(Cross-posted with permission from Bring Back Bunty): The Beano and The Dandy have recently become available as iPad/iPhone apps (see news story) and these have the potential to be a great format for children’s comics — so we just had to check them out.
We downloaded them both through the Newsstand on an iPad and as you’d expect, the comics looked great. The format displays the strips really well, the navigation is simple and each comic is very easy to access through an iTunes account.
The two apps are virtually identical but we weren’t entirely sure of the pricing system; The Beano is clearly priced at £1.49 per issue but a couple of issues of The Dandy are priced at 69p with the rest at £1.49 – there are also a few free copies of each available to get you started.
I handed them over to my 9-year-old daughter and here’s what she had to say:
“They were slightly hard to read. I had to zoom in and the zoom sometimes is hard to move around.
“I would say it wasn’t as good as it could have been. It’s not as good as actually reading and holding a comic!”
Overall, the digital versions are handy to have but we had hoped there would be some reduction for the digital issues compared to the paper ones. In newsagents, The Beano costs £1.50 and The Dandy £1.99 (prices accurate 7th December 2011) so there is very little difference. Pricing the iPad versions at just one penny (or 50p) less than the paper comic doesn’t seem enough of a saving, or a reason to buy, the digital version over the real in-your-hand, under-the-bed, read-anywhere, traditional paper version.
We think it’s brilliant that such great comics are available to buy online, but ultimately as Niamh says, it’s “not as good as actually reading and holding a comic!”