Price: 15.70 . 18.85
Of all the free applications that have shipped with the Mac, Comic Life is the one we’ve used least. And that’s not because we don’t make comics – we do. We just preferred Photoshop when we needed to create comic strips, dismissing Comic Life as a childish toy. Taking a fresh look as the application upgrades to 1.5, we think that’s a great disservice to a fine program.
Comic Life isn’t for creating comics so much as assembling them. There are no drawing tools – but there are features for adding comic frames (with or without templates), lettering and styles. Get over that conceptual hurdle and the application suddenly seems a lot more useful. With your artwork ready to go comic life gives you the tools and templates to slap together simple strips or entire comic books very quickly.
With the upgrade to 1.5 there are several significant new features too. You can now quickly created single-panel comics by dragging an image directly to the work area. Comic Life automatically adds a panel around the artwork according to your defaults. There’s MobileMe support, replacing the previous support of .Mac, and PDF export has been fixed. To upgrade to 1.5, all you have to do is launch Comic Life on your machine while you’re connected to the net – you’ll be prompted to update.
With iPhoto integration and support for webcam capture – Comic Life is a fun application that has serious creative uses too. If you own an early Intel Mac you can upgrade your bundled copy for free. If you’re unlucky enough to have missed the giveaway, this new version is still a bargain.