A comic book reader is more than just a bunch of JPEG images. It provides a better reading experience than plain image viewers. The reader offers useful options like bookmarking, panel-viewing/multiple page viewing and a dedicated library. Besides desktop PCs, there are useful apps that let you read comics on a tablet PC. These apps support a host of functions, including intuitive touch screen-based controls and an option that compiles your favorite comics at one place.
For Windows PC, you will find plenty of readers that support CBZ and CBR format, two of best archives that allow sequential image viewing. However, there might be a few choices available if you are looking for a comic book reader for Windows 8. All are free and offer the best in reading experience. Here are some of the best apps for your computer as well as tablet PC:
POW! Comic Book Reader
POW! Comic Book Reader provides an amazing reading experience on both computer and Windows 8-powered tablet PCs. It supports major archive formats like CBR, CBZ and RAR. You can read your comics on both portrait and full-screen mode. One of the app’s striking features is its interface. The app is very easy to use and one can easily browse through your uploaded comic book archives.
There are, however, a few drawbacks that need to be fixed by the developers. The app should have an option where users can easily upload an entire folder, and not individual archives to the application. One can’t zoom in to view individual panels. Also, a user has to swipe the screen instead of tapping both the left and right side of the screen.
POW! May not be one of the best in the market, but it does provide a good interface. I would request the developer(s) to update this app at regular intervals to fix bugs as I feel it has the potential to be a great CBZ/CBR reader for desktop and tablet PCs.
Read'em on Windows 8 Tablet PC
ComiXology takes advantage of Window 8 “Metro” interface design, making comic book reading a totally unique experience. The reader lets you read comics purchased via in-app purchases. All you need to do is sign-up/login and browse several old and new titles via the web store. The app is a digital comic book reader and not a CBR reader. You can legally read a DC comic book, but you will need to buy them via in-app purchases to read them on your app.
The application supports a host of features introduced by Windows 8 developers. These include “Semantic Zoom”, which will allow readers to pinch and zoom while searching for titles stored in their library. Your comic book library has a smart tile-based interface that ensures easy navigation and selection. You just need to pinch, zoom and click on a title to access its contents.
Fans of ComiXology will also enjoy using its patented Guided View technology that ensures ease in reading. You can easily read single panels of a comic book on a Windows 8 tablet PC (Check the video to get more information about this feature). Panel-by-panel reading is one of the best features of this app.
Currently, the application has over 20K comics to download. Many are totally free and can be downloaded at a click of a mouse button.
Note: Reading comics in CBR/CBZ archives that are made available via torrent sites is illegal. This hub is only for entertainment purpose and does not support piracy. Buy your digital comics from a reliable source that sells legal copies.
Manga Z is exclusively built for those who love reading comic books featuring the unique Japanese art style. While there are anime adaptations of the popular Manga titles, people still prefer to read them in comic book format. And this is where an application may prove to be extremely useful to read their favorite titles.
If you are looking for a dedicated Manga reader for Windows 8, then you should download Manga Z, a free application that lets you download and read all your favorite comics at one place. The app has a simple interface that lets you browse your favorite titles and download them to your PC.
Manga Z has plenty of options, which can be accessed by right-clicking on the app screen. You can change the viewing style (portrait, landscape), switch the background color from white to black and change the listing style. Right-clicking also lets you access your reading history and comics marked as “favorite.”
The Manga-only app has over 500 titles, each having a mini-preview displayed on the left side of the screen. A gentle tap on the comic book icon will reveal the mini-preview as well as a description. You can either “favorite” it for future viewing or download it to the application.
4. Echo Comics
Echo Comics is a CBR reader for Windows 8 and RT OS. It lets you load your favorite comics stored in your local drive. All you need to do is select the folder containing comics and the application will immediately save all titles to its library. The app library divides comic book titles into two sections, including a separate “Favorites” section where you can keep some of your preferred titles.
Once all of your CBR/CBZ archives are added to the “Collection” section, you can easily read them by clicking/tapping of the comic icon. You can also delete them or add them to the favorite section. You can quickly navigate between pages of a comic book via a slider that pops up at a single tap/click. Easy navigation between pages is one of the most sought-after features of a comic book reader and Echo Comics does not disappoint at all in this respect. However, it does not support other equally-important features, such as mini previews of pages and multiple page views.
Despite some of its flaws, the application still works pretty well on your Windows 8-powered computer and tablet PC. The light-weight, sequential viewer is not heavy on features and is aimed for the casual reader.
Manga+ is another Manga comic reader application that supports comics in CBZ format. What’s special about this app is that it provides fun tidbits about popular Manga characters. There’s a mini-encyclopedia within the app. Along with reading your favorite comics, you will also get a chance to read interesting facts, character bios and plenty of fun stuff.
Manga+ has a plain and simple interface that allows you to read comics in portrait mode. To add a comic, right-click on the empty section of the app and select the CBZ archive from your local drive. Once you have added the comic, you will see additional information, including a similar comic search list.
The application does not have any special features that aid reading. It is a plain CBZ reader with features commonly found in most comic book readers for Windows 8. The only refreshing aspect is the mini-encyclopedia, which is very well designed and sorted out for ardent Manga fans.
XYLAMIC on July 22, 2014:
For a great comic archive reader, try out Comic Seer in the Windows Store.
James Richton from USA on November 05, 2013:
POW has always been my favorite. I'm interested in looking at a few other ones and seeing how I like them. Thanks.
Brandon Hart from The Game on August 23, 2013:
I've been using ComiXology, but I think I'll at least try POW! after this.
Anurag (author) on May 06, 2013:
Thank you, rozalex.
rozalex on May 06, 2013:
This is so great. This is a great idea for a gift for a friend of mine who would just love one of these Comic Book Readers. When I buy him this for his birthday I will remember picking one from this hub.