The webcomics blog about webcomics


This page has previously spoken of standards in webcomics presentation, with prior discussion revolving around things like search text and portability of websites between service providers.

Today, Colonel Joey kickstarts the discussion by bringing the CBR “standard” (I’m not sure it’s used widely enough to lose the quotes) to the Modern Tales family of websites, at least for long-form works. From the Talk About Comics posting:

Today I’m happy to announce that the Modern Tales family of websites (Modern Tales, GirlAMatic, serializer and Graphic Smash) is the first major webcomics network to embrace the downloadable CBR format for full-length, high-resolution digital comic books.

… Unlike traditional webcomic strips, Comic Book Reader files are complete issues of “comic booksâ€? or even full-length “graphic novelsâ€? in digital form, released all at once, downloaded onto the fan’s hard drive and consumed at his/her leisure, with crisp graphics and immediate page-loading.

Like MP3 files, CBR’s first gained prominence in the file-sharing world. Apparently there are a lot of comic book fans out there who enjoy scanning their collections (or even the comics they just bought this week) and sharing them with their friends. I don’t necessarily approve of this activity, but I have a lot of respect for the way that P2P and filesharing systems often stand at the forefront of innovation when it comes to media formats and user-friendly ways of doing things.

I’m trying to figure out if the “file sharing’s bad, but it makes good tech” stand is ethically defensible or not, but I suspect I’ll be going back and forth on it for a while. There’s more in the post regarding what’s available in the CBR format and how to read it. So what do you say? Are you willing to read long-form works on the screen, or does this have the same theoretical-if-not-practical appeal as electronic books?

My inner Bill Clinton wishes for me to point out that I didn’t say filesharing is bad.

“The keyword,” says IBC (Inner Bill Clinton), “is ‘necessarily.'”


I’d be REALLY excited if this kind of thing would run natively in my web browser (like how Safari can handle PDFs, only…not as shitty).

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