subscribing. The store here behaves very much like the Marvel Comics app above, except you add comics to your library as you see fit, reading them whenever you’re able and not worrying about spending oodles of cash on your favorite pastime.
Perfect Viewer does exactly what it sounds like: provides a near-perfect comic viewing experience for those that already have a large library of digital comics to read. Obviously not just relegated to comics only, you can import whatever formats the viewer supports, meaning manga, e-books, graphic novels and more. Perfect Viewer has a great little library mode to view all those beautiful covers, as well as some truly excellent viewing controls once you’re in your book of choice. Perfect Viewer is free and supports just about every file format out there that’s commonly used for books and comics.
Challenger Comic Viewer
Challenger comic reader is a full-featured and free comic reader that’s sure to thrill you while reading. The layout is fantastic and based on Holo guidelines, which are on the way out of course but are still very pleasing to the eye, particularly since it’s based on Holo Dark and won’t get in your way or distract you while reading. Navigation is a breeze, and the library layout is beautiful and functional. Automatic next-page loading ensures you’ll never be sitting there waiting for a particularly detailed page to be rendered or read from storage, and plenty of other features will keep you from looking around for other readers.
Madefire is that whole new way of viewing comics that I talked about in the beginning of this article, and it’s changing the way people read and view comics as a whole. Creating a sort of fusion between full-frame animation and comic books, Madefire’s custom made comics use all of your favorite source material including comics from DC to Dark Horse and plenty of others, to create a moving experience complete with sound that completely changes the way a comic feels. Think of this as storyboarding on crack, as full-color and finalized illustrations come to live and move around the page. The app itself is free and you’ll have to purchase individual comics, but they are worth every penny.
Manga Rock was the first of its kind to be a service to both buy and read manga from on your Android device, and as of March this year they’ve completely revamped the entire app for a whole new manga experience. Featuring over 100,000 mangas to download and read, Manga Rock is a good source for all things manga and very likely has whatever you want to read available on their store. The app itself is no slouch either, with the ability to subscribe to your favorite manga so you’ll never miss a new episode again, and plenty of options for the viewer itself, there’s practically nothing more to ask for in a manga reading app.
Crunchyroll is a streaming anime service that features free and paid content, and specializes in unlimited streaming through a Netflix style subscription model. Now Crunchyroll brings that same experience to the world of manga, providing you with a free trial to give the service a shot, and afterward you pay just a few bucks a month to get unlimited access to everything in Crunchyroll’s library. Crunchyroll also guarantees day one availability, so when the newest manga hits the shelves in Japan you’ll be able to find it on Crunchyroll’s digital shelves.