All In Color For A Zorkmid – (More) Free (Or Cheap) Digital Versions of Comic Books!

By Daniel Dern: “Temporarily Free Comics,” Item 12 in yesterday’s Scroll, notes that Dark Horse is providing free access to some of their digital issues.

Want more/others? Here ya go!

ComiXology has hundreds — possibly close to a thousand — of comic issues available.

Via the web site, go to the “Free” link in the Quick Links bar on the right.

Via the app (I’m using the iOS app, FWIW), click on the Down-Arrow-In-A-Box at the upper left of the “Discover” page (if this doesn’t come up automatically, go to the bottom bar of the page to click on Discover.)

I don’t know if you need do sign in, but an account is free. (The main point of the app is to let you buy digital comics.)

For access to lots more — over 25,000, from not just DC and Marvel but also Dark Horse, Dynamite and many other publishers — sign up for ComiXology Unlimited, $5.99/month. (And the free trial is 60 days – just be sure to cancel in time if you don’t want to continue.)


Hoopla Digital, which allows a set (by your library) number of borrows per month, has also added “Unlimited Bonus Borrows” that don’t count against your monthly quota — included dozens of comics and book-collections-of-comics. (So, for example, the Omnibus versions of Garth Ennis’ The Boys, which each aggregate two of the original book-collection volumes, mean you could read the full series in six “borrows”… and since they’re in the “Unlimited Bonus Borrows,” you’d still have a lot of borrows left for the month. Lots of comics — from DC, Marvel, and others (and e-books, music and video) for all ages and interests! And you can download to mobile devices for off-line enjoyment.

Hoopla access is free; you sign up using your library card (assuming your library has signed up with Hoopla, since the library pays for each time you borrow.)


Marvel Comics “GET STARTED WITH FREE ISSUES” says they have a bunch of free issues here. And Marvel Unlimited — $9.99/month or $69/year, with access to 27,000+ comics, has added free access to several dozen Marvel comics.

According to Marvel, “To access Marvel Unlimited’s free comics offering, download or update the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS or Android at the respective Apple and Google Play app stores, and click ‘Free Comics’ on the landing screen. No payment information or trial subscriptions will be required for the selection of free comics…Customers on the Marvel Comics App and webstore as well as comiXology will also have free access to these stories for a limited time.” (Although where these are on ComiXology is not, so far, obvious to yours truly.)


As for DC, I can’t at the moment tell if they offer anything free directly (as opposed to via ComiXology, Hoopla, etc.). DC’s site/app, $74.99/year (7-day free trial), gives you access to not just 25,000+ comics, but also lots of DC/Warner videos, TV episodes, movies and more — including DC’s live-action Doom Patrol (1 season) and Titans (2 seasons).


Want more free or cheep comics? Don’t forget other public library apps
like OverDrive, Freeding, and Libby… and the freebies/cheapies in Kindle
Unlimited and Amazon Prime Reading.

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8 thoughts on “All In Color For A Zorkmid – (More) Free (Or Cheap) Digital Versions of Comic Books!

  1. BTW, two notes that aren’t part of the “free/cheap digital comics” focus, but are part of the ecosystem (and are points in a larger article I’m still noodling on and would love to sell somewhere):
    1, digital versions of dead-tree comics work best (for me) on a display that’s big enough to display the image at 100%. Otherwise, stuff like the marginalia in Squirrel Girl is unreadable without finger-pokery zooming. Yes, I know the universe of these devices is limited and unpluscheap.
    2, The UIs vary in usability and friendliness. Marvel Unlimited is the best of the batch, IMHO; the others all have Aggravating Flaws.

  2. Daniel Dern says The UIs vary in usability and friendliness. Marvel Unlimited is the best of the batch, IMHO; the others all have Aggravating Flaws.

    A year ago, I would’ve agreed with you about that statement as regards the DC Universe app but I actually I find it’s now better the Marvel Unlimited app. And their catalog is much deeper than the latter’s. I’m current reading the Starman That Robinson did and it’s wonderful on the current iPad model I’m using.

    As they also have a lot of their films and series as well available is an added bonus with the forthcoming Stargirl series looking particularly promising.

  3. I use Hoopla quite a bit for comics. I’ll be able to read almost all of the 2020 Graphic Story Hugo finalists from there — everything but Mooncakes. And they have The Wicked + the Divine in the omnibus editions. So I’ll be able to catch up to vol 9 in 4 checkouts.

    My library also has cloudLibrary which has comics as well as ebooks and audiobooks.

  4. I find the Marvel Unlimited subscription to be very worthwhile and I’m not even massively into Marvel comics.

    Comixology Unlimited would be probably be more suitable for me, content-wise, but is unfortunately unavailable in the UK.

  5. @Cat E, mostly,
    My post was, per the title, focusing on the free/cheap comic books (and book collections thereof). Yes, DC has lots of great video, including the Doom Patrol and Titans I’d cited, where Marvel Unlimited is just comics. DC and Marvel have roughly the same # of titles in their respective streaming/subscription offerings, so I’m not sure about “deeper.” (To be fair, I read lots more of the DC issues when they came out, so I haven’t gone binge-exploring as much.) That said, my gut feel is that comparatively speaking, DC’s catalog has a lot more holes in it. To be fair, “events” and crossovers make some storylines harder to pursue. (Yes, I know that both have Events, etc as starting places.)
    Again, here I was mostly looking at “what’s available to read.” There are many other axes of compare’n’contrast, including UI/UX (user interface/user experience), searchability, and, yes, catalog completeness.

  6. @Laura,

    My library also has cloudLibrary

    They look like they could be interesting… but alas! Only one (small)(school) library in my state participates.

    (Another library e-loan/etc platform, btw, is RBDigital, which, among others, the Boston Public Library uses and provides patrons access to.)

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