When the iPad was first unveiled, the single thing use for it that excited me most was reading — but comics, not books. Though various publishers have tried to make digital comics a going concern over the years, it’s never worked out. The problem was simple — no appropriate hardware. Doing a great digital comic just requires a large, portrait-oriented screen nearly the size of a comics page.
Fortunately, Apple’s on this wavelength. And both Xeni Jardin from Boing Boing and Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun-Times report that review iPad units shipped with a brilliant comic book store and reading app from powerhouse publisher Marvel. You can see just a few seconds of the Marvel app in the PC Mag video (hat tip: Dante) we linked previously, but I like Ihnatko’s description, as well:
If you’re a purist who needs to see the whole page at once, you can hold the iPad in portrait mode and flip through the story as you would with a paper comic. You can zoom in and out as you wish, but though the iPad screen is smaller than a standard comic page (I measure it as 7.5”, compared to a comic’s 10”) it’s still crisp and readable when scaled down. Turn the iPad on its side, and a new viewing mode becomes available. In iBooks, tapping the left and right sides of the screen turns pages. In the Marvel app, it “moves the camera position” forward and backwards through the story, snappily zooming in and out through the “units” of the page, highlighting moments of dialogue or action.
Can’t wait. And with iVerse pulling in a bunch of the indie publishers, it can only be a matter of time before DC gets on board, too.