Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Comic Life is good for finding images... but not much else

by Jen Aprahamian

Comic Life is described by its developers as “The program to use for viewing comics in single page mode.” I was hoping to encounter an app that displayed panels of my favorite Marvel and DC comics in beautiful single-panel mode, but instead found a random, loosely comic-themed image grabber. Comic enthusiasts? This app will let you down.

Comic Life allows you to select from a menu of different “comics” ranging from Batman to Calvin & Hobbes to political cartoons. Unfortunately, these menu options appear to be little more than search terms for somewhat-related images. I clicked on “Batman comics,” hoping to find panels from real Batman comic issues. Instead, the image that appeared was a set of Batman action figures. I clicked on the arrow to cycle to another “comic” -- a piece of Batman fan art appeared. So far? 0 for 2 on actual Batman comics.

There’s a custom search field, but it’s very hit-or-miss whether the search results will be comic-related. I searched for “Cyclops” and “Phoenix,” hoping to find X-Men. I got a few X-Men images, but most of the results were random pieces of fan art or mythological images.

The app -- though possibly misnamed, and definitely frustrating to use -- isn’t entirely without useful features: if you find an image that you like, you can save it to your device or open it in its original context. Unfortunately for Comic Life, Google’s image search feature has that functionality covered (and does it better).