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656 reviews
3,162 helpful votes
If you've never read digital format comic books and can't imagine wanting to do so, then Comical is going to be of little interest to you. But if you're interested in the medium, although this app has been around since 2003, in my opinion it remains the best viewer of .cbr and .cbz files that there is. It isn't the most sophisticated comic book reader, I've tried that and on my equipment, it's so slow and unwieldy that it's a waste of my time. It's great to be able to have multiple file views, and PDF ability as well as the regular comic book and jpeg files, and multiple displays and so forth, but I only need a reader that will put up a page or two of the book I want to read, move back and forth reliably on a mouse click, and do it without taking an age to get there. Comical does that for me.

The options that are really useful are all here: you can view one or two pages at a time, you can show the pages by width or by height, or at original size, full screen if you want, you can rotate the images, you can read an original Japanese manga the correct way, from back to front and right to left, you can choose the filter that gives you the best images and you can choose to view the pages as thumbnails. Frankly, that's enough for me. More complex apps also allow browsing and cataloging of folders as well as being able to view multiple file types and even load and display pages automatically in sequence. I don't need all that, other apps and even basic Windows facilities can handle most of that.

Comic book readers can also display jpeg files, since all a comic book is, is a series of images anyway. So Comical can be used as a photo slide show as a bonus.

Although the graphic novel (comic book for adults who don't like to admit they read comic books) is perhaps the genre most appreciated as a physical work on paper, digital versions are a very close second and there's no loss of image quality. The only thing missing is the surface quality of the paper itself, which is somehow an integral part of the work when it's in your hands. As yet, no book reader can replace that, but who knows?

Oh, I forgot, being on Sourceforge this is an open source project, distributed under the GPL license, and entirely FREE.

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