When someone talks about digital comics now, they are very likely talking about digital comics as read through one specific reader: Comixology.
While it’s through Comixology that you’ll find the latest and greatest from Image, Marvel, and DC, there are plenty of instances where the app just won’t have what you’re looking for.
This is how I found Kobo.
Kobo is a few things:
1) An eBookstore, including everything from free classic literature to various graphic novel collections.
2) An eReader that comes in a few forms, including KoboGlo and the new Kobo Aura HD.
3) A free app for iOS or Android.
4) The logical catchphrase for any situation that leads to a homeless Kobe Bryant.
For comic book fans, Kobo is also something slightly more important – a free app with a digital store offering books like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chester Brown’s ‘Paying For It,’ both of which you won’t find on Comixology.
The Kobo Comics collection is primarily centered around Dark Horse, IDW & Top Cow trade collections, with a solid helping of Manga thrown in.
Now, would I recommend you satiate your post-Netflix-Buffy-Binge desires with the digital Kobo version instead of the trade collection? Probably not.
BUT: If you’re already fully onboard with digital comic reading, and love the immediacy it offers (no waiting for a book to ship, or need to even get up off your couch), Kobo does offer a nice alternative for certain selections.
Buying through Kobo is also a little cheaper than buying the tangible trade collection. For example, I got my digital copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 (by the one and only Joss Whedon) for $9.39 on Kobo eBooks. The current Amazon trade is running for $11.68.
Now the immediate counter to that promise of financial miracles is that the Amazon Kindle pricing is exactly the same as Kobo. Which brings me to my main point with this review: Kobo is an alternate option to simply keep in mind. It’s not necessarily the secret comic book cove of savings, but it’s a perfectly viable option to have in your digital back pocket.
Kobo as a Comic Book Reader – How’s the Experience?
If you do find a nice digital deal for a book you’re interested in, as I did, the Kobo reading experience is pretty seamless.
I can’t speak for the quality of the readers, but using the free app on the iPad I was able to quickly and enjoyably consume my purchased material.
The major notable flaw with the app is that pages of each comic tend to bleed over. You get used to this pretty quickly, but this isn’t the guided panel technology of a Comixology. This also means you’re going to need an iPad sized screen to make this a viable reading option.
For the most part, though, I’ve enjoyed reading some comics through Kobo and would throw it out there as an option for the occasional best-priced trade collection. I wouldn’t say I’ll be switching away from Comixology or anything so drastic, but this was a nice reminder for me that there are alternate digital comic reading options out there.
And let’s face it – anything quickly brings more Xander into your life is worth giving a chance.
If you do want to take a look, click through on the Kobo free eBook banner below. Full disclosure: The Kobo ads here are part of an affiliate relationship with Comic Book Herald. Clicking and ultimately purchasing things can help me and the blog – but again, my recommendation is just to check this out and see if it fits a need.