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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Comixology Guided View comes to Kindle

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

When Comixology started bringing comics to small mobile devices, one of the challenges was screen size—you simply couldn’t have the full-page comic-book experience on a small, low-resolution screen. These days, I get that experience on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro… but that doesn’t help if you’re reading comics on a smaller device.

Comixology’s solution to this problem was a feature called Guided View, which would automatically zoom, pan, and turn pages to guide you through a comic panel by panel, and in some cases even word balloon by word balloon. It turned out that not only was it helpful for people reading comics on tiny phone screens, but also for people who didn’t grow up with comics and find it hard to figure out the right sequence to read panels on a comics page. (Comics literacy is a real thing. Read Scott McCloud for a lot more.)

Amazon bought Comixology a few years back, and gradually the comics expertise of Comixology has been rolled into Amazon proper. (For example, if you buy a digital comic on Amazon and it’s also available on Comixology, it will show up in both places.) The latest addition is Guided View itself, which is rolling out to updated versions of the Kindle app on iOS, Fire tablets, and Android.

(For the record, Amazon’s comics catalog understandably focuses on graphic novels—check out The Coldest City by my friend Antony Johnston1—and “trade” collections. Comixology offers all of those graphic novels and trades, but focuses a bit more on single-issue comics. Most of the stuff is available in both stores.)

For a while I’ve had people ask me if they should buy comics on Comixology or on Amazon, and I’ve had to explain that the comic reading experience is just better in the Comixology app. But with the addition of Guided view, the Kindle app is reaching parity with the Comixology itself.

  1. Soon to be a major motion picture, Atomic Blonde

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