When I read a comic book on a mobile device, I tend to forget I'm doing so. This is especially the case when I'm comfortably seated on the couch with snacks in hand. There’s nothing like getting lost in a comic, but not every app lets you reach reading nirvana so easily. Purchasing comics, moving their files to an iPhone or iPad, and organizing them all can become ridiculously cumbersome depending on what app you’re using. If you’re looking to spend your comics budget on actual titles instead of an app, cost can also make choosing a comic reader pretty difficult.
For us comics aficionados, maintaining a library and having a good reading experience is essential. Which apps offer the best experience when it comes to storing, syncing, and most of all, reading comic books on the iPad? We reviewed five iOS comic readers that let you load your own comics library onto your iPad. You'll notice we did not review the popular comics apps made by the major publishers, such as Marvel and DC, because those apps limit your reading to titles from their own brands. Other apps, like Comics, offer multiple stores to buy from in one app, but they do not readily let you import your own files for easy reading. (We're planning a follow-up piece that focuses on just those types of apps. Keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks.)
If you want to be able to organize your own collection of digital comics, you’ll need an app that can work with DRM-free file types. Some of these formats, like CBZ and CBR, have often been used for sharing pirated scans of comics, but these formats are also supported by many independent online comics stores (such as SLG), who will let you choose your format of choice, DRM-free.