Free and Cheap Comics

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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Sun May 26, 2024 1:31 am

Humble's got a fuckload of IDW TMNT comics, including The Last Ronin, but it's another one of those Kobo things so you'll have to either strip the DRM or I dunno maybe just max out the charity slider and then go find a torrent. (In addition to getting DRM-free comics, pirates also receive an extra-special bonus volume that bridges the gap between volumes 10 and 12; alternately, at the $18 pledge level you have access to the exquisite Buy 16, Get 15 bundle.)

I haven't read a whole lot of the IDW run because I just wasn't feeling another damn origin-story reboot when it kicked off, but I've read a few here and there and quite liked them. Last Ronin is supposed to be excellent; it's the TMNT's turn at Andy Warhol's famous observation that in the future, every superhero comic will be The Dark Knight Returns for 15 minutes.

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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Tue May 28, 2024 1:12 pm

Stripping this DRM turns out to be a lot easier than the Adobe DRM.

Download DeDRM tools (make sure you get it from the noDRM repository, not the original apprenticeharper one; the latter is no longer maintained).

Extract the zip file.

In Calibre, go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Plugins. Click "Load plugin from file", browse to the directory you just unzipped into, and install both _plugin.zip files. Restart Calibre after both are installed.

Install Kobo Desktop (direct link to kobosetup.exe). Run it, log into your Kobo account, and wait for your books to download. Once they're downloaded, quit out of the Kobo app.

In Calibre, click the "Obok DeDRM" link in the top bar. From there it's pretty self-explanatory; whatever books you select will be added to your Calibre library and you can find the epub files in your file browser.

Now, it turns out that my comics reader app of choice, PerfectViewer, doesn't really work very well with epub files; for some reason it doesn't support the same features for epub as it does for cbz/cbr/pdf files (eg automatically showing two pages when rotated). Fortunately, there's a dead-simple workaround: change the file extension from .epub to .cbz. (A CBZ is just a zip file of images; an EPUB is basically a zipped website. Change the extension from EPUB to CBZ and PerfectViewer just ignores the HTML files and looks for the images.) YMMV depending on your reader of choice; some will show side-by-side pages without issue (like Calibre's built-in reader) and the file extension trick may not work in others (since the images aren't at the root of the zip file; in that case you may need to extract the EPUB and then re-zip just the images into a CBZ file).

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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 17, 2024 6:05 pm

Thad wrote:Stripping this DRM turns out to be a lot easier than the Adobe DRM.

I was wrong; you can strip Adobe DRM with the same plugin. I guess the elaborate steps I found before, when I was trying to strip DRM off the Discworld bundle, must have been out-of-date.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:54 pm

Godzilla comics bundle.

This looks like the same bundle they had in 2019, or at least a similar one, so I'll just repeat what I said then (the only change being that the $15 tier is now the $18 tier):

Thad wrote:I've only read the James Stokoe ones, Half Century War and the first issue of Godzilla in Hell, both of which are at the $15 tier. HCW is fantastic; it's basically Marvels in the Godzilla franchise, following the series of films through the eyes of a soldier who watches it all over a period of years.

I don't remember Godzilla in Hell as well; seems like it was just a brobdingnagian fight issue. But Stokoe's art is always gorgeous. (The rest of the series rotates through different writers and artists.)

HCW goes for $10 on Comixology, and the first issue of Godzilla in Hell goes for $2. They're worth that. So if you buy the $15 tier, you get those and a bunch of other comics, at least some of which are bound to give you an additional $3 worth of enjoyment. (Again, I haven't read the rest, but there are some good names on them, like Cullen Bunn, Eric Powell, and John Layman.)

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 27, 2024 3:58 pm

The TMNT bundle got held over and is still going for 8 more days as of this writing.

There's also a Cerebus bundle, which...okay, I've never read it but I'm given to understand that the early stuff is good but then Sim loses his damn mind. If I had to guess I'd say the $10 tier might be the way to go if you're curious, and maybe max out the charity slider.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jun 27, 2024 7:06 pm

Thad wrote:I'm given to understand that the early stuff is good but then Sim loses his damn mind.


Volume 1 is just pure early 80's parody - it's decently funny, if a bit odd at times. Volume 2 is generally acknowledged as the high point of the series. Volumes 3 & 4 are arguably okay in that most folks willing to give the series a shot like them more than they dislike them, they're ponderous though and you can see the cracks in Sim's brain pretty easily from then on. From volume 5 on it all gets pretty precarious.

The rule is generally to read the first two and then immediately stop once it sours on you because really it's just a straight shot downhill once you pass the peak; slowly at first, but it only picks up more and more speed as you go.

I ended up not following this advice because the comic store was having a brobdingnagian clearout so I ended up with 13(?) or so volumes which I kind of wish I could sell, but also kind of just want to set fire to.
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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 27, 2024 7:18 pm

Mongrel wrote:The rule is generally to read the first two and then immediately stop once it sours on you because really it's just a straight shot downhill once you pass the peak; slowly at first, but it only picks up more and more speed as you go.

okay but what's the rule for somebody who's got a stack of self-published Ditko comics?

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jun 27, 2024 8:06 pm

Instructions unclear, started a podcast starring my ego.
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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 15, 2024 11:03 am

Humble IDW Bundle has a lot of stuff that's been available in past bundles (FYI I'm pretty sure I have a complete giftable set of Locke & Key from Groupees or one of the other bundle sites, if anybody wants it) but there's enough stuff I don't have in there (They Called Us Enemy, October Faction, some early Wynonna Earp) that I'm considering snagging it anyway.

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