Marvel Digital Comics

14. February, 2011

I’m a huge comic fan, spending usually $100 each month on buying them. So when I found the Marvel app for Chrome, I gave it a whirl.

Unfortunately, the experience could be better. The comic reader is implemented in Adobe flash. That’s not a problem as such, only the implementation sucks.

The reader has three modes: Single page, double page and “smart”. There is a reason for the quotes …

In single and double page mode, the print is too small to read on my screen when I can see the whole page (it’s only 1920×1080; portrait mode would work better I guess). So I have to zoom in. But when I zoom in, navigation becomes a chore. The cursor keys don’t repeat. They scroll the page by about 10 pixels. At a readable zoom, I have to press the keys about 100 times to scroll to the bottom.

For every page of the comic. That’s 3,737 keys pressed to read a 37 page comic. Useless.

“Smart mode” to the rescue. In smart mode scrolls cursor left moves to the next unread part of the page. There are only two zoom levels which I call “too small to read” and “cut off balloons mode”. If you’re lucky, you get three panels on a row, and you have to remember the text of all of them so you can finish understanding what everyone says when you can see the bottom half.

So when reading the demo comics, I find myself often grabbing the scroll bars and adjust the screen position just a little. A nag but it works, I guess.

Recommendation: I can live with it.


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