Developer:King Features Syndicate
Release Date:February 10, 2010
Summary:Enjoy the newest Bizarro comics, hot and toasty from the oven almost every day.
I’ve been a fan of Bizarro, an internationally-syndicated comic by Dan Piraro, for about as long as I can remember. I used to work construction with my dad and every day at lunch we would read the paper. I’d browse the front page, local and sports sections before heading to the comics section. I actually rarely read the section because it’s mostly a collection of un-funny, marginally witty strips such as The Family Circus *gag*. There were exceptions, however, to this unwritten rule of the funnies – the greatest exception in my opinion being Bizarro. It was always funny, and a lot of the time a life-saving gasp of air in the flood of pen and ink that are the daily comics (I always saved it for last). Fortunately, I don’t work with my dad any more! Unfortunately, I rarely read Bizarro. I do make a point to read it if I’m over at my girlfriend’s parents’ house for breakfast, or if I’m in a diner and they have a paper, but otherwise I have gone largely Bizarroless for a few years… until now.
I was excited when Jackie told me about this app a week or so ago, and I was thrilled when Asif assigned it as one of my reviews. It’s a little intimidating because I want to do the Mr. Piraro and his comic justice, but I also don’t want to just sing my praises while exploring the app without a critical eye. The good news is I don’t think I’ll have this conflict: the app is great.
There isn’t much going on here outside of the comics: from the main screen there’s a “View Comic” option, a “Who Dan?” (biography) option and a “Share” option. Within View Comic there’s an option to go to the archive in order to view previous comics. I was able to go back to the end of February 2009 and view comics, not bad. I would like to see them expand this, but this limitation, if you even want to call it that, doesn’t hurt the app. The navigation within the viewing screen is very nice – you can swipe or press arrow buttons that don’t interfere with the comics themselves; the comics load fast (in fact, they’re probably preloaded), so there’s no wait time; and the calendar integration is very nice and speedy. Nothing to complain about.
The only gripes I have with this app are the “Share” option and the tone of the biography. When I first opened the app I was excited to see that I could share the comics with my friends via email, but I quickly realized it was merely a way to promote the app, which is fine, but a little disappointing nonetheless. The “Who Dan?” section, on the other hand, is a big letdown. I certainly wasn’t looking for a full biography, but I wasn’t expecting paragraph after paragraph of tongue-in-cheek fluff with tidbits of information scattered around. Maybe that’s just me.
Despite the let-downs, this is still an exemplary app for an exemplary comic. The loading screen and main graphic are beautiful in dream-like circus sideshow way, complimenting but not overwhelming the comics themselves. Needless to say I will be frequenting the bizarre icon on my iPhone for some time to come.