Reading comics isn’t just a favorite pastime — it’s a form of entertainment on par with your favorite television shows, while also being no different than the literary experience you might find in a great novel. CDisplay has long been one of Windows users’ most popular method of viewing comics on a computer, but today, we have 10 of the best alternatives that you’re going to want to consider. Some of them can be used offline, while others are embedded in web browser experiences. Some are even available on your mobile devices so that you can easily take that CDisplay experience on the go with you!
If you’re a comics fan, but love to keep your library in a digital space, you’re going to want to hear about our CDisplay alternatives. Read on, for details!
It’s no small secret that most peoples’ reading experience has changed, with the advent of ebooks. Tech allows us to keep an entire library on a mobile device, all but eliminating the necessity of cluttering bookshelves and physical copies. Though many still prefer paperback and hardcover copies of our favorite books (you’re looking at one of those many!) it’s no longer possible to ignore the fact that digital media have encompassed our reading, too.
Comics fit right into that, and digital comics are how a huge swath of fans are choosing to consume their favorite medium. Digital comic sales rake in hundreds of millions of dollars every year, and just as with books, physical copies have remained the domain of proud collectors, but few others. It’s too economical and accessible to simply get your collection digitally. Depending on how you go about it, there’s quite a lot of freedom that can come with that choice, too.
The wrinkle in this whole scenario is DRM (Digital Rights Management). It’s the copyright protection standard being applied in online spaces across the world, and more media falls under its protection than doesn’t. The purpose of DRM is to keep copyrighted material from being traded illegally. No matter how you feel about DRM, online piracy remains a fairly large problem, and copyright holders are always looking for ways to keep it from cutting away at profits for both content creators and distributors.
A solution for many is to search out DRM-free media and use that exclusively. Things without DRM protection can be moved between devices without any trouble, and can also be traded and exchanged without any trouble. Essentially, it makes your digital media just as malleable as something that you’d buy in a store — which many consumers feel should be the standard anyway.
9 Alternatives to CDisplay
For a long while, CDisplay was the best thing that you could do for your digital comics experience. It afforded a great viewing experience for DRM-free comics. And in truth, it still does, but the software now feels overall quite antiquated due to the fact that it’s no longer being updated. And when software stops getting updated, it’s only a matter of time until alternative services crop up in its place.
Those alternative services are what we’re showcasing below, and if you’re a fan of DRM-free comics, you owe it to yourself to give them a try.
Wait, what? Isn’t CDisplay no longer being updated? That’s the truth unfortunately. The supported file types are about what you’d expect: .cbr and .cbz for your comics. It also supports .pdf as well as file formats frequently used by digital manga publications.
Essentially, CDisplay wants to be your all-in-one DRM-free reading app. It’s minimalistic and simple, but since the content is the point of the application, that’s all right with us.Most people want to be able to read their books and comics on the go, just as easily as they can on their PC. ComicRack is one of the better apps that allows you to make that happen. It has dedicated versions for iPad, Android, and Windows, meaning that nearly every device that you’d
Most people want to be able to read their books and comics on the go, just as easily as they can on their PC. ComicRack is one of the better apps that allows you to make that happen. It has dedicated versions for iPad, Android, and Windows — just about every device that you’d want to read a comic on, in the first place.
It’s a lightweight program with a small number of people updating and developing it, but more important than that, it works. Your .cbr and .cbz files will open without trouble, and the sequential image viewing has a nice animation accompanying it.
Since ComicRack is a favored application for Windows users, it’s only fair that we follow up with an exceptionally good one for use on your Mac. It’s an open source solution, which means that it’s highly functional, but doesn’t come with any of the branding or flairs that might otherwise accompany “official” applications. That said, you can expect that it will run very efficiently, and many users praise SimpleComic for the variety of tools that are packed into it.
Viewing comics with it is a pleasure, thanks to the way that the app intelligently borders whatever you’re paging through. Couple that with the ability to bookmark your content as you read through, or preview comics and images before delving into them, and you’ve got a Mac-based winner!
HoneyView isn’t just a comic reader, which is a reason that many people tend to overlook it. However, we’d argue that it’s one of the very reasons you should give it an extra shot. It’s meant to read a wide range of images and just happens to support common formats used by comic books and manga.
Like many of the applications on this list, it allows you to open archived files without unpacking them — a particularly useful feature for comics. If you’re a fan of customization, it might draw you in even more, with customizable interface features like skins and layouts.
YACReader runs extremely well on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The icing on the cake? It also has mobile versions for your smartphone and tablet. The development behind it is quite active, and the number of people reporting positive feedback after using it should allay all concerns you might have about it being a great comic reader.
Comically, YACReader stands for “Yet Another Comic Reader” (double-pun; hooray!) which refers to the diverse and saturated landscape of comic reading apps that were available at the time of its release. It supports all of the DRM-free file formats that you’d expect it to.
Not so long ago, an open-source application called Comix was one of the most popular apps for DRM-free comic files. It ran great, had a full host of tools, and a sizeable following. When development stopped on it, MComix took up the reins.
You can download it through SourceForge, the happy home to a vast majority of open-source applications. For now, it tends to run best on Windows machines, where the installation process is a breeze. Popular formats are all supported, and the interface is slightly reminiscent of what you get with ComicRack.
For good reasons, Comical is many users’ favorite digital comic reader. It’s stylized, it’s fun, and it runs great on MacOSX and Windows. It hasn’t been updated in a long time, however, so if you’re wondering why it doesn’t appear higher on this list, there’s a good reason. In spite of the fact that it performs its tasks quite well, it’s inevitably going to be too outdated to use, once standard container file formats for comics and other images eclipse it.
Now, though? You can check out one of the landmark open-source comic readers that everyone was using 10 years ago. The fact that you can still use it to read comics today is a testament to how well it was coded.
This one only applies to Android users but considering just how many Android users are out there, we don’t think you’ll mind. It can be run through an emulator if you’d like to, but we recommend using this if you’re committed to a Galaxy Tab, or similar tablet device that runs Google’s mobile OS. In case you’ve never tried it before, tablets tend to be perfect for reading comics.
It supports just about every format you could want, too. Ebooks, comics, images, .pdf and the list goes on. That makes it incredibly versatile, which is something that you should always expect from your comic reader of choice.
ComicsViewer might feel a little bit antiquated compared to some of the other options on this list, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great option for Windows users. Manga fans, in particular, tend to get a lot of mileage from this application.
It doesn’t have all of the dynamic imaging interface features that some other options do, which perhaps is why ComicsViewer is better-suited for manga. It can also modify ink and color temperature of the scanned comics that you view but is somewhat lacking when it comes to different file formats.
Most of the comic readers that we’re tossing at you in this list are also great for manga. However, page layout and image scale are different between manga and comic books, so some users tend to prefer apps dedicated specifically to reading manga. Manga Rock is one of those apps.
It’s available for Android and iOS, but since those are the operating systems that people are reading comics on most frequently, that’s fine by us. It comes with cloud storage, page-saving, and a lightning quick interface that’s both pleasing and minimalistic, so as not to detract from the manga that you’re reading.
We hope that the above list has been helpful. CDisplay might be an excellent comic reading solutions, but the 10 recommendations that we’ve made here are just as good. For some users, they might even be better than the features that made CDisplay excellent. And if you’ve found a particular one of our alternatives to be your jam, let us know in the comments below!