Fancy yourself a comic book fan? If you've always dreamed of weaving together your own comics and image-heavy stories, but don't have the motivation (or ideas) to pursue the real deal, Halftone 2 for iPad can scratch that itch and then some. With more flexibility and features than its predecessor, this greatly improved follow-up lets you create elaborate and hilarious comics from your camera roll almost effortlessly – if you're willing to drop some green on in-app purchases, that is.
Last fall's release of the HeroClix TabApp tried to bring together the worlds of physical and digital games, letting users place specialized figures from the HeroClix tabletop game series on an iPad screen and transport them into a game. Unfortunately, while it did a solid job of recognizing the figures, the game itself was an utter mess: Painfully repetitive, both ugly and filled with lag, and lacking the strategic spirit of the tabletop source material. The brand new HeroClix TabApp Elite forges a fresh path with distinct gameplay and much different figurine implementation, but while it's thankfully a much smoother experience, the game itself still isn't strong enough to warrant the investment.
Looking for the next great iOS brawler? You won’t find it here, but the free Injustice: Gods Among Us is still well worth downloading, especially for comic book fans. Playing as 18 of the DC Universe’s most popular heroes and villains, you’ll battle Flash, The Joker, and company in frantic, surprisingly addictive 2D-style bouts.
Keeping up with comic books has been utterly transformed by apps like Comics by Comixology, as you no longer have to hit the comic shop weekly to snap up new issues, wait for graphic novel compilations, or read on your computer screen. Nearly every new notable comic is right there on day one, ready to be purchased and read wherever you please in sparkling digital quality. Marvel Unlimited acts as a complementary kind of service, eschewing new releases and individual purchases in favor of all-you-can-read access (via subscription) to much of the publisher's deep archive of books older than six months. It's a novel and promising approach, though where and how you can read the offerings are current roadblocks to its success.
That enormous tapping sound you just heard was millions of comic book fans simultaneously racing to download Marvel's latest iOS app, which promises to bring Spotify-style marketing to the comic book industry at long last.
I got a demo of Smith Micro's Manga Studio 5 earlier this week, and came away impressed -- rarely does one application pack in so many advanced features for professionals while still remaining accessible to hobbyists. No wonder it's the industry standard software for creating not just manga (traditional black-and-white Japanese comics) but also graphic novels, web comics, and comic books.
Comic-Con International kicks off on Thursday in San Diego, and developers are already taking advantage of the event by previewing some of their upcoming App Store titles, including the game/comic fusion The Adventures of Retrobot.
It’s easy to make your own comics, even without drawing skills. ComicBook! ($1.99, universal) lets your kids take a bunch of photos, then turn those into superheroic comic pages. The app is universal, so this can also be done with an iPhone or iPod touch, but the end results are certainly more impressive on the iPad’s larger display.