Digital comics or e-comics, has become big business for creators, fans, publishers and retailers throughout the world. Moreover, with promotional digital applications that display the cover art, page count, price, credits, and a short description, individuals can also order traditionally printed comic books from their local brick-and-mortar bookshops. Coupled with this, other marketing efforts like dedicated websites, blogs, forums, review sites, and getting the buzz on social media sites, has increased the overall share of digital comics.
You can read digital comics across multiple devices and in a variety of ways. There is no best way and you have to find out which way suits you the best. Digital comics may be read online or offline.
Online comic stores use some kind of software, as the files cannot be downloaded and cannot be read offline. This ensures that the digital comics are not manipulated or pirated.
For offline reading, they have to be downloaded. Many offer digital comics as downloads having .cbz or .cbr extensions. These files use compression formats like ZIP or RAR, which is indicated by “z” or “r” in their extensions. They are usually low resolution scanned images and do not offer the pleasure that original digital comics offer. They generally use some free comic reader program.
Some distributors offer digital comics as .pdf files that can be viewed with any PDF viewer. The PDF format is secure and tampering is generally not possible. Almost all publisher websites offer free digital comics in .pdf format. They usually offer a single free issue and for more issues, you have to either buy or subscribe to their monthly or yearly programs.
A large majority of readers use apps and most of the apps can be downloaded free, however for availing their facilities some apps use per issue, monthly, or yearly fee.
Smart phones using Android devices are also compatible with these apps. Many comic book sites also integrate socialization with these apps, giving the apps a social extension where readers can post comments. These apps are usually compatible over a wide range of devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, iPhones, etc.
Many devices are text-to-speech enabled, which makes the user comfortably listen to the story and dialogues of the characters. Some creators may even provide speech done by professional voiceover artists; however, generally, it is not so, and so text-to-speech enabled digital comics may not give the desired pleasure that reading gives.
Independent comic book creators may use sites, where the creators can set the price for their digital comics. The creators retain all the income from the sales minus some fees and charges. The site supports itself by using ads and sponsorships.
Digital comics have come to stay and is fast changing the way comics are created, published, distributed, and read.