How to digitize your comics (or other paper media!)

How to digitize your comics (or other paper media!)

If you’re a fan of comics, and can’t bear to be away from your favorites when you’re on the move, a neat option is to digitize them, and use a comic book reader on your laptop or netbook . This method will work for anything you can scan, like books and magazines too.

Digitizing unfortunately means scanning comics manually, but the rest of the process is easy, and dedicated comic book readers are much better than traditional image viewers.

There’s no way to make scanning enjoyable, but bear these factors in mind when doing so:

– Save images as JPEG files,

– Save them in a dedicated folder for that comic and name them numerically (001, 002 etc)

– Make sure you are scanning the pages the same way up throughout – while you can sort that out later, it’s much faster if you don’t have to!

Once you have your folder full of numbered JPEG images, it’s necessary to compress it. With a Mac, simply Ctrl + click to bring up a menu, where ‘compress’ is an option. In Windows, use a compression application like IZArc or 7-Zip. Choose either RAR or ZIP format – no other compression format will do!

To get a dedicated comic book reader file, simply edit the file name. For a ZIP file, go from ‘’ to ‘comic.cbz’, for a RAR file ‘comic.rar’ to ‘comic.cbr’. CBR and CBZ are compressed formats comic book readers will work with.

Choose a  reader – there are a variety, though I like the open source and cross platform Comical, and Mac only Sequential best. Both make flicking through your digital comics really easy, and they’re quick and responsive too. It’s not the same as reading from paper, but it means you can keep your comics safe at home while you’re not there.

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