You’re Friendly Neighborhood Comicbook Viewer?

I’ve been trying to find a good digital comic reader for a while. While there are good desktop options, I’ve found that web-based ones often fall short. Maybe that’s for a reason–is there a good, solid reason to use a browser-based reader when desktop readers work just fine? Maybe not. That’s a question that is important to sit and ask yourself before beginning any project–especially in a time when more and more companies, designers and developers are jumping on the “web app” bandwagon. Making a web application just for the sake of making one is almost as ill-fated as making a design responsive just because that’s the current buzzword.

In this case, I tabled the project for a few days while I earnestly thought about why I might need to use a web-based solution. The solution was in front of me all along–the Chromebook sitting on my coffee table. Often times when traveling, I might take the Chromebook instead of my MBP to save on space and weight, in which case it would be nice to have a web application for browsing digital comics.

In my research, I came across Kthoom, but it hadn’t been updated in a very long time. Aside from that, it was functionally serviceable if not a little bit garish/not user friendly. I ended up forking this project and molding it into my own spinoff titled Webhead(github).

My goals with this project are to:

  1. Clean up the existing UI from Kthoom (this includes bringing in bootstrap and responsive elements)
  2. Modernize the code to use LESS
  3. Update the overall UX of the application–this will rely on some heavy workflow modifications
  4. Implement more desktop features into the web app (gutter previews and 2-page display being the big ones)
  5. Clean up some bugs that came with the fork (Google Drive integration)

I don’t have a release date in mind, I’ll be using this as a learning experience and plan to step through it when I have time and am able. I’ll keep my github repository updated as I meet different milestones and may wait to post about the project again here until it is finished.

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