There are certain programs and apps that just beg for you to get creative with them. You may think you have no use for them, but then you start playing around, and suddenly you’re having all kinds of fun working them into your standard software routines. Comic Life is such a program, and now that it’s on the iPad, it’s easier than ever to justify that initial purchase.
What is it?
Comic Life is, at its most basic, formatting software. It provides templates and tools for creating photo comic layouts utilizing the photos in your iPad’s photo library or that you take from within the app. You can then add speech bubbles, action lettering and more to create a comic for distribution via e-mail or Facebook, or for printing via your wireless network.
How does it work?
The process of creating your comic is wonderfully intuitive. Upon launching Comic Life, your presented with the option of viewing a “getting started” tutorial or opening a new comic. Tapping “New Comic” takes you to the template screen, which currently has nine presets and one blank template so you can create your own layout (of course, the preset templates can also be adjusted as necessary).
Hopefully, Plasq will continue to add templates either via updates or as in-app purchases because, oddly, none of the ones includes are actually structured like comic books…they all look more like family newsletters.
Once you’ve selected your template, you simply tap the predefined photo areas to add your images. Comic Life resizes them accordingly, but you can use standard touch commands to adjust the size and position manually.
You can tap the text boxes/bubbles to edit the text within, and again, they resize themselves automatically to fit your text. You can drag the bubbles around, resize them and even rotate them. The tail of the speech bubble will stay in place, but you can move it separately, and even adjust the curve at which it flows up into the bubble.
Pretty much everything is customizable: font, colors, etc. Even better, comics can have multiple pages; if you really wanted to create a full comic, you could. If you want to work with something other than your photos, simply create the graphics you want in a separate program, load them into iPhoto and sync them with your iPad. Comic Life pulls any image from the library, remember, so there’s no limit to what type of image with which you can work.
Is it contagious?
Comic Life one of the more contagious apps I have on my iPad, actually. At first, I found myself simply having fun with the photos in my library, creating stories around them (or helping my kids do it, as you can see in the sample comic above). Before long, though, I was taking pictures specifically for Comic Life stories.
In other words, Comic Life is the very type of app for which you bought your iPad in the first place. It’s a great buy at $7.99, and I expect it won’t be long before you graduate to the more powerful Comic Life 2 for Mac or Comic Life for PC.
And about that, plasq, the ability to transfer layered documents between the iPad and desktop version would be worth an in-app purchase. Something to consider.