I can admit it … I am a fan of comics. Whether in book form, or the strips you find in the newspaper, I will take the time to linger over both the stories, the art – and of course the jokes. So I was more than pleased to find that there is now a free Windows Phone app for comics’ fans like me called “GoComics” from Universal Uclick.
When the app opens, the menu shows you four simple choices: comics, editorial (political cartoons), popular, and en Español (yes, some of the cartoons are originally in Spanish, or have been translated). Other than the “popular” section, the resulting lists are in alphabetical order.
From there, pick a cartoon (or cartoonist) that you like, and you will see today’s comic, just like it would have appeared in the newspaper. Even better, all of these comics are in full color –unless they happen to be black & white – usually you will only get that in the Sunday papers.
- Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision
- Scan the QR code
- Tap on the link when it appears on the screen
- Install the app from Windows Phone Store
Save it for later
If you happen to like the comic you found, you can “add to favorites” for later viewing, or “add to my comics” which saves that specific title (say “Dilbert”) so you can easily find that entire cartoon in the future. To use the “my comics” feature you do need to create a free GoComics account first.
Across the top of each comic you view, you can jump back and forth between recent days; and the left/right arrows across the bottom of the screen will take you to the next comic within the specific section you are viewing (such as “popular”).
You can also pin specific lists of comics, or individual comics to your start screen for one-click access.
Organized for easy viewing
The app also displays “Featured” comics that the publisher has selected – it makes use of a colorful, tile-like presentation. And, as you continue to pan through the app, you will quickly see any of the comics you have marked as “my comics” or “favorites”. When looking at the items you have saved in “my comics” you can choose to sort the display order you prefer, and you can easily share any of the comics you enjoy with your friends via email or social networking options.
The search feature built in to the app is quite handy, too. You start to type in the name of the cartoon you are looking for, and the app quickly populates matching results based on the comics and cartoonists it has available (you may not even need to type the full name).
Cartoons with a point of view
The “editorial” or political cartoons are sorted by the political leanings of the cartoonists (left, middle and right), and then displayed by the cartoonist’s last name. This works fine if you know the name of a specific cartoonist that you already like, but otherwise it will require some individual comic sampling to find the ones that suit your personal point of view. At least the full spectrum of political opinion is available.
Find something new to enjoy
While making time to read comics during the day, give yourself a moment or two to try some new ones, too. I came across a few that are practically educational (such as complete recipes in five panels or less), and others that are obscure but truly funny.
The app displays the past 45 days of a specific comic – if you want to find one that falls outside of that boundary, you need to use the GoComics.com site.
The one issue I have with the app is that in portrait mode the images of the cartoons start out small. You can pinch to zoom in and out, but that does require a light touch to get it sized correctly. If you switch to landscape mode, the images automatically adjust to a larger viewing size.
With GoComics on my Lumia phone, I may never need to buy the Sunday paper again.
What types of comics do you enjoy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.