How to read comics for free

I’ve made a New Year’s resolution.

To use my local public library more.

It’s almost like a revelation.

I wonder how many of you, like me, just forgot that you can go in there and read books, including comics for free.

It’s like magic.

And don’t be disheartened if you do go over to the comics section and all you see are a few dog-eared Sandmans and some obscure ‘never heard of that’s’.

Libraries have gone digital.

It’s like magic.

So here’s how it works for those of you in Edinburgh.

Hopefully where you are it’s similar or even better.

First off your library probably has an app.

“There’s an app for that!”


Here’s a screen grab from the Edinburgh Council app you can get it from iTunes and Android Playstore.

There are three totally cool things about this app.

1. If you are in say, Waterstones, and you are flipping the pages of a cool graphics novel, you can use this app to scan the bar-code and see if the library has a copy and reserve it.

2. You can scan you library card bar-code into this app. Then use your phone as your card.

3. You can renew your loan from the app. No more late fines!

What you can find online

Plus, they have some pretty cool comics on their catalogue.

I did a random search for a few things I have on my shelves.


  • Preacher: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
  • Fables: Wolves by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus and Andrew Pepoy
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
  • The Walking Dead: vl 8 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

You can borrow every one of these comics from the library.

For free.

Heck, the Fables comic alone was £13.99 from Forbidden Planet.

And we have every single one in the series.


I mean sure if you really love a comic it’s great to own them to re-read and treasure.

But when you’re just starting out with comics or a new series it makes sense to borrow the first couple at least.

Plus we should be supporting our public libraries.

Or one day they might not be there any more.