Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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I have a confession, and I think it's best to make it before I continue with this review. I like Plasq. A lot. The company that gave the Mac world Skitch (and spun it off into its own company) is one of the best at designing software for Apple products. They understand that the fundamental difference between Apple products and PCs lies not necessarily in what the software can DO, but how it FEELS when it is used. And so it is with Comic Life, Plasq's transition to the iOS platform. At its core, Comic Life is a simple concept - users create comic book-style montages and layouts with their own photos - but the execution is so well implemented, it's an app worth revisiting.
Comic Life is designed to create personalized, photo-driven comic books, so it's no wonder that the app immediately opens on the creation screen. There is a tutorial comic that can be read, but honestly part of the fun is playing around with the tools and discovering what can be accomplished. Start with a blank page or with a template - either way is relatively easy. Using a template, I created my own comic (a three page superhero epic about my dogs) in under 15 minutes. Adding and manipulating text balloons is a snap, as is cropping photos for use in a comic's panels. Adding the actual text can sometimes be a little fidgety, however, as it's hard for the app to recognize whether you are trying to select and edit the text or the word balloon itself. This was only a minor inconvenience for me, but it's one I hope the guys at Plasq address in future iterations.
Once complete, a comic can be shared with others, but the options at this point (printing, adding to photo library sending via email and Facebook) are pretty standard. A quick click on the comic's screen pulls up sharing options as well as the editing tool and an option to return to the home screen (where creation of another comic awaits). In spite of a few small drawbacks, Comic Life on the iPad showcases all of Plasq's hallmark user interface touches. It's a breeze to use, and those with kids will no doubt find it useful - not to mention hilarious.