Let’s start with this, which is the single thing that has taken up the most of my time in the last couple weeks. It’s an iPhone e-book reader. An iPhone e-comicbook reader, and I don’t know how I lived for so long without this friggin thing, I mean goddamn. Right now, on my phone, on my damn phone, I have the Battle Royale manga in its entirety, the complete collection of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, and 99 issues of 100 Bullets. (How to obtain these things, and how to deal with the resulting moral quandaries, I leave as an exercise for the reader.)


How good is it as a reader? Well, I haven’t got anything else to compare it to, but I’d say it’s pretty good. The iPhone’s screen resolution is clear enough that any page modern-comic-sized or smaller can be shrunk to the width of the screen (in landscape mode) and still be perfectly readable, so you just have to scroll down. If you run into a double-page spread or larger-format comic, it uses the iPhone’s “pinch” gestures for zooming; turning pages is done by scrolling past the margins of the current page. So, everything’s quite intuitive, and pretty snappy. (Turning pages becomes considerably less snappy when you have a lot of comics loaded into your phone, but as the doctor said, “Don’t do that.” It’s not like you’re going to be reading more than one series at a time anyway, and naturally you’re not meant to archive your entire collection on the phone itself.) You can use SyncDocs to move the comic files to your phone, or, incredibly, the .cbr-to-ComicZeal-format converter application will build a web document and set up a mini-webserver to host it on, so you can use the iPhone’s Safari browser to surf to the page and download the files. (I just use SyncDocs, because it strikes me as the somewhat less insane solution.)

So: do you have an iPhone, and any interest at all in comics? Then you should get this. Do you have a lot of interest in comics, but no iPhone? You may want to consider getting an iPhone. Yes, just for this. I’m serious.

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