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iPad Comics

I started accumulating digital comic book files somewhere around 2010-2011, I think, maybe a little before that, couldn’t have been much after that. Downloadable digital comic books were in plentiful supply around the web until copyright concerns (rightly) shut a lot of those unauthorized sites down for good. Though I admit to taking advantage of such resources when they were available, I made a personal point of never grabbing anything that was regularly or readily available at retail–absolutely no then-current comics, no book collections–and concentrating solely on stuff I couldn’t get at my comics shop. 

For me, digital comics are a convenience, but generally not my preferred method of reading comics. Frankly, I’m just not all that interested in reading on a device; I’d much rather hold a book in my hands and turn its pages. I don’t do ebooks, either. I’ve purchased maybe two or three digital comics that were otherwise out of print, and I get most of my comics fix when I buy my weekly stack at Comix Zone in North Syracuse every Wednesday, supplemented by the occasional trade collection. 

Nonetheless, I do also love my digital comics. I have something like three thousand of them stored on my computer; I’ve shed a few I no longer want, lost a few others along the way, and I continue to add more from public domain comics resources like Comic Book PlusDigital Comics Museum, and Archive.org. Any time I want to read a vintage adventure of the original Captain Marvel or the 1960s Charlton Comics Action-Heroes, it’s all just a click away.


I started stockpiling these things before I owned an iPad, but the goal was always to put ’em on that portable device. If one was going to read digital comics, the iPad seemed the perfect size to accommodate that wish. When I went to Spain in 2012, I took along the iPad with the idea of reading digital comics during down time. Instead, I wound up reading a hardcover mystery novel by Max Allan Collins and a hardcover bio of Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim. Captain Marvel may as well have just stayed home.

We have a new iPad now, and I’m revisiting the idea of reading comics on our trusty older device. I’ve taken most everything else off that iPad, and loaded about 1000 comic books on it. It came in handy while waiting for a car repair this week, as I sat in the dealer’s waiting room and immersed myself in the first twelve issues of Marvel‘s The Avengers from the ’60s. It was fun, and I think I’m going to re-read the run from that point forward until the mid ’70s; if I do, The Avengers will be the subject of an upcoming edition(s) of Comic Book Retroview.


These are the comics titles I’ve chosen to store (in varying amounts) on my iPad for now: 80 Page GiantAction ComicsAdventure ComicsThe Adventures Of Bob HopeThe Adventures Of Jerry LewisAir Fighters ComicsAll-Flash Quarterly, some DC dollar tabloids, All Select ComicsAll Winners ComicsAll-American ComicsAll-American WesternAll-Star ComicsAmerica’s Greatest ComicsAquamanThe AvengersBatmanBig Shot ComicsBlack Cat ComicsBlonde PhantomBlue BeetleBlue Ribbon ComicsBomba The Jungle BoyBoy CommandosThe Brave And The BoldBulletmanBuz SawyerCaptain ActionCaptain America ComicsCaptain MarvelCaptain Marvel Adventures (etc.), Charlton PremiereCharlton Wild FrontierComic CavalcadeCrack ComicsCrime SmasherDanger And AdventureDaredevil Battles HitlerDC 100-Page Super SpectacularDC SpecialThe DestructorDetective ComicsDick TracyDoc SavageDoctor StrangeDoll Man QuarterlyEllery QueenFatmanFlash ComicsThe Flintstones At The New York World’s FairFunnymanGhost ComicsGold Key SpotlightThe Green HornetGreen LanternHands Of The DragonHoppy The Marvel BunnyHot WheelsI Am CoyoteIbis The InvincibleInferior FiveIron Man And Sub-MarinerJezebel JadeJonny QuestJumbo ComicsJustice Inc.Justice League Of AmericaKid EternityLady LuckLars Of MarsLeading ComicsThe Lone RangerMan In BlackMan O’ MarsMary MarvelMarvel BoyMarvel FamilyMarvel FeatureMarvel Mystery ComicsMarvel Super-HeroesMaster ComicsMetal MenMighty ComicsMilitary ComicsMinute ManMy Greatest AdventureMysterious SuspenseNot Brand EchhPep ComicsPeter Cannon Thunderbolt,The PhantomPhantom LadyThe PhoenixPlanet ComicsPlastic ManPolice ComicsRima The Jungle GirlROG-2000The SandmanScorpio RoseThe ScorpionScribblySecret OriginsThe Secret SixSensation ComicsThe ShadowShazam!SheenaShock SuspenStoriesShowcaseSilver SurferSmash ComicsThe SpectreThe SpiritSpy SmasherStanley And His MonsterStar Spangled ComicsSteve CanyonSub-MarinerDell‘s Super HeroesSuperboySupergirlSuperman’s Girlfriend Lois LaneSupersnipeSword Of SorceryTales From The CryptTarzanT.H.U.N.D.E.R. AgentsTiger-ManTop-Notch ComicsUSA ComicsVampirellaWhiz ComicsWorld’s Finest ComicsWow ComicsZip Comics, and Zorro. There’s room for more, and I will probably add and also trade out more titles and more individual issues.

For all that, it remains to be seen how much I’ll actually read my iPad comics. I don’t intend to have any more extended stays at the auto service center, and I’m way behind on catching up with my towering stacks–plural!–of current comics (a subject for another post). But I like having these available when I want them. And you know, while still waiting for my car, I stopped my reading (prematurely) when I thought the car was almost ready. I should pick up The Avengers from where I left off: Avengers # 13, “The Castle Of Count Nefaria!,” the first issue of The Avengers I ever read as a kid. I have it in my hardcover Marvel Masterworks, and my softcover Marvel Essentials. My much-loved, much-read original comic book is long, long gone. But it’s on my iPad. And it’s waiting for me, whenever I want to read it again. iPad Comics ASSEMBLE!

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