Who doesn’t love a good comic book?  Granted, comics these days are a far-cry from the cheap, pulpy titles such as G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock and Richie Rich that I used to read, but in the end all comics do is entertain, no matter what style or story you like!

But flashing forward to the present day, has the thought of reading or re-reading your favorites on on your e-reader ever crossed your mind?  Whether you have a smart phone, Kindle, Sony or some other reading device, the chances are good that you can once again enjoy Superman, Batman or your other favorite superhero once again!

In all actuality, with the endless storage and fan sites on the Internet of all types of comics, there are tons more available  than ever before.  Some are public domain comics, others are current publisher subscriptions, and there are even new comics online.

Great idea, Tony, how do we get started?

Before we talk software, it’s important that we talk first about format.  What format are comics found in and where can you find them?  Since comics are primarily image based, a lot of the comics available on the Internet are scanned in issues either in jpg format or PDF format.  Used this way, it’s possible to download single pages or even whole issues, depending upon how they have been created.

The downside, however, is that some of the issues or stories you may find are huge files.  Because of this, comics are very often in a compressed format.  Some of the most popular formats you will run across are:  CBZ, CBR, CBT and others.  These make downloading whole issues quite easy, and these formats “roughly” can be thought of in the same sense as RAR, ZIP and others.  For more background on this, make sure you visit Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Book_Archive_file.

Special formatting aside, once you’ve been able to locate a few copies of your old favorites, you’ll need to figure some way of viewing them.  If your format is PDF, then it’s a simple matter of making sure that your device supports that, and then just start reading.  If your device has issues with PDF size or the comic you’ve found is in a different format, then you will need some software.  Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/) is always a good choice for conversion options and does support the popular formats mentioned above.  For dedicated software, I’ve had great luck with ComicRack (http://comicrack.cyolito.com/) although there are other options such as Comical (http://comical.sourceforge.net/) and others.

I’ll leave you today with a few links to places where you can find comics online as well as a great exhibition of comic information from the Library of Congress online exhibit: Cartoon America.  Have a thought?  Comic link?  Give us a shout in the comments below!  Happy Reading!

(Now back to my Sgt. Rock!)


Library of Congress, Cartoon America

The ComicWeb Online Comics (Golden Age!)

Flash Gordon! (Internet Archive)

Cover Browser (comic book covers for memory jogging!)

Comic Forums (tech. talk on putting comics on the Kindle and other dev.)

Grand Comics Database (covers, covers, covers…)

Source link for Action Comics image above:

American Studies at the University of Virginia (more stuff located here!)


  1. I’ve rediscovered the joy of comics, or rather discovered a new joy in manga, since moving up to an 8.1″ screen with the iRex DR800SG. Kolenka on the MobileRead Forums created a CBZ Document Plugin that works really well.

    A CBZ is just a bunch of images (JPEG or PNG) zipped together with the extension changed from .zip to .cbz. Easy. For the images themselves, I batch-run them through IrfanView to make them 4-bit grayscale PNGs, crop the whitespace, and set it to the exact size of the viewable area (among a few other tweaks, depending on the images).

    Thanks for the PC software links, Tony. I’ve been using Manga Reader but Comic Rack looks pretty good too. I’ll give it a try.

  2. I ended up getting an HP Pavillion TX2000 tablet PC for that and other e-reading. It is about the same size as a comic page and works out great. The biggest issue is getting the titles of course. Marvel was working for a while with a company called Gitcorp and putting out 40 year compilations of various titles, but they have since moved over to a subscription based model from the Marvel comics website and viewing with a flash reader. So while it works greatfor my tablet, not so good for the Ipod/Ipad group. I fiddled briefly with trying to put some comics onto my nook, but since it lacks resizing tools for images that hasn’t worked out so great. But it has been great to be able to go and read old titles whenever I want and to be able to even take them on the road in a simple and easy mannter.

  3. I have the Marvel GitCorp titles which were in pdf format. I’m so sorry the discontinued it. I was really hoping that DC would put the old Superman and Batman titles out in pdf as well.

    With the new proliferation of ereaders and iPad, I think that these will get re-started in the next year or two.

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