The InkyPen Comics App on the Nintendo Switch Is the Perfect Way to Get Into Archie Comics

When I got back into comics last year, I quickly discovered that buying every comic book I wanted to read would get really expensive, really fast.

Still, I was eager to read as much as I could, so I had to get creative. I started spending a lot more time at the library and getting really familiar with their hold system and ebook selection, and I subscribed to Marvel Unlimited, a $10 monthly subscription service that grants users access to a big bank of online Marvel comics.

Nintendo Switch Inkypen Comic Book Subscription

(via InkyPen)

When I first heard of InkyPen—a subscription comic service for the Nintendo Switch—I knew I'd have to see if it would be worth my time and money. For $7.99 a month, it allows customers to download and read thousands of comics on their Switch systems. The InkyPen team was kind enough to provide me with a free subscription, and here's what I've discovered during my time with the app.

Immediately upon opening the app, I headed to the Discover section where popular comics are showcased. It didn't take long for me to impressed with the selection. Though InkyPen doesn't include anything from the three biggest comic book companies—Marvel, D.C. and Image—it does have an awesome variety from pretty much everyone else who matters. Not only does it have a great assortment of comics from Dark Hose, IDW and Titan, but it's also a place to read your favorite newspaper comic strips including GarfieldPeanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.

Another thing that stuck out to me was the amazing selection of available Archie Comics. Even if you're totally over Riverdale, I think it's worth checking out both the classic Archie stories and the more recent relaunch, and InkyPen has 20 different Archie titles, each with multiple issues to read. While I  haven't read a ton of Archie stories, I'm thrilled to see my favorite—the serious and dark Afterlife With Archieamong them.  And if you're a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fan, its wonderfully spooky comic is available there, too. If you've ever been curious about reading Archie comics and have $8, I think this is the perfect place to start.

Afterlife With Archie: Jughead brings Hot Dog to Sabrina

(Afterlife With Archie via Archie Comics)

Another thing I love about InkyPen is that its search function works well. While other comic apps I've tried have been a nightmare to navigate and tend to bury interesting content, InkyPen's search helps you quickly locate whatever you're looking for based on titles, creators or keywords, and its Discover area includes stuff I'm actually interested in reading.

Once you find something of interest, you simply click on it to open up a page with information about that comic and a list of all of the available issues. Pick an issue, and if you're connected to the internet, it'll open it up for you to read.

InkyPen has two different reading modes to suit the reader's preference, and it's easy to swap between the two. The first is Book mode, which presents two pages at a time on the screen. This is great for getting the big picture of a comic layout and is closest to the intended view of a real comic book, though the text is typically way too small to read without zooming in. To do this, you can simply pinch with two fingers, then use either a finger or the right analog stick to navigate the page. Once you're zoomed back out, you can simply use the right analog stick to flip the page.

The second is Scroll mode, which stretches each page to fill the screen lengthwise. From here, you can scroll up and down with the swipe of a finger or with either analog stick, with each page, loading automatically beneath the last.

As I've used InkyPen, I find myself swapping between these two modes often. For some stories, Scroll mode is preferable, but for art that takes up multiple pages, or uniquely formatted panels, it's really nice to be able to quickly return to Book mode to read it the way it was meant to be read. I think it's a good idea that readers take advantage of both options depending on what better suits what they're reading.

I'm a little obsessed with InkyPen, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone. If you don't really like ebooks and prefer the tactile sensation of a real book in your hands, I doubt the convenience will be able to convert you. It's also not guaranteed to have the stories you're interested in reading—particularly if you're mostly interested in big screen superheroes—but I do think it has a great collection of stories, and InkyPen promises that it'll only grow with time.

And depending on the strength of your internet connection, it can sometimes be a pain to read the stories without downloading them first, as it can be frustrating to wait for pages to load every time you complete one. I recommend downloading any comic series fully before you start digging in for a more seamless reading experience. Since the Nintendo Switch is so portable, it's also the perfect way to bring your stories with you wherever you go.

But overall, I plan to keep subscribing to InkyPen, at least until I've read everything there that interests me. I love the idea of an all-inclusive subscription for the Switch, since other similar apps require you to individually any comics you want to read. That can be great if you're reading an ongoing story and aren't afraid to spend a little extra, but if you're on a budget and just want to read some great stories, I think it's just the thing to broaden your comic book horizons. You can see InkyPen's full list of comics HERE.

 

If you're a little intimidated by comic books, click HERE for nine graphic novels that are perfect for comic-reading newbies.