A few months ago, I wrote a ProfHacker post about Comic Life, a graphic illustrator program by Plasq. Comic Life creates graphic illustrations using photographs that you can upload from your computer. The program offers many templates, fonts, colors, sizes, and styles that can create any number of comic illustrations. This Mac and PC program is very easy to use, inexpensive, and is an interesting addition to course work. When I wrote the post in March, Plasq announced that they would have soon publish a version for the iPad. That version is now available. The application costs $7.99, available in the iTunes App store.
The iPad version of Comic Life can do many of the same things the fuller Mac or PC version can do. The iPad version offers dozens of page templates for any number of comic styles, and it includes many fonts, colors, lettering styles, and graphics that aid in storytelling. Importing images into the comic’s frames is easy (if the images are in your photo library on the iPad), or if you have an iPad 2, you can take photos with the built-in camera. Once you create comic files, they are easy to share via email, Facebook, or between iPads. In fact, Plasq boasts that the sharing of images between iPads can be a handy classroom activity for collaborative work.
Comic Life for the iPad is brand new; the 1.0.1 version number demonstrates this. The fact that the program is so new also means that it can be a little buggy. The image below took me about 45 minutes to create on the iPad, something that might have taken me much less on a PC. The added time? The user interface is not as intuitive as it could be. It took me some time to learn how to change colors or font sizes, for example. It took me even longer to figure out how to save my file, but once I did, the program made more sense. So far, the file can be sent to an email account or it can be shared on Facebook. There is no way (so far) to share the file on Flickr, Twitter, or other social networking sites.
For the Mac and PC versions, Comic Life still has a 30-day free trial download, but at about $30, Comic Life Deluxe is worth spending the money to own the program.
Comic Life is available in many downloadable formats:
For the Mac:
- Comic Life
- Comic Life 2 (Comic Life 2 is a recently released upgrade that is more robust than the original program.)
For the PC:
For portable devices:
- Comic Touch is the iPhone and iPod touch version costs $2.99.
How about you? Have you tried Comic Life for the iPad? What are you initial thoughts about this program? Do you use an alternative program for the iPad that publishes similar images? Please leave your comments or suggestions below.
[Images by Flickr users Yutaka Tsutano and Billie Hara. Both images are used under the Creative Commons license.]