Fans of comics’ “Golden Age” now have a great way to feed that jones on the iPhone and iPod Touch with Comic Zeal from Bitolithic.
The $1.99 app lets you download an unlimited number of classic comics from the 1930s and 1940s, a period that saw the arrival of the comic book as a mainstream art form, when the medium’s artistic vocabulary and creative conventions were defined by its first generation of writers, artists, and editors.
The app downloads full comics to store locally on your device for easy access offline, and takes full advantage of the iPhone platform’s pinch-zoom and fingertip scrolling so you can move around pages quickly and zoom in to detail as you wish. A recent update makes turning pages with the swipe gesture a breeze and counts as an excellent improvement to the original released version.
“I had been itching to do some development for the Mac but when we learned the iPhone and iPod contained most of OS X I knew I had to do SOMETHING on the device,” Melbourne-based developer Emiliano Molina told Cult of Mac. “During that time, a colleague let me borrow some of his most precious comic books. The most leisure time I had was on the train but I couldn’t risk damaging them,” he says, “eventually I realized that what I needed was a digital version of those comics on the iPod.”
The Comic Zeal library contains an eclectic mix of titles that have fallen out of copyright, such as Romantic Adventures, Strange Worlds, Racket Squad and a personal favorite of this reviewer, Eerie.
Molina is also developing what he calls the Comic Zeal Creator, which allows you to convert the CBR/CBZ files of comics you find on the internet into Comic Zeal’s CBI format, so you can upload your own favorites to the iPhone for storage and later access. The Creator remains in Beta and can be downloaded from the Bitolithic website.