The iPad offers a new and exciting way of reading comics on the go. Some of the best comic reader applications on the iPad can be downloaded for free.
The Kindle may be well suited for reading books, but lack of support for color means it doesn’t translate comic pages well. The iPhone, on the other hand, does support digital comic reader apps, but its small screen makes reading quite difficult. There’s a lot of zooming and panning involved to read the speech balloons or to get a better view of an image.
The Apple iPad, with its wide 9.7 inch display, vibrant display, and 10-hour battery life, is arguably the better medium for digital comics. In fact, the Apple tablet does offer the largest store of digital comics. The iPad comic book readers lets comic book enthusiasts get their favorite comics directly from the iPad. Prices tend to be cheaper than the print versions, too.
Some of the Best Free iPad Comic Book Apps on the iTunes App Store
1. Marvel Comics iPad App
The number 1 comic app on the iPad based on number of downloads it has so far, Marvel Comics offers old and new adventures of the world’s most renowned superheroes including Spiderman, X-men, Fantastic Four, Ironman, and Captain America. Each title is displayed in cover flow format, and the store can be browsed by category (e.g. series, creator, storyline). The store has about 500 Marvel comics (single issues only) available for purchase, with most titles priced at $1.99. Not included in the selection yet are graphic novels.
2. Archie Comics App on the iPad
Everyone’s favorite teens – Jughead, Sabrina, Betty and Veronica, and, of course, Archie himself – looks more vibrant on the iPad than on print. The Archie Comic store features over 50 new (not reprints) Archie titles. The application is free, with 4 free comics available upon download: The Cartoon Life of Chuck Clayton, Archie: Freshman Year #1, Salem, and Sabrina Manga #1.
3. Comics by Comixology
Comixology claims to have the largest library of comics in the iPad. It currently offers 1300 titles from 30 different publishers including Image Comics and Devil’s Due. There’s a selection of Marvel Comics in the Comixology iPad App Store. Most comics cost $0.99 only, and about 80 comics can be read for free.
4. IDW Comics App on the iPad
IDW has a fewer selection than Comics, but this doesn’t seem to matter much to fans of Star Trek, GI Jones, and Transformers. It’s the 4th most downloaded comic apps on the iTunes App Store.10 free books are included upon download.
IDW Publishing has created not just one 1 but 4 comic-shop apps, with each storefront offering different brands. There are only over 400 individual issues from the App Store, but IDW Publishing has also promised to roll out new issues each week.
5. iVerse iPad App
iVerse currently offers around 1000 titles from Marvel, BOOM! Studios, Ape Entertainment, Archie, Archangel Studios, Image Comics, Red 5 Comics, IDW, and more. The app comes with useful features like Zooming and Preview.
Reading and collecting comic books becomes easy with the iPad. The above free comic readers have versions for iPhone and iPod, too.