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Read Comic Books! - How to for Windows Phone

Comic books! Everyone has read a comic book at some point in their lives. Comics were a fundamental part of many kids' lives and are still very much a part of some adult lives. I loved comic books as a kid and still do. The format has changed a great deal since I was a kid though. I rarely read a graphic novel on paper anymore. Digital delivery applications across dozens of platforms and superb net-based readers have become the industry standard. Scans (literally meaning a scanner was used to make a digital backup of a comic book) and drm-free fan-produced e-books have become the anti-industry standard.

I have a fairly decent sized digital library of comics and graphic novels but I never get to read them when I'm well and truly bored. Like when I'm stuck on a train with just my phone. You guessed it, "Until Now!" Read on to see the ins and outs of not just reading comics on your WP7 device, but how to get 'em on there.

To start things off let's talk about readers. Readers and library organizers for comics are in rare commodity through the marketplace. There are a few standalone e-books available and a couple feed-specific readers for online comic websites but almost nothing specifically for comics exists. If you've already been down this road than you may have already tried out Graphic.ly, a digital delivery system and community hub for everything comic book related. You won't be able to stock it with comics or books that you already have but you will have access to their shops with pretty cheap comics and their news and social communities. The program looks nice, but that's about it. It runs terribly slow and has functionality problems during navigation and reading that are unrectifiable. What's worse, the store is poorly stocked. What's even worse, support for WP7 is a no-show. Rumor has it that the platform is no longer being supported. Majority consensus rate Graphic.ly somewhere between, "Eh." and "Terribly done."

What to do? Have Dropbox? Comics will travel.

Assuming you already have comics saved in .cbz or .cbr format and have a Dropbox account, there's not much more that you've left to do. If you don't already have a Dropbox account do yourself a favor and sign up. The basics are free and that's all you'll need. Next, save the comics that you'd like to read to your Dropbox and head on over to the Marketplace to pick up LindyReader. There's a free ad-driven trial mode that never expires or for $3.99 you can get the ads removed. You'll be able to download and read all of your .cbz and .cbr comics by downloading them from your Dropbbox within LindyReader. LindyReader keeps your downloaded catalog until you decide to delete all or individual comics to make room for new comics.

I'd recommend downloading over wifi - you'll save time and won't max out your data bill if you don't have an unlimited plan. Comics can be anywhere between 5mb and 20mb. LindyReader is great in how simple it is. It's built to download and view comics - nothing more, nothing less, and it does each amazingly well. Downloads can be done in the background while reading and multiple downloads can be cued up so as soon as one is finished compiling the next will follow suit. Reading can be done in portrait or landscape with pinch to zoom functionality and the expected finger-swiping page turning functionality sugar coats the whole package. Do you have a reason to not read comics on your phone with LindyReader? There's no excuse now.

12 Comments
  • "Do you have a reason to not read comics on your phone with LindyReader? There's no excuse now."How about the whole piracy/paying content creators and publishers for their work thing? I love comics. Worked at a shop for 4+ years, and I'd love to read them on my phone - but as great as cbr/cbz comics are, they still don't pay the creators. I would much rather pay for the content. It's the morally correct thing to do.
  • While piracy of work is of course wrong, isn't this app the equivalent of having an MP3 player on your phone? How's it any different? Should we not have MP3s only DRM material in Zune? And if you already own the comic in paper form, what's wrong with having a scanned copy for personal use?There's also a huge back catalog of free comics now available, stuff from the 40's and 50's.Even the draconian Apple App Store has numerous cbr/cbz readers for sale for iOS.Just like the music industry, until the comic book owners and distributors embrace a controlled digital marketplace for comics, they lose any moral arguments for refusing to step forward into the future (more like the present).
  • There's nothing wrong with the app, but the question posed was "Do you have any excuse not to use Lindy Reader to read comics on your phone?"My answer is yes. I do have a reason. It's piracy, and I can't condone it. That's not to say that there aren't legitimate uses for the app, but the article in question pictures "The Walking Dead," which is not old in cbr/cbz format and would need to be scanned/extracted from a legal purchase and otherwise distributed. And no, you don't lose moral arguments because you don't have a product available that people feel like they want. Just because they don't have a digital marketplace that you happen to like (because they DO have digital marketplaces for comics) doesn't make it any less immoral to illegally download and/or pirate those comics. That's a terrible argument.That's like arguing that because you haven't embraced selling your car to me, it's okay for me to steal it.
  • I agree with seaniccus 100%I'm fairly laissez faire when it comes to piracy. I don't do it because I'm morally opposed to it, but I have no problem with people who do it when they don't try and justify it.The old "it's OK if I have a physical copy" argument wasn't valid in the napster days and it's not valid now. What bugs me most in these arguments is that it always seems to be the small guy getting the short end of the stick. The comic industry still isn't in the best spot. It seems so odd to me that the fans that "love it" are the same ones that insist on hurting it so much by getting content through illegal means.How about an article on Graphic.ly the digital marketplace for WP7? How about a jab at ComiXology to get around making a WP7 app?
  • I'm still waiting to hear the difference between this and an MP3 player or ripping a CD for MP3s..."Do you have any excuse not to use Zune Player to listen to music on your phone?"My answer is yes. I do have a reason. It's piracy, and I can't condone it. That's not to say that there aren't legitimate uses for the app, but the article in question pictures "The Beatles" which is not old in MP3/MP4 format and would need to be scanned/extracted from a legal purchase and otherwise distributed."The difference is what?"The old "it's OK if I have a physical copy" argument wasn't valid in the napster days and it's not valid now."But it is a valid defense called "Fair use" and this is NOT a distribution system, so the analogy is false.
  • Actually, "The Beatles" is sold in a MP3/MP4 format, and can be purchased from the itunes store. Not Zune yet though. Kinda sucks.And there is no difference between this and MP3s. If you rip your own CDs for personal use, you are in legal territory. If you download MP3s of CDs you own that somebody else ripped to share, you are not.I'm not a hypocrite on this either, all of the music I own is mine, and obtained through legal means. I don't torrent movies, I don't "fileshare," I don't do these things. If you do, that's your deal, but hey - the question was asked - do you have an excuse? Yes. I do. And it's valid. Although it was pretty neat of that one poster to remind me of public domain comics, there really are tons of awesome comics from the 40s one can legally download and enjoy using this app.
  • What does it matter WHO ripped the disc or how the digital format came to be? The fact is when you buy a music CD, you're buying the right and means to access the intellectual property but you don't truly own it. Ripping a CD gives you a different means of accessing the IP while ownership of the CD permits you the right to access; if you're okay with ripping your own discs, then you're already playing with the means of access. At that point there is NO moral difference between ripping a disc and downloading an MP3 identical to a track on a disc you own. It's a bit like the difference between killing someone personally and hiring a hitman to do it for you; that is to say, there isn't really one. The net result is identical, the artist and distributors & co get their dues.
    You can argue legalty all you want, because legally your case holds up. The thing is, laws are there to prevent the unethical, things aren't unethical because laws forbid it. That's important to remember.
  • Are you searching the web looking for posts like this and Racing awareness? OHH I JUST LOOOOOOVE LOVE LOVE TO REED AND LISTEN FOR FREE EVERYTHING I WANT WITHOUT PAYING A DIME!!!!!!!
    there you go. I don't care about your work tho...
  • I personally do not condone piracy of this nature either. I actually own, by way of purchasing at a comic shop (thanks 4th World!), everything I've read via LindyReader. It's not up to us to decide what users willingly do with their own software - we can recommend going out and buying comics and we can outright tell people that you aren't supposed to use this software without supporting the people that make the content. We outright scream at the top of out lungs, "Hey, comic scans are illegal and you are breaking the law by using them." but, like so many people are quick to remind us, piracy of this nature is inevitable and wrong.It is morally reprehensible to outright steal. Using LindyReader (or any other reader) to view content that you purchased for your own personal use, and you are not distributing it to others either for free or a fee, may be questionable but is not, in my opinion, wrong. The argument of "the product is unavailable so I will acquire it by other means" is valid to the extent of theft, the rights of the copyright holder, and the fair use of the intellectual property in question. This is where scans enter fuzzy legal territory even if the intellectual property is legally owned and acquired.The purpose of this article's content was not to condone, encourage, or insinuate that pirating comic books was a viable means of acquiring them. LindyReader is not a distribution system. The purpose was to make known the ability of reading a comic book on your phone. How you use it is up to you.
  • Absolutely right Rob, there's nothing wrong with the software, and I agree - there are some "fuzzy" or Grey areas. Even though it's not "technically" legal to download a copy of a comic you already own, I'm not about to fault anyone for downloading a copy of their favorite comic instead of destroying their physical issue to scan it themselves. I'm actually really excited about LindyReader, and I'm currently uploading some free public domain comics to my dropbox just to try it out.I found mine at http://digitalcomicmuseum.comI don't mean to suggest that the point of the article was to promote Piracy or illegal activity, but I do get a little soapboxy when it comes to digital copywrite. A brief stint working in film a few years ago changed my perspective, and I just can't let go.(Not to say that there aren't strong arguments for a digital revolution in comics. An "itunes" like alternative is needed, and I really wish Marvel and DC, and the other publishers would step up their game on this one.)
  • Now there is a better comics app, Comic Time, that show each panel in full size automatically :)
    http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/comic-time/c150ba2a-b8ec-493...
  • I just checked your suggestion! I love it! POW is a great comic book reader! It seems to be the only one that can download the comics from your PC! So no need to rely on SkyDrive or DropBox! Cloud-free! Thumbs up!