We’re huge fans of digital comics on the iPad here at Pipedream Comics (just read our list of the 10 best iPad comics apps here) and maintain that the hi-res retina screen of the Apple tablet is absolutely the best way to read you favourite titles. However with so many people having smartphones as well, we thought we would take a look at the best iPhone digital comics apps that you can try that really make the most of the smaller devices capabilities – but don’t include digital comics giant ComiXology‘s Comics app!
The motion books publisher have already conquered the iPad with their cutting edge digital comics from Liam Sharp, Ben Wolstenholme, Dave Gibbons and co, winning our prestigious Digital Comic the Year Award for 2012. You can also read Madefire‘s book via digital art community DeviantART. However perhaps our favourite way to read Madefire titles is on our iPhone. With their titles already being created bespokely for a tablet audience, they are not constrained by an established print page and so reading them is already a fantastic experience. But on the iPhone they are further optimized for the smaller screen with enlarged text and formatting to make reading titles like Captain Stone is Missing, Treatment or Mono even more exciting and enjoyable!
You can download the Madefire iPhone app for free here
You might have seen the Marvel AR logo on the front of many of it’s recent print comics, or spotted the little AR symbol on a page, but what’s it all about? Well AR or augmented reality is the process of adding digital elements on top of the real world to make it more exciting or interesting. In the case of Marvel AR app it allows you access to additional exclusive content when you’re reading your favourite comics, from character bios to creator interviews and more. It adds a whole extra level to your enjoyment of your favourite Marvel characters, and because it’s available on your iPhone it means you have got access to it whenever and wherever you’re reading – plus it’s all completely free! (Well, apart from the cost of your print comic of course!)
You can download the Marvel AR app for free from here
Webcomics have been going for much longer than other digital comics, but they seem to have found their natural home on the iPhone. However with no central resource for finding the best titles, finding the best webcomics can be something of a challenge. With that in mind Tapas Media have set out to change things and create an app which can act as a central portal for webcomics – a YouTube for webcomics if you will. Allowing users to add their own content alongside editions of some of the world’s biggest webcomics, Tapastic is a fantastic one-stop shop for webcomics fans. And what’s even more exciting is that because many of the titles are formatted specifically for the iPhone they are encouraged to try unconventional layouts, such as vertically scrolling pages, which help give Tapastic‘s title’s a truly unique format for their content.
You can download the Tapastic iPhone app for free from here
Doug Lefler’s Scrollon app was inspired by Chinese Scrolls. Feeling limited by the traditional page-by-page reading structure of comic books, Doug wanted to create something truly unique and different – horizontally scrolling pages with one continuous piece of artwork. Reading Scrollon stories are unlike any other kind of digital comic as panels blend into each other and it feels much more like you are watching something unfold before you rather than having to consume the story by flipping pages or tapping buttons. Unlike traditional comic apps where artwork is limited to the size of the screen (or the printed page) in Scrollon the art can extend beyond the screen and you can enjoy dramatic moments in the same way you would on the cinema screen with a long, lingering panning shot – except in Scrollon you can go back on forth at your own speed to truly take in every moment. This works especially well on the iPhone’s widescreen display.
You can download the Scrollon iPhone for free from here
One of the great things about digital comics is that creators are able to publish their work without having to rely on a major publisher or distributor. In the case of Multiplex, creator Gordon McAlpin he was determined to turn his web comic into an app from the minute he heard about the iPad. However with their constantly updating content, an iPhone app is actually the webcomic’s natural home. Always accessible and quick to check on whenever you have a spare minute, Gordon has made the Multiplex experience much more than just a rehash of his website by including easy to access character bios as well as bookmarks to help you keep track of the entire Multiplex back catalogue all in one handy little app. A great example of how to make the most of your comic on the iPhone
You can download the Multiplex iPhone app for free here