Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Comics Come to Life with Nanits Reader

If you're someone like me who loves comics, you probably have a tablet with a few different apps for reading digital comics. Right now I have Hoopla, Shonen Jump, Kindle, Tapas, comiXology, and Webtoon. They're great, but they're all more or less the same thing: digital comic readers. The way you turn pages is different and the pay models are all different, and they all do what you need them to do. But you're still just reading a static image on the screen. That's why I love Nanits Reader, an app that doesn't just let you read digital comics. It brings them to life.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Nanits. Opinions are my own.

Nanits Reader is a digital comics app that elevates comic reading into an audio/visual experience unlike anything I've ever seen. Single issues of comics are presented as a continuous scroll, allowing the reader to flow from one page to the next. Each scene is also accompanied by a different piece of background music and sound effects. The result is an immersive, atmospheric experience that not only ads life to the comic, but also transports the reader directly into a new world.

Each issue is presented as a single, continuous scroll. Music & sound is tied to each scene, seamlessly transitioning as the reader scrolls through the story and looping if they pause on one section. The sound design never lags behind if the reader scrolls quicker than expected. It's all perfectly seamless.

As I mentioned before, Nanits does more than just add audio to comics. In addition to pages being converted into a single scroll, lettering is on a separate layer from the rest of the artwork that tracks at a different speed, creating an effect where the captions and word balloons seemingly float over the world itself. Some panels even go as far as having foreground and background aspects separated, adding a sense of depth to the visuals.

Overall, the Nanits Reader app creates a unique experience where comics are transformed into a living, breathing experience with an atmosphere of their own. During my time with the app, I checked out a variety of comics to really see how these features are utilized across different genres.

Wormworld Saga

For my Nanits first comic, I wanted to ensure I had the best experience possible. I chose Wormworld Saga because it's an established indie series and one I've read a bit of before. I knew I was in for a quality comic regardless of any added features of the Nanits Reader. I also chose to exclusively read the series with headphones, hoping to get the most out of the audio portion of the series.
This gorgeous fantasy epic follows Jonas, a young boy from our human world, who stumbles into an alternate universe through a painting in his grandmother's attic. When the portal closes behind him, Jonas must find another way home and begins a journey through this strange and fascinating land. Along the way he meets Raya, who becomes his guardian in the new world. But there are many things Raya is not telling Jonas, and this world is not peaceful.

All nine issues of The Wormworld Saga are available on Nanits. A classic portal fantasy story where a young boy stumbles into a magical world is kind of perfect for something like Nanits. The music and sound in the first issue are all very natural and familiar. Once Jonas stumbles through the portal, the soundscape shifts to a more fantastical score with an ambiance that takes readers through the same mystical journey as Jonas.

Nanits Chronicles: CES 2177

As the name suggests, this comic is produced by the developers of the Nanits Reader app. I chose to take a look at this series because I wanted to see how a comic made specifically for the platform would fare.

This series is part cyberpunk, part biopunk. Nanits Chronicles: CES 2177 follows the world after recovering from new extinction thanks to a new medical discovery that could potentially change the entirety of the human race all leading up to a war between a greedy pharmaceutical company and fearless citizens of Earth and Mars.

While a pre-existing comic like Wormworld has to be edited to fit the unique format of the Nanits Reader app. Since this series was made specifically for the platform, it takes full advantage of the endless scroll effect and creates a story built around the app's features. Even more so than Wormworld, Nanits Chronicles pulls you right into the universe with panels that you just physically can't print.

I am also surprised to see language options for most of the comics. While I've never had to actively seek out comics in another language, I've never noticed them being offered anywhere either. Comics should be accessible to everyone, even if English isn't your first language. To see an app that provides a few alternate languages for each issue is quite impressive and really makes me wish more apps did this.

If you're ready to experience comics in a whole new way, the Nanits Reader is available on the App Store and the Google Play Store.