The advent of the digital age has drastically changed our methods of consuming media. Books and music have become digitised and in the same vein it is now possible to read entire comic books from a variety of electronic devices.
I have been a fan of comics for a long time and as an Android user I have had the opportunity to try out a number of comic apps for Android. Here are 3 (and 1 bonus) useful comic viewer apps that you can use in your Android phone.
1. Droid Comic Viewer
Over the years a number of comic book archive formats have emerged which essentially package the individual images of a comic book and display it in a friendly format.
To complement this digital format, developers have created apps to access the comics. One such app is Droid Comic Viewer.
This app is relatively simple to use. After launching the app you will see a blank screen.
Tap on the Android logo in the middle of the screen. The preferences menu will pop-up.
Select “Open” to load comic books onto your phone and view them using this app. You will have to manually navigate the phone’s data tree and find your comic book archive files.
After finding the file click it to start reading the comic in the app itself.
Depending on the size of the comic it may take some time to load. After the comic has loaded you can view it immediately.
You can navigate through the pages of the comic by clicking on the two darkened circles at the bottom of the screen.
You may also want to adjust how deep the comic is zoomed in.
Finally, the app also comes with a lot of customisation options to suit your needs.
2. Vintage Comic Droid
I love reading graphic novels, however, it is difficult to find new ones to read cheaply on my Android device. This is where Vintage Comic Droid comes in. It has a large database of older comics that can be easily downloaded and read using the app.
After installing the app itself you will have to first install additional graphics packages to use the app. There are a couple of files that need to be downloaded and depending on your data connection it only takes a few minutes.
After the initial files are downloaded and installed the app creates a database of a number of “vintage” comics.
Once the app has finished creating the database the main page opens. This page looks a lot like the cover of a comic book.
To obtain new comics click on the “Browse Library” link.
First select a comic of your choice (you can also search for a particular comic if you wish). This will open a new page where you will have to pick an issue to download.
Downloading each issue will take some time, but the size of each issue is noted so you can roughly gauge how long it will take. Issue 1 of the comic “Cookie” took me about 10 minutes to download.
Once the issue has finished downloading you can immediately view it by clicking on the issue link (you will notice that the blue dot next to the issue name will turn green indicating that the issue is now in your library.
That’s it, you can navigate the comic by clicking on the arrow keys.
To view comics already in your library click on the “View Comics” link.
Finally, to resume reading an earlier comic click on the “Continue Reading” button (the “Continue Reading” button changes to “CLICK” when you click it).
3. Comic Strips
Unlike Droid Comic Viewer, Comic Strips is geared towards the fan of newspaper “funnies”. These short comic strips are ideal when you have a minute to spare.
Comic Strips has a vast database of short comic strips and opening up the app displays the entire list for viewing.
To view a comic strip simply select the strip title.
In most cases the strip displayed will be the latest one. However, some strips were slow to update. In any case you can use the arrow keys on top to scroll through older versions of the strips.
The massive list of comic strips can be a little overwhelming, but once you have found your top comic strips, you can add them to the “Favourites” section by holding the title of the comic and selecting “Add to Favourites”.
Once added to the “Favourites” list it becomes easier to select that comic.
If you are not a fan of xkcd comics then this app will be a waste of space on your Android phone. The app simply pulls the latest xkcd comics and displays them in a very user-friendly format.
Clicking on the Menu button displays a number of options including the ability to display the xkcd “hover text”.
The ability to share the comic link and image is also a nice addition.
Depending on my mood I either use Vintage Comic Droid or Droid Comic Viewer to read longer graphic novels or if I want a quick fix I use Comic Strips to read shorter cartoons. Either way these apps are good additions to your Android app library.
Let us know in the comments which comic viewing app is your favourite!