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I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

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I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Old 01-19-12, 12:42 AM
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I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I have ~20 long boxes full of comics, and well, I am just getting tired of them taking up so much space. I have some questions about going digital before I make the leap.

1) Can you download a digital comic to keep it or can you only stream it from Marvel's or DC's site?

2) I was looking at DC's website, and it doesn't look like they have much of a backlog of older comics. 70s/80s comics are my favorites since that is what I grew up reading, and I just enjoy them more than most modern comics, but it looks like the backlog of comics from that era are slim to none. I know there probably isn't much demand for comics that old, so I guess my only option would be to scan my own collection or find them on a pirate site. Is there a tablet app that lets you read cbr files?

3) I was looking at the ipad the other day, and apparently it doesn't have any USB ports. WTF were they thinking when they decided to not put USB ports on it? So are you essentially limited to the internal flash memory with no way for external expansion? That blows if true.

4) Has anyone used any other tablet besides the ipad for comic reading? I have seen other tablets with a 10" screen so that would be a little bit bigger that the ipad's 9" and easier to read probably.
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Old 01-19-12, 10:51 AM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I have a 10" Acer Iconia A500 that I use for comics occasionally. Its a comfortable size for reading digitally. Just as long as you don't wind up in guided view. I think two-pages splashes will probably still not look right, though.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:52 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

1) You don't exactly stream the comics you buy from, say, Comixology, you do download them and can then read them on your device without access to the internet. However, they are stored in the app itself, and can't be moved or stored on an external device, I assume to deter pirating. You can re-download at any time, as long as comixology is still around, which is the big caveat here. Also of note, Marvel and DC have their own branded comixology apps. If you buy a Marvel comic from the main comixology app, you cannot redownload it for free on the Marvel app, though the reverse works. This has brought up speculation that Marvel will eventually move on to their own service.

2) They do have some here or there, but I don't think the catalog for older titles will ever be complete, so yeah, doing it yourself is the only legal option you have.

3) First off, having your tablet connected to an external drive for storage would seem to kinda defeat the purpose of having a tablet. Second, with comixology, you can delete and redownload whenever you want. With CBZ files, you can sync them with your computer and just put the ones you want on your ipad, similar to syncing music. There are some apps that are experimenting with streaming cbz files via wireless, but I'm not sure where that's at. But even the smallest ipad can store a ton of comics, if that's mainly what you're into.

4) I've used the Kindle Fire, but that's smaller than the ipad. I will say this, the ipad is a pretty good size to read comics. I feel the Kindle Fire is a bit too small for anything except manga or comics that came out in a smaller format initially.
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Old 01-19-12, 02:06 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Is there a tablet app that lets you read cbr files?
We use comiczeal
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Old 01-19-12, 05:00 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by exharrison View Post
I have a 10" Acer Iconia A500 that I use for comics occasionally. Its a comfortable size for reading digitally. Just as long as you don't wind up in guided view. I think two-pages splashes will probably still not look right, though.
I have an 10.1 Asus transformer, and I think the size is perfect. I don't use it to read comics in standard mode though, I much prefer landscape, but I really don't mind having to scroll up and down to read a page.

Unless you're married to the ipad, I would shop around and see what the other tablets have to offer. I initially wanted an ipad, but I have an ipod touch, and while that is perfect for my mp3 needs, I find apple's products too constricting. Android's honeycomb iOS feels much more open to me.

And you don't need to worry about connecting an ext drive to your tablet, just get a decent sized SD or miniSD card, and you'll be set. Most apps and comics don't take up but so much space.
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Old 01-19-12, 05:41 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I mainly just want an external drive for backup. I learned the hard way a couple years ago to keep a backup when my hard drive crashed and I lost everything on it. So now I keep everything on two drives since it would be rather unlikely for them both to crash at the same time. I would really hate to take the time to scan my comic collection and then lose it all if the tablet's internal memory dies.
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Old 01-19-12, 06:45 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I don't see what your concern is re: scanning your own collection.

You're going to have to get on a regular computer to scan your collection and compile it into a cbr or pdf. Its not like you can scan it on or directly into your tablet most likely.

So you do your scan on your computer and you have all the files there. If you backup your computer hardrive regularly, you'll have them backed up as well. Then if you copy any to your tablet to read on your tablet, you have those as well. That's essentially three copies of your collection digitally.

Scanning is probably a lot of time and work though. You own the books legally, so just "pirate" the scanned copies out there on the torrents. I don't think anyone will care about you doing that to save time and effort, unless you really want to try and re-create better scans than what the internet has to offer.

And as for the purely digital distribution, if its tied to an app or service or even DRM, its mostly a license to view/use the media and not true ownership. The app goes under, the company goes under, and the product you didn't really own is gone. Digital comics don't really have their game together yet, though it is improving. If you just want to read your old stuff, go with the aforementioned pirate route.
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Old 01-19-12, 07:17 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by kodave View Post
You're going to have to get on a regular computer to scan your collection and compile it into a cbr or pdf. Its not like you can scan it on or directly into your tablet most likely.

Yeah, you're right. I didn't think it through I guess. However, if the tablet doesn't have USB, then how does it connect to the PC to transfer files?
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Old 01-19-12, 07:35 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Like an iphone or ipod, it has a usb connector (it's the same as the power cord). You cannot use it to connect to external storage, however, most connectivity has to be done through itunes (in fact, the comic reader I use got permanently banned from the app store for having usb functionality outside of itunes).

Some readers also let you ftp stuff, or load from dropbox or something similar, but usb is much faster.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:53 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Yeah, you're right. I didn't think it through I guess. However, if the tablet doesn't have USB, then how does it connect to the PC to transfer files?
My Asus, and I imagine most other tablets, sort of act like external drives themselves. I connect it to my PC (my tablet connects via USB at the computer, but the connector on the tablet is proprietary like that of an ipod) and then the tablet shows up as another drive. Then, I just drag and drop the files I want to put on my tablet in the specified folder, and disconnect it and viola.

I don't use my tablet as a storage device. It's like an ancillary device I use to consume media, but I still do all of my long term storage on my PC and external drives. That's why I copy files to my tablet, maintaining the originals on my PCs various hard-drives.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:38 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

There are hard drives you can use to stream media to your iPad, like the Seagate Satellite. Can these be used for cbr/cbz files?
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Old 01-20-12, 11:13 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I have been looking at a lot of other tablets that aren't the ipad, and I don't really see what makes the ipad so special. Many other tablets have USB ports. The ipad doesn't. Many other tablets have a 10" screen, and the ipad is only 9". Many other tablets are 16:9, and the ipad is 4:3. Comics are a rectangular shape so 16:9 would suit them better. The ipad is a couple hundred dollars more than other tablets. Is the Apple brand name really worth that much more?

All I keep seeing is advantages for the other tablets. Unless I am missing something, the ipad seems inferior in just about everything. So why is the ipad so dominant in the tablet market? I read on some other site that the ipad makes up about 80% of all the tablet sales.
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Old 01-21-12, 01:49 AM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I have been looking at a lot of other tablets that aren't the ipad, and I don't really see what makes the ipad so special. Many other tablets have USB ports. The ipad doesn't. Many other tablets have a 10" screen, and the ipad is only 9". Many other tablets are 16:9, and the ipad is 4:3. Comics are a rectangular shape so 16:9 would suit them better. The ipad is a couple hundred dollars more than other tablets. Is the Apple brand name really worth that much more?

All I keep seeing is advantages for the other tablets. Unless I am missing something, the ipad seems inferior in just about everything. So why is the ipad so dominant in the tablet market? I read on some other site that the ipad makes up about 80% of all the tablet sales.
Well, a lot of its popularity is hype and trendiness.

But a real point is applications.

Yeah, Android tablets have thousands of apps too, but Android apps aren't monitored as closely as Apple monitors the apps they approve for their store (although I think Google is getting more regulatory with the next major upgrade to the Android OS?).

And while a lot of tablets offer similar things, a lot don't hold up performance wise when it comes to reviews. But there are enough that do if you want a good iPad alternative.
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Old 01-21-12, 02:03 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I think that a 4:3 screen would be better suited to viewing comic books than a 16:9 screen since most comics are about 7" x 10". That's closer to 4:3 than 16:9. Also, if you're going to be viewing full pages in portrait mode, they're going to be bigger on a 4:3 than a 16:9, which is narrower.
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Old 01-21-12, 03:15 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I think that a 4:3 screen would be better suited to viewing comic books than a 16:9 screen since most comics are about 7" x 10". That's closer to 4:3 than 16:9. Also, if you're going to be viewing full pages in portrait mode, they're going to be bigger on a 4:3 than a 16:9, which is narrower.
Modern comic books are 6 5/8" x 10 1/4". If you have ever bought bags and boards, the dimensions are listed on the packaging. Golden and Silver Age comics were slightly bigger, which is why they require the different bigger bags.

16/9 = 1.78
4/3 = 1.33

10.25/6.625 = 1.55

I guess comics fall right in the middle.

Although I took a closer look at the Android tablets, and their resolution is 1280 x 800 which is actually 16:10 and not 16:9. 16:10 is 1.6 so that is actually the closest to the comic book dimensions.

I plan to view the comics a full page at a time and not panel-to-panel, so getting the dimensions the closest seems to me the best option.
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Old 01-21-12, 04:05 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Yeah, you're right. I didn't think it through I guess. However, if the tablet doesn't have USB, then how does it connect to the PC to transfer files?
With the iPad you use that piece of crapware known as iTunes.
Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I have been looking at a lot of other tablets that aren't the ipad, and I don't really see what makes the ipad so special. Many other tablets have USB ports. The ipad doesn't. Many other tablets have a 10" screen, and the ipad is only 9". Many other tablets are 16:9, and the ipad is 4:3. Comics are a rectangular shape so 16:9 would suit them better. The ipad is a couple hundred dollars more than other tablets. Is the Apple brand name really worth that much more?

All I keep seeing is advantages for the other tablets. Unless I am missing something, the ipad seems inferior in just about everything. So why is the ipad so dominant in the tablet market? I read on some other site that the ipad makes up about 80% of all the tablet sales.
I have an iPad for work. Frankly, it's a horrible piece of hardware with the only true use being to check email and even then I use a web portal rather than the piece of junk Apple calls a mail reader. The iBook app is not bad but if all you're wanting to do is read ebooks there are far superior alternatives, all of which have much better battery life and weigh far less. The iPad is *heavy* when compared to a hardcover, not to mention comic - even a larger TPB. The backlit screen can cause eyestrain much like reading from a computer screen. It's also hard to see the screen in bright sunlight and areas with lots of lighting fixtures due to the glossy glass screen. Don't buy the Apple hype of 10 hours of battery life. If you use wifi or 3G that drops to 5 hours at best. If you like the iPhone you may like the iPad as it's just a large iPhone that can't directly make phone calls - although I've read the "facetime" app is not bad.

I've played with both the Kindle Fire and Nook and like the Kindle a bit better. The fact that it *can* directly tie into your Amazon account can be handy - depending on how you like to do things. This can be disabled, which is the first thing I'd do were I to purchase one of these as I object to any device that can make purchases without having to input a password of some type.

Don't consider screen ratio for reading purposes. If you use it horizontally, as if to watch a film, you'll get 2 pages, side by side, as if you opened a book. Turn it vertically and you'll get a single page sized to fit the screen. Every book/periodical I've seen works fine with either orientation. It mainly comes down to how you like to see things and which orientation provides the "page" or viewing size you want. For comics I'd think vertical would be the better orientation as it would provide the largest "page" image.

All that said. I've tried digital book media and don't like it. I'd rather have a book in my hands.

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Old 01-22-12, 05:03 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Woot has a refurbished 10.1 inch tablet today for $299.

http://www.woot.com/sale/acer-iconia...=email#tracked

It seems to have gotten pretty good reviews.

I want a tablet as well for reading comics (mainly because I have a ton of those official released ones from a few years back and also some unofficial ones). I have an iPhone which makes me want an iPad since I already have my music library ripped to iTunes. But an iPad doesn't have flash or a USB port and these are two items I think are pretty necessary for what I need.

I was looking at an app today on my iphone and they want $3 for a new comic. There isn't any way in hell I would pay that much for one comic book digitally. That is the main thing that is really holding me back. I want to buy them legit but they are so over priced.
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Old 01-22-12, 10:55 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
Woot has a refurbished 10.1 inch tablet today for $299.

http://www.woot.com/sale/acer-iconia...=email#tracked

It seems to have gotten pretty good reviews.

I want a tablet as well for reading comics (mainly because I have a ton of those official released ones from a few years back and also some unofficial ones). I have an iPhone which makes me want an iPad since I already have my music library ripped to iTunes. But an iPad doesn't have flash or a USB port and these are two items I think are pretty necessary for what I need.

I was looking at an app today on my iphone and they want $3 for a new comic. There isn't any way in hell I would pay that much for one comic book digitally. That is the main thing that is really holding me back. I want to buy them legit but they are so over priced.
Flash is on the way out with HTML5. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:59 AM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

I still don't get why anyone would need a USB port (for reading comics)...
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Old 01-23-12, 01:02 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Wouldn't you need a USB to transfer existing comics files to the device from your computer?
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Old 01-23-12, 01:11 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
Wouldn't you need a USB to transfer existing comics files to the device from your computer?
The ipad comes with a plug that allows you to connect to a USB port on your computer
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Old 01-23-12, 02:01 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

D'oh. Hate to say it but I never thought of that. Not very computer minded as you can tell.

I know that the old gitcorp releases use Adobe for reading them. I know you can burn them to your computer but I am not sure if you can use them with any other reader or not? You can't use Adobe on the ipad, correct? I also have a shit ton of burned dvds of comics that I collected several years ago which used a reader called cdisplay. I really liked reading them but reading them on a laptop or computer monitor was a chore. Sitting at my desk is not where I like to read and lugging around a laptop for comics wasn't for me. (Before anyone gives me grief about having a lot of dvds of comics, I only bought stuff that you typically cannot find in reprints or trades. If something is out of print, such as a movie, book, cd, etc., I have no problem with anyone getting it anyway they can. You can't steal something if it's not available legitimately. You just aren't getting ripped off on a used product. I refuse to pay $20 bucks for more to read a single out of print comic book on the secondary market.)

Anyway...I didn't feel like paying $600 bucks for an ipad just to read comics (especially if I might be limited with what I have and didn't want to take a gamble to see if they worked). I did decide to spring for that 10 inch tablet I posted above since it was a 32gb and seemed like a good deal. Once I get it in and try it out, I will be post some results. As stated, I only know enough about computers to hurt myself so I see a lot of googling going on in the future.

When you transfer some comics to your tablet or to a flash drive, what reader do you typically use? Do you have to have a specific app or can you just download a reader like cdisplay off the internet as you can on a laptop? Are there better readers than cdisplay out there that can be used for scanned comics?
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Old 01-23-12, 03:00 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

cdisplay is in the cbz/cbr format (zipped image files) so can be read by a reader like comiczeal or something similar, which are usually available as an app for android or ipad/iphone. Adobe reader does work on tablets, and there are also other document readers (like goodreader) that read pdfs, but be warned, some of them will display the watermarks on the pdf files from those dvd roms.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:19 PM
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Re: I swore I never would, but I am now thinking about getting into digital comics

On a standard Android tablet it should be pretty easy to get going; they show up like a USB drive on your computer, so you can just copy whatever files you want over to it, and there are free comic viewers on the Android Market you can download and open the files with.

ACV worked really well for me when I had a Viewsonic gTablet.
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