Mook The Comic (in 3D) is a quirky comic strip featuring an oddball alien named Mook, and his friends CLiK and Blog. The most noticeable boast from this app is that it features the ability to view the stories in either 2D or 3D, (the latter by the use of 3D glasses). The idea behind the app is that the developer/writer will produce three new strips every three weeks, each available via updates. But is Mook any good? And are Android devices the best platforms for reading comics? Read on to find out more…
What Is It All About Then?
Mook is an alien spaceship pilot and is accompanied by his colleague Blog and a robot called CLiK. Together they enjoy a series of basic comic strip scenarios with twee quips and amusing jeopardy, in stories of three or four panels. The jokes generally to play upon human/alien similarities, a few Android in-jokes (worth looking out for!) and the use of pithy idioms and ‘reveal’ punchlines. It’s pretty harmless; you won’t die laughing but some strips might make you raise an amused smile. Think Fred Bassett or Garfield and you will get the gist.
Controls and Effects
Using the comic is very simple. Simply swipe the screens from the right hand side and you move between frames. The app comes with a menu, offering to either start the comic or learn about Mook and his world. In the ‘About’ section you get an introduction to Mook, his friends and his impatient boss ‘Commander Nerk’.
When you ‘Start’ the comic you can choose between viewing in 2D or 3D – although 3D requires a pair of red/blue 3D glasses. You subsequently see a sub-menu list of the various stories you can read. At the time of writing, there are nine strips, but three further strips are added every three weeks and are delivered when the app updates.
2D or 3D Viewing Options
There is a persistent soundtrack on loop as you go through the menus and stories. It surprised me a little to be honest because, although the comic has a science fiction setting, the music is a kind of natty jazz sample. It reminded me of the kind of music TVs “Frasier” might play or, for those aware, the chirpy theme music to Jeeves and Wooster. It’s like a quirky 1930′s jazz-clarinet skiffle. This music is on a very short loop and you sadly do not have the option to turn it off. I appreciate these things are a matter of taste, but I found it deeply annoying.
How Does It Compare?
Much has been rightly made of the new Marvel Comics app, which lets you purchase and download comics and read about your favourite Marvel characters. There is also a DC Comics app which does a similar thing. Mook The Comic (in 3D) is however neither of these, and the strips severely lack the depth and aspiration of the Marvel and DC institutions. Apps for these better-known comics are easily available in the Android Market, although you do have to register with online accounts to access even the free content. The real quality of Mook The Comic (in 3D) however, is in the impressive graphics…
Mook and Blog in 2D
The graphics are the main draw of the app, rather than the jokes, music, stories or characters. The fact is, I felt the visuals were great. Vivid colours, great CG and the 3D works really well. While humour is obviously down to taste, the platform for the presentation of comic stories is extremely good here. If more comics were made like this, it could seriously turn Android into a great platform for comic reading. Imagine bright and vivid Marvel or DC stories in impressive 3D; it would be very exciting indeed.
Mook and Blog in 3D
Are Android Devices the Best Platforms for Reading Comics?
I have to confess I’m a bit of a literary purist in that I find something sublime in physically holding a book when I read it. I do have a few e-books, but it’s just not the same experience. Therefore, although I do it, I’m not a huge fan of reading things on Android aside from news, blogs and social networks – I far prefer a paperback to the digital equivalent. However, there was something very cool about reading Mook. It’s both bright and unabashed, dripping in colour and vivid shapes. While the content was a little lacking, I felt that, with this concept, comics could be pretty fun on a device.
CLiK in 2D
What this debate comes down to, for me, is size. If you own a device with a decent-sized screen – say, 4 inches or more – viewing comics in all their detail is arguably are far more rewarding exercise than if you struggle to read the words on a small screen. Such limitations could ruin the experience. On big screens, I’ve found reading comics far more enjoyable. While this particular app isn’t optimised for tablets yet, that really could be the way forward for comics or graphic novels on Android.
I’m aware that perhaps I’m being contradictory. I personally prefer hard copy books, but comics do look pretty good on a large-screened device. While I imagine die-hard comic book purists might prefer the touch and smell of paper and ink which adds value to their overall experience, perhaps the more casual reader would benefit from reading on a device instead. I guess it’s all down to taste, at the end of the day!
CLiK in 3D
Mook The Comic (in 3D) has good and bad elements. On the good side the graphics are great and the 3D effects are very cool indeed. On the bad side the jokes are relatively pedestrian and the music is almost unbearable after a few loops. What the app does demonstrate however is a superb platform for comic reading. If the likes of Marvel adopted the smooth and vivid looks of this app, our favourite characters could come alive more than ever. Imagine Spider-Man, or your favourite graphic novels, in buoyant 3D and on your device. How cool would that be!?