Comics - A comic book reader for BlackBerry PlayBook
my name is Bram Vandewalle and I am a student developer who just got started developing applications for RIM's PlayBook. My first two applications are Mindmaps and Comics. Today I would like to take a moment of your time to present you Comics, the very first comic book reader for the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Your shiny BlackBerry® PlayBook™ is the perfect device for reading comic books and now you can. Comics is a comic reader specifically designed for the PlayBook.
Start reading your comics everywhere and download the Comics application. It will allow you to escape reality wherever, whenever and even save the page your at if you have to run from that other dimension.
•Opens all .CBZ, .CBR and .ZIP comic books
•Stores your current page if you close the application
•Works both in landscape and portrait, so hold it the way you like
•Different view modes to read the way you want to
•Easily find and open your comic book files
•Nice looking library
•Swipe through your pages
App World - FAQ
I welcome you all to give as much feedback as possible if you decide to try out my app. I realise that gesture support is a pressing need, but I am waiting on RIM to ship my developer device. I am currently working on adding CBR support and looking to setup a server to download free comics on your device using my app.
Last edited by zezke; 03-13-2012 at 03:25 AM.Thanked by 14:
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- 04-18-2011, 05:05 PM #2
Thanks for posting. I saw your entry in App World and was actually thinking of contacting you to ask some of these questions. I have a decent size library of comics and this was one of the first kind of apps I thought would be fantastic once the PB was announced. I've used ComicReader.mobi on my Torch ... and while it does a fair enough job, it's pretty slow and BBs are just too small to read comics on.
I agree that gesture support and opening CBR files are essential. I may sound kinda cheap, but it would be hard for me to justify the $1.99 cost for the current features. Sorry, but just want to give you honest feedback. One way to get around this is to make sure you have a constant stream of updates -- if people see you are committed to the app, there will be less hesitation in purchasing it based on the potential alone. (I think that's the mindset of a lot of people when it comes to the PB itself, haha!). I recognize you are limited somewhat until you get the hardware and additional support from RIM.
I'll be watching your app with interest. If you have more pics/videos to share here or on your website, I'll be sure to check them out.
- 04-18-2011, 11:26 PM #8
This site has some links to (legal) free sources, plus some info on CBZ/CBR files to get you started: Where to find Free CBZ and CBR comics | Robot Comics
Otherwise, I'll just note that Pirate Bay has a category specifically for comics and leave it at that.
-To get comic files to the BlackBerry PlayBook you can use Wi-Fi file sharing as explained by CrackBerry here. A tutorial on this will follow as soon as I get a PlayBook.
-As parabola mentioned there are quite a few places to download free (legal) comics and quite a few to download illegal. I cannot recommend the latter approach for obvious reasons. One of my favorite sources are Golden Age Comics and Digital Comic Museum.
here. I am still working on the CBR support, but the lack of documentation of that format combined with the use Adobe AIR is proving it a difficult task. It already works with around 50% of the common CBR files (just an estimate).
- 04-20-2011, 06:05 AM #15
Having tried the app now, it seems like it desperately needs a better way of navigating from page to page and not just the obvious swipe option e.g. if you are using it in portrait mode (by far the more likely way to use it I would expect) then you even lose the thumbnails that you get at the side in landscape mode, perhaps you should move those to the bottom of the screen to use up that little bit of wasted space you get with a 16:9 display or you could have the navigation bar be configurable for top and bottom of the screen without intruding on the actual comic.
One other thing I noticed, the app seemed rather sluggish the first time I open a large file, perhaps delaying opening the comic if it is doing a lot in the background as I should think that making people wait a few seconds would give a better impression than a very jerky app during that time.
Last edited by Skeevecr; 04-20-2011 at 06:12 AM.
Just a question: do you guys (and girls?) like the idea of a simple program that allows you to convert a bunch of .cbr files to .cbz by simply dragging the files onto the program? Don't worry, .cbr support is still coming, but this is a temporary solution to help you out.
- 04-20-2011, 07:02 AM #17
ComicRack for those who are interested.
Good suggestion, I will try to put this in the next update. What do you think of navigating to the next/previous page by tapping near right/left edge of the screen?
Also keeping the navigation bar always available at top or bottom would be good and maybe expand the fwd and backward icons since those would tend to be more frequently used.
At that moment all images for the navigation bar are generated, so quite a bit of work in the background yes. I will check this and solve it as soon as I get my hands on a PlayBook.
One other thing I noticed, sometimes the app seemed to remember how far I had read in a comic, but not always.
- 04-20-2011, 08:24 AM #19
It might be a simpler option you could quickly implement while working on others.
- 04-20-2011, 07:59 PM #22
Just installed this and have to agree on the need for navigation improvements. I've used comic reader apps on both the iPad and a rooted Nook and either adding page turning zones or swipe gestures on the left and right-hand sides makes it so much easier. If swipes or zones can't be done, then I suggest moving the navigation to the bottom - it feels more natural to hold something at the bottom when reading. I also cannot consistantly get the menu to appear. I have to tap the top of the screen multiple times - very frustrating. I don't mean to sound so critical or negative - your hard work is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
- 04-21-2011, 07:47 AM #25
Apologies in advance, don't mean to hijack the thread and make it about another app ... but thought you might like to know that another reader popped up in App World (for free): https://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/32722
It too is working on CBR support. It has a double-tap to zoom feature, but I tried and the swiping to change pages doesn't work. Otherwise, it is missing other features that you seem to have (sorry, I still haven't paid for any PB Apps yet) - e.g., cover art preview in browser and thumbnails.
Thought you might be interested in seeing what the 'competition' is up to.