Best Graphic Book Apps for iPhone

Graphic novels (a slightly more upmarket name for a comic book, or a comic book collection) have been coming on in leaps and bounds over the past twenty or thirty years, with critical and mainstream acceptance, as well as film adaptations, for the best of them, like Sin City and Watchmen.

Smartphones don’t just offer a new platform for enjoying your favorite graphic novels – they also offer brand new possibilities, mostly to do with adding multimedia features and easily accessible further reading resources.

We take a look at five of the best graphic books apps for iPhone 4S, including some that go beyond just adding multimedia to comics, and offer more of an interactive documentary approach.

The Carrier (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; requires iOS 3.0 or later; £1.49)

A brilliant, 21st century reimagining of the graphic novel concept, The Carrier makes you the hero of an interactive espionage story that unfolds over the course of ten days.

New chapters become available as you go through the story, and the app notifies you by email when that happens.

The story is personalized around the customer, so it feels like it’s happening to you, not some unknown protagonist.

Al Gore: Our Choice (iPhone 3GS up, iPod Touch or iPad; requires iOS 4.2 or later; £2.99)

The subtitle is “A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis”, but while Our Choice is required reading for anyone interested in climate change and what can be done about it, it should also be a must-read for people who want to see what a next generation ebook looks like.

The app incorporates over an hour of documentary footage, highly interactive graphics, and a fully integrated map to show you where each other multimedia element fits in worldwide.

This really is the closest we’ve seen to the kind of interactive computer-book hybrid that science fiction movies have hinted at for years, particularly since the app takes full advantage of the touchscreen to let you manipulate it.

Exodus169 (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; requires iOS 4.0 or later; free, with extra episodes £0.69)

Exodus169’s big selling point is the sound. Somewhere between a traditional graphic novel and an animation, it features non-moving art but full voice acting for the characters in the art.

You can sign up to be one of the 100,000 protagonists, too, shot into space on a 169-year exodus from a doomed Earth.

The Blues (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; requires iOS 3.2 or later; £1.99)

The Blues is a must-have multimedia story for any rock and pop fans, being a fictionalized history of blues music, from its roots in southern African-American music to its role influencing everything from the Beatles to heavy metal music.

It follows a young boy from the 1930s to adulthood and beyond as he explores the blues and related sounds. The app looks very much like a comic or graphic novel, but makes use of the iOS app format to give you music as you read, too.

It’s a great idea, but the multimedia integration seems a little heavy-handed at times, in that you can’t easily stop a song from playing even if you’ve finished reading the text and looking at the images on that page. More interactivity would be a big improvement.

The Blues still earns its place on our list for the cracking story, great art, and apposite subject matter.

Bone (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; requires iOS 3.0 or later; free, with extra episodes £1.49)

Bone has been one of the greatest cult comic series of the last couple of decades, and the iPhone adaptation is beautiful.

The colors are brighter than ever, and the one-panel-to-a-screen format works marvelously with the artwork. The content is expensive, but worth it for the quality.

These graphic book applications really make reading a pleasure, especially on the new iPhone 4s.

Simon Drew
I write for Best Mobile Contracts - the Best UK mobile phone comparison website.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.


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One Response to “Best Graphic Book Apps for iPhone”

  1. I love graphic books and i will definitely download these apps.

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