You should read comics. Now more than ever, comics are the star around which mass media revolve, be it movies, streaming or network television. Knowing Comics Is Catching Every Deep Cut Easter Egg Aquaman and have lots of things to tell your friends about Spider-Ham after Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. It also means enjoying a type of storytelling you can only find on the page – blockbusters can be great, but comics can take risks.
Plus, in the words of prolific comic book writer Kelly Sue Deconnick, “Comics will always be cooler because we’re cheaper!” “
If you are reading this, you have hopefully decided that you should get started with comics. Maybe you just got a nice big colored tablet to play with. Maybe you like the medium, but going to a comic book store is inconvenient. Maybe you just don’t have room for a lot of physical copies (like me), and you’re not going to ignore it and maintain a huge collection anyway (like me).
If so, you should read comics digitally. And there are more different ways to buy and read digital comics than ever before, so here is your guide to the best digital comic book service for. you.
What is the best complete digital comic book service?
It is Comixologie.com.
Owned by Amazon, Comixology is the largest digital retailer of American comics (and some European manga and comics). Over 200 publishers sell their comics through the service, and for many of them, comixology is their alone digital showcase.
Comixology’s back catalog is huge and the site frequently records massive sales. No matter what books you like, you can probably buy and view them all in the same app or in your browser. Thanks to the synergy between Amazon and Comixology, you can also cash in Amazon gift cards on anything in Kindle comics with Kindle and comiXology badges.
But, the size of the Comixology back catalog can be overwhelming. So here are some other options that might be better for you.
If you really I do not know where to start…
Obtain a Comixology Unlimited subscription.
Take it from Polygon’s comic book editor: there are a lot of comics! The main complaint I get from new readers is that they have no idea where to start. Besides reading the Polygon comic book cover for tips on exciting new series, Comixology Unlimited Subscription is a simple solution.
The name is a bit of a misnomer: âUnlimitedâ makes it sound like a monthly subscription service that gives you access to the entire Comixology catalog – like Marvel Unlimited (more on that later). Instead, Comixology Unlimited offers a rotating selection of comics from the biggest publishers in the US industry. Sometimes it’s quite a race, sometimes it’s the first arc in history – but always enough to wet your whistle. Update: And now the service even includes a selection of DC Comics books.
If you want to try more comics before purchasing collections or hard copies, this is a subscription that will give you a tasting menu of the hottest titles. And when you buy, Comixology subscribers get a 10-15% discount on all books by publishers involved in Comixology Unlimited.
If you don’t know where to start, but know you want to start with DC Comics …
To have a DC Universe subscription.
As a longtime fan, I hope the DC Universe selection gets a bit more robust, and I think the app could benefit from minor but impactful quality-of-life improvements. However!
There’s no denying that there’s some good stuff in there – and not just the comics, but a huge chunk of DC’s TV and movie adaptations. Batman: The animated series, Richard Donner’s Superman movies, the 70s Wonder woman series and more. Not to mention an ever-growing list of surprisingly good streaming originals.
Like Comixology Unlimited, DC Entertainment is spinning the comics available on the app, often to coincide with the release of its film adaptations – and it only launched this summer, so it has time to sort out issues. The service has just announced its first expansion of its library, and it’s a big, so things are definitely moving in the right direction.
If you correct want to read Marvel Comics, and none of the new stuff …
Obtain a Unlimited Marvel subscription.
Marvel Unlimited gives you access to a huge backlog of decades of Marvel comics. It’s not all, but it’s pretty close. The database is also searchable (with reasonable precision) by character, creator name, series name, and even story arc.
The only thing you sure won’t find on Marvel Unlimited are the new releases. New comics went live with a delay of about three months. So while the service is great for catching up (get ready for Captain Marvel by reading these essential books), it’s bad for staying up to date. But if you don’t need to stay up to date, you are golden.
What if I want to read manga?
To verify Crisp Where Shonen jump.
Did you know that a Crunchyroll membership not only gives you access to a huge library of anime titles, but also manga titles? Now you do.
There is also a new kid on the scene when it comes to Western readers accessing a huge catalog of manga: Shonen Jump. Launched in December 2018, America’s largest manga publisher, Viz Media, now boasts an equally impressive digital storefront. The three most recent chapters of any current series, such as Death threat, are available for free on Shonen Jump, with new English translations of the chapters available concurrently with their release in Japan.
On top of that, over 10,000 older chapters in current and completed series are available via a penny per day subscription, a rather compelling offer to combat the scourge of illegal digitizations and translations.
And if I really want own copies of my comics?
If you’re a paranoid consumer – and you have every right to be – you may have noticed a big difference between reading physical copies and reading digital comics. When you buy a physical comic, you own that item.
But when you buy digital comics, you are simply purchasing the option to watch them in the app or browser window of the service you are donating money to. Getting divorced from that service – or that service that separates itself from you or its clients for whatever reason – means being separated from your comics.
There’s really only one way around this in the larger digital comic space: Comixology’s DRM-free backup feature. A number of publishers offer their titles for download after being purchased through Comixology, including Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Valiant, and Oni Press.
It is notably missing from this list Marvel and DC Comics. But if you really want buy copies of your digital comics, this is the only option I found.
Now here’s a list of the best comics of 2018. Read on!