Are you a comic artist that loves to follow other web comics?  An avid reader that has multiple web comics bookmarked in your web browser? Or a librarian that would like to point your graphic novel and coming-loving patrons to a  single online source where they can find more reading material?  Comic Rocket may be about to make your life easier.

Comic Rocket is a brand new website that indexes over 2,000 web comics.  It allows users to search for, bookmark and keep track of all their favorite digital comics.  Comic artists that aren’t already included can add their comic to the site, and so can readers who don’t find their favorites listed.

To search, readers can type in the name of the comic they want to read, browse alphabetically, browse by what’s new, or by what’s most popular.  While reading the chosen comic, users can add it to “My Comics”.  From there, Comic Rocket not only saves the comic as one that the reader wants to come back to, but it also bookmarks where she left off.  It’s a simple way to organize all of your web comic reading.

Comics based on Nancy Drew covers from the online comic “Hark! A Vagrant” by Kate Beaton.  Click to go to “Hark! A Vagrant!’ site.  This title is indexed in Comic Rocket.

How is Comic Rocket is different from an RSS feed?  First, it allows users to go back in time as far as they want.  If the user is new to web comic and wants to start at the beginning and track their progress, they can do that in Comic Rocket.   Also, when comics are viewed in Comic Rocket, the user is taken to the actual website.  This also means that Comic Rocket doesn’t host the content or re-post it from the artists’ websites.  It’s not an aggregator, it’s an index. It helps users find and track web comics, but does so by taking them directly to the comic websites.*

“Duty Calls” a comic from xkcd by Randall Munroe. Click to go to site. This title is indexed in Comic Rocket.

Comic Rocket is still in Beta, so there are likely still some questions and issues to work out.  However, it seems a promising way for authors and readers to keep track of the comics they read.  I could see librarians using this in variety of ways:

  • Add a link to your website in the Reader’s Advisory section or web link section.
  • Hold a comic-writing program with a local comic artist.  Along with book recommendations, suggest reading web comics to learn more and explore styles.
  • Have a workshop where adults or teens learn to create a blog or website to host their own comics.  Show them how to add their comic to Comic Rocket.
  • Have teens write comic fan fiction based on a favorite comic.  Please note: Not all comics on Comic Rocket are appropriate for younger readers. Each comic in Comic Rocket opens with an information page that includes a rating.  This should be a consideration when planning programs.

Web comic readers and writers, what do you think?  Would this site help you organize your reading?  Do you see any disadvantages for the authors?  Have a favorite comic you found in Comic Rocket?  Let us know!

 

*In case there’s confusion, this post is categorized on our site in “Collections” because users can create their own “collections” of comics and Comic Rocket gives access to a certain kind of material.  However, calling Comic Rocket itself a collection is not really accurate.

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