Over the years tons of people have made Flash based digital comics. Most notable to me is Marvel’s dotComics, now re-branded as digital comics. These formats are terrible. I always assumed this meant all digital comics therefore were bad.
Until I discovered the CBR and CBZ formats. These are simply zip or rar files that contain sequentially named JPG files, then are renamed either .cbr or .cbz with the last character indicating the originating format. Creation of this format is therefore trivial. Readers can also be created quite readily. I also love that there is no built-in DRM, but I’m sure the comics industry feels the opposite on that one. I gave my opinion on why they shouldn’t care back when I first started talking about the comic industry needing to go digital.
Anyway, there are some great free readers that have been created for both platforms. On OS X, use FF View. On Windows, use CDisplay. I’ve tried both these programs and they are amazingly well suited to reading comics digitally. The no-frills approach and the surprisingly good quality has me up late reading some independent comics I otherwise would not on my laptop.
Just to prove I’m not the only nut who wants this, I read this on loony blog:
Why would I consider this to be a viable alternative, while the official CD comics that are out there are mostly just a mildly amusing distraction? Because this is just the comic itself. There’s no animation, no music, no cheesy sound effects, just the comic itself, presented in a straightforward manner.
My main reason for wanting this is that I’d love to get all my back issues cheaply in this format so I could go back and read them at my leisure, without reducing the value of the originals through handling. It would also be nice to be able to afford experimenting with series I would not normally read on a whim. $1 an issue would really allow for that.
Similarly, in another comic reader’s article “The comic book industry is ignoring a multi-million dollar revenue stream”, he states:
[...] for the purpose of archiving stuff I physically own, so I can put the paper copies in storage. No small thing!
Here are some examples to try:
- Zone-H Comics – scroll to the bottom for the one linked in CBR format.
- Liberality for All (2.1MB CBZ) – a crazy right wing comic (only to be enjoyed by those with massive head injuries)