Andy Ihnatko has a new iPad and he also has a beta of comiXology’s new app optimized for the new retinal display and he says it rocks. Not only that, but comiXology will be upgrading all of its offerings to the HD format…free.
But the iPad’s new Retina Display throws the door to digital comic books wide open. The experience of reading a comic book on either of the first two generations of iPads was, at best, adequate. If your vision is good and you’re willing to squint a little, you can possibly read comics in fullpage mode. Halfway through the first issue of a story arc, though, you’ll stop being a hero. If you’re using an open comic book editor, you’ll start zooming and scrolling. If you bought your comics from the Comixology mode, you’ll switch to their guided panel view mode.
On the new iPad . . . you can stay in fullscreen mode through all 100 issues of “100 Bullets.” The art and the lettering is slightly smaller than a standard printed comic book page, but it’s perfectly crisp and readable throughout.
Comixology is right on board with a new edition of their Comics app, which is currently inside Apple’s App Store approvals process. The company provided me with a beta and a sample comic (Jonathan Hickman’s “Pax Romana”) rendered in high definition. It’s a delight.
We’ve often noted that comics are increasingly being created digitally with the wow factor of spectacular backlit displays as the norm and not the printed version. As tablets take Zeno’s journey towards perfection, they are going to loom larger and larger as the platform of choice for a certain segment of the market.
And kudos to comiXology for staying on top of the developments without making their customers pay for it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.