March Break Fun: Marvel Comics Apps Mean You Can Bring Your Superheroes Anywhere

Chances are you are experiencing one of three realities this week:
  • It's March Break: you have kids in a school board that has their Spring Vacation this week;
  • It was March Break recently: you have kids in a school board whose break has passed or is still to come;
  • It's not March Break: you have no kids and have to put up with people like me talking about it, but still have to slave away at the office while these parents slack off for a week and the only compensation you get is a faster commuting time.
Well, regardless which category best describes you, let me tell you about an app that might come in handy whether to entertain the kiddies or help you pass the time in your quiet office.

[Disclaimer: This site does not endorse complacency and loafing in the workplace. This site will not be help responsible for any revenue or productivity lost as a result of informing you of this lovely, addicting distraction.]

Credit: Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics has mobile apps from which you can access all the latest (and even some retro) issues of your favourite comic books, without ever having to step into a comic book store. Granted, I do love a good visit to a comic book store, especially on Free Comic Book Day. But sometimes, especially on a road trip or an "I'm bored" kind of afternoon (or even a long lineup to get into something), having the Marvel mobile comics app on my tablet is a wonderful distraction for the Dude (or me).

Marvel Mobile Comics App for Android
The app requires an Internet connection to browse through and download over 3500 issues from the Marvel store, but you can view your downloads offline at any time. Comics range in price from FREE to upwards of $30 (and more) for collections of serials. Now let's be honest, like iTunes, this is essentially a shopping app, geared to sell comics but honestly, there is a lot of selection among the free collections and if you just want to test the waters or keep copies handy in case of a boredom emergency, then this is a really handy tool.

And in case you think there are 10 free comics and the others are always for-pay? Nope. Not the case. But donote that their free section doesn't seem to get updated as much as their "Just Added" section, which is where we are able to find new free issues more quickly.

This weekend, at South By Southwest (SXSW), they announced the ability food users to download 700 first issue comics FOR FREE. Now initially, this promo was supposed to run until 11pm Tuesday (yes, I am late in posting this), but due to delivery issues (that's what happens when you become Internet-famous), I would venture to say that they will extend the download deadline. All you have to do is download the app and check the homescreen for updates, or keep an eye on their press page about the promotion.

The apps offer two ways to read, (according to the app description):
a guided view (an animated, panel-by-panel path through the comic), or by using regular device controls to zoom and pan your way through pages
And what is possibly the best feature: your comic purchases and downloads are associated to your account, so even if you view on a different device, you'll always have access to your entire collection of comics.

Marvel offers other apps including an augmented reality one which allows you to scan your IRL comic books and interact with them and an events app for Comic Con. As well, they announced a new service at SXSW called Marvel Unlimited, a subscription service which provides access to 13,000 comics and streaming content.

Tons of fun for both Little Geeks and Big Geeks. Check out the Marvel apps for iOS and Android.

(Source: Engadget)