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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009 4:14 pm
Web(kinda)comics Wednesday
Posted by: Ian Chipman

A coupla-three week ago I wrote about using my brand-new iPhonish-like device to read comics. Well friends, it’s become a verifiable obsession, and it seems like every day there’s a new reader app or comic designed specifically for mobile devices. Of the applications, comiXology seems to have the frontrunner, offering comics from some pretty reliable indie publishers like Arcana, Red 5, and one of my personal faves, SLG. The experience of smoothly zooming in and out of panels and all around the page makes for a nicely cinematic reading experience, and the money model is pretty savvy. Often, they’ll offer the first comic in a series for free to get you hooked, and then you can buy subsequent issues for a couple bucks a pop. Let me tell you that it’s maybe a bit too easy to hit “purchase” to find out what happens next to Atomic Robo.

contract-with-godWhile dabbling with various other mobile comics readers (Panelfly and iVerse get silver and bronze, respectively, to comiXology’s gold) I came across a startling bit of news that just seemed too perfect to be true. The title story in Will Eisner’s A Contract with God (collected with two other books in The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue), considered by those who consider such things to be the daddy of the modern graphic novel, is available for the iPhone from Genus Apps. It’s weird to read such a venerable work, and one that had so much impact on the graphic format, on a mobile device, but it’s also kind of great and proves that the delivery device is far less important than content. Is it as good as reading it as a book? Who cares? It’s all good.

So, it’s all supergreat and now I’ve found a way to read in those tiny slices of time when I’m not reading, but things should really get cookin when our Apple overlords unveil their hyper-anticipated tablet device next year (which will likely be some kind of lap-sized, roided-up iPhone). See ya, Kindle. Hope you like the taste of iDust.


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