Thrillbent Comic App Allows Import of Other Formats
Thrillbent, the digital comic site created by Mark Waid and John Rogers, has its own iPad app. Makes sense, since the iPad is nearly perfect for reading digital comics. The Thrillbent comic app does something very smart, that customers often ask for: it provides the ability to import your own comic files in PDF, CBR, or CBZ formats (which includes ComiXology backups) from Dropbox.
Now, there are a few glitches/areas for possible improvement. Once you’ve imported your own comics, there aren’t many organizational tools, which makes this best suited to someone with just a few titles.
Regarding the Thrillbent content, it’s not obvious which comics are free to read and which require payment of the $3.99 monthly subscription fee until you’ve clicked on them (and in many cases, gotten the “unlock with subscription” message). Once I found a free one, I couldn’t find any way to download it to my iPad, so each page turn meant a delay as it reloaded. (It seems that you have to buy the comics, individually, from the Thrillbent website to be able to download them.) Whether subscribed or not, you can mark series as favorites, which have their own section to make it easier to see when a comic updates with a new chapter.
The app forces a horizontal orientation, although if you load your own vertically oriented comic, you can switch at that point. The comic files don’t have a page control marker, so you can’t jump ahead or see how many pages the item has — you can only move forward one page, back one page, or jump back to page 1. That’s ok for the shorter Thrillbent chapters, but I can’t see reading a graphic novel here.
So great concept, good execution, but given the limitations, Thrillbent won’t become the single comic reading tool hardcore fans are looking for. I don’t think it’s meant to be, though; instead, it serves well as a support for the website.