I enjoy a lot of web comics but find since buying an iPad I like to read them there in my hand as opposed to my computer monitor. That works out when I have wireless internet access handy but when without I don’t get to read them. Since I’m a bit of a technical sort I came up with a solution; take all the web comic images to my PC and then package them in a portable comics format.
This all came about because Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant just wrapped up and I wanted to read it on my lunch break. Tony Cliff, the author, isn’t offering the comic in any format other than his website. Each page of the comic is a JPEG image so it’s a standard format. For any web comic cartoonists out there who are cursing me for writing this up let me make a suggestion: offer your web comic as a PDF and people will buy it. If one was available for Delilah Dirk I would have bought it instead of going through this effort.
First step was getting the images off the website and into a local folder on my PC. Yes you can click each image, save it and move on to the next one but that would take forever. Instead I used HTTrack, a program that copies entire websites onto your PC. It’s pretty easy to use: name the project, give the program the website you want saved and then let it do its thing. When completed I had a local copy of the website; to locate the image files I went back to the website, right clicked on the image and clicked view image info (I’m using Firefox). That allowed me to see the location of the image files, which I copied to a separate folder. They were numbered sequentially so basically in the right order; I did have to rename the prologue pages to chapter 0.
Now that I had the files I created a ZIP file (I use 7-Zip) called Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant, oddly enough. From there I changed the file extension from ZIP to CBZ and then transferred it to my iPad. CBZ and CBR are standard comic file formats: I use YACReader on my PC and ComicFlow on my iPad.
Now I had a portable offline copy of the comic I could read. When I opened it I noticed it didn’t have a cover image so the default display was the first page of the prologue. Checking out the website showed a promotional image that would work for a cover. I added that and now had a complete comic.
Please don’t ask me for a copy: this process is for personal use only and as I said above if the author provided a digital copy I would skip making my own.