Comics and Panelfly
November 2nd, 2009
If you like comic books and you have an iPhone, get both of these apps. I mean it. I am by no means a comic book expert, I do not know the history of every character and all their powers but I do like reading comic books and graphic novels. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because my brain never fully developed and I couldn’t get away from pictures or it’s that every female comic book character is freakin’ hot. Yeah, Jasmine from Aladdin does it for me too.
Reading comic books has always been tedious. I usually wait till the trade paperbacks come out or I wait till my buddy buys them and I borrow them from him. Also, I like reading while I travel on the bus, train, and plane. I don’t read while I drive. Just not safe. Is it just me or is it a pain in the ass to carry something else with you while you go out? I mean, it’s Friday night and you’re gonna meet your friends for dinner and then a night of drinking. What are you supposed to do with the book? I don’t have a purse to carry it around in and comic books/graphic novels are made to not fit your pocket. Well all that changed with the iPhone apps Comics and Panelfy.
These two apps have been out for quite some time but I haven’t had the motiviation to download them. Granted their both free and you have nothing to lose but there wasn’t anything compelling about them. Until now. Marvel comics are available on both apps. After some browsing I also downloaded a couple others which turned out to be pretty damn good too.
So why download both you ask? Sure both of them offer the same Marvel Comics, but they also offer different indie comics which might be of interest to you. Also they both offer a different reading experience. Since they are both free and apps take a relatively no space on the iPhone; I see no harm in having both.
I’m going to spell out what I like about each below along with some screen shots of each app. Enjoy.
I love the reading experience on Comics. Each frame is formatted to fit the screen of the iPhone. You can rotate the phone for landscape mode to fit the frames that are better seen in landscape. To move between frames just swipe your finger similar to how one would while looking at pictures. Comics also allows for multi-touch zoom.
Shopping on Comics is fairly easy too. You can browse by Featured, New, Popular, Ratings, Free, Creator, Publisher, Genre, top 25 or type in what you’re looking for. Also you can turn the phone sideways and browse by cover similarly to cover flow in the iPod.
The comics range from $0.99 to $1.99. Marvel is currently going for $1.99 an issue. You can download the comics so they are supposedly yours to keep. However, either I’m an idiot or there’s a glitch. I downloaded a comic, and deleted the app. When I reinstalled the app, it was gone. This was a free comic. Maybe that’s why it was gone. I don’t recommend downloading over Edge. 3G and Wifi take a good minute; I can only imagine how long Edge would take.
Panelfly offers two types of reading experiences. One is similar to that of how the Maps apps work. The entire page is a map and you can drag it to any location. Or if you don’t like that style you can tap the screen in the top right and it will zoom in to the first frame. Tap again on the top right of the screen and t will advance to the next frame. Tap the top left and you will go back to the previous screen. Tap anywhere in the middle and a menu will show up. From there you can exit the comic or go back to your library. If something is too small to read you can either turn it for a landscape view or use the multi-touch zoom. You can also browse your library by turning it on it’s side to pull up a cover flow screen.
Panelfly lets you shop by top ten, genres, or simple search. Comics range from $0.99 to $1.99. Marvel is going for $0.99 ($1 cheaper than Comics). Think this is a sale price. I can see the Marvel Comics going up to $1.99 soon. Downloading a book here takes a really long time. I don’t know why. I just recommend to not use it on Edge. At that rate it would be faster to just run down to the store.
Like I said above. I like both. I think you should get both. Having both will give you an outlet to a lot of other cool stories you may have never been exposed to. If you like reading comics this is the best way to do it with out having to drag something else around. I love the digital world and I can’t wait for digital comics to become more popular.