Image Comics iPhone app a must-have for the comic lover in you

Sep 10, 2010
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If you like comics, Image Comics by comiXology (free in the iTunes App Store) should definitely be on your iOS device. This comic reader, buyer, and browser is a good app that has a lot of functionality. I myself, have never been a huge comic reader, however I do enjoy them occasionally and the free […]

If you like comics, Image Comics by comiXology (free in the iTunes App Store) should definitely be on your iOS device. This comic reader, buyer, and browser is a good app that has a lot of functionality. I myself, have never been a huge comic reader, however I do enjoy them occasionally and the free downloads available via this app are enough to last me a long time. For all of you comic and graphic novel enthusiasts out there, there is a lot of rich content to choose from far beyond the freebies.

Tap the app to get started and you will get a graphic Image Comics splash screen displaying a layout of their heroes and villains. You will find yourself on the most iTunes-looking page of the whole app, the “Featured” page. At the top, you have for four filters available for the features which are “Featured,” “News,” “Popular,” and “Rating.” Just below that, you have the iTunes banner-type advertisements for featured content, which you can tap to view.

To the left of the “Featured” button on the navigation bar at the bottom, you will find your “My Comics” page. Here, you control the content that you have downloaded — this is essentially your comics “bookshelf.” You can also sign in to your ComiXology.com account through this interface. There is also a search function to filter through the hundreds of comics that you will no doubt have stored here, as well as the ability to locate the nearest comic book stores in your area.

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The middle button on your navigation is the “Free” page. This was, of course, my favorite page, being a lover of free things. Here, like your “Featured” page, you have four filters at the top to sift through all of the free material; they are “New,” “Series,” “Rated,” and “Imprint.” This is the place to get hooked on a new comic. Download one of the free ones and then it will link you into the series to buy the next one, however the subsequent comics will most assuredly bring you into the ‘pay-to-read’ category.

Next you have the “Top 25” page. This section begins by having you select a category to view the Top 25 filter in. You can choose between “Series,” “Creator,” “Imprint,” and “Genre” — excellent functionality if you ask me. This really allows you to get into what you are looking for and keep out the stuff that you don’t want. There is a lot of content, so go crazy.

This leaves the final page of the app, the “Browse” page. This allows you to browse all the content of the store by keyword search or seven preset filters, including “Release Date” and “Storylines/Arcs”.

The reader for the comics is very comprehensive. Tap the left side of the screen to go back, the middle to bring up the interface, and the right to progress. Tap and drag to move the illustrations around, or pinch to zoom. All the functionality that you would want, including rotating for landscape view, are included. The one feature that stood out about the reader in this app is how it sections off part of the pane for you to read the content and then shifts the frame to include another part of the same pane that was hidden before– thereby adding a feel of movement and truly giving a dynamic feel to the reading experience.

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If you are just looking for some easy reading to pass some time, there is a lot of free content here and great illustrations to look at. If you are interested in comics, know that your collection of comic store apps is not complete without Image Comics.

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