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Atari Comic Books - A Short Novella


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I was recently directed to a Angry Video Game Nerd video about Swordquest by @Lordmonkuswhich sent my down a rabbit hole of looking through my DC comic library which is extensive (I downloaded a 55 part torrent project called the more than complete DC Comics but I digress) Needless to say since its more than complete of course the 3 issues that accompanied the 3 released games in the series were there in my library. So after reading the 1st issue I started searching online to see if possibly the 4th issue was ever created and just like the game Swordquest - Airworld it seems to not exist which is disappointing since I'm not going to read issue 2 and 3 just to be left up in the air(world) (lol unintentinal pun) with an ending that isn't coming (I get enough of that from network TV shows). So that took me to another link that led me to the Atari Age website and there it shows that there were actually 10 comics released in 10 different Atari games (9 of which were done by DC) 3 of them being in the Swordquest series. There were also 5 issues of Atari Force released in 5 different games (listed in issue order Defender, Beserk, Star Raiders, Phoenix and Galaxian) leaving 2 stand alone comics to be released with Centiped and Yar's Revenge.

Now here is the question as retro video game nerds, aficionados, buffs, devotees, enthusiast, junkies, fanatics or what ever adjective you personally choose to use for your retro collecting habits do you need to add these to the your games? I'm sure for some users the answer is hell no! Why the hell should I care about some old comic books that came with Atari 2600 games. Shit some users are like why the hell would I care about Atari 2600 games at all let alone some comic books that came with them. Blasphemy yes but to some that never played 2600 growing up I can completely understand that attitude. Well if you don't care at all about 2600 I suggest you stop reading assuming you haven't already. On the other hand though there will be those people who have to have every piece of media that came with a game that they can possibly get their grubby little hands on and this post is for them.

Atari Age has full version of the books available on their website at this here link. Now once you get there you just click on a cover and it will open a new page with the individual pages which you can then view. This as a whole doesn't really do anything for you on the LaunchBox side of things but this is where I'll teach you how to make a comic book archive out of the individual pages and be able to access them from within LaunchBox. 1st you will want to make a folder for each individual comic you can either do so before hand or while in the process of saving the 1st image that is entirely up to you. To start saving them just click on the 1st page and when it opens in a larger view on Atari Age's site right click the image and save it to the folder you created or navigate to where you want to store the folder and right click go to new and make a new folder named after the comic. Then save the image to that folder from what I have seen all the files are already named as what you will need them to be so just save it and then back on the site click next to go forward to the next image rinse and repeat until you have done all of the pages for Yar's that is like 12 pages for Swordquest over 50 (so yeah there is a little menial work involved in doing so that or find the appropriate torrent from the MTCDCC but doing so and hoping they still have seeders may actually be the more challenging task). Once you have all of the images from the issue saved into your folder you simply need to go to the folder right click it and zip it. Then rename the extension of the zip to .cbz and presto chango you just created your very 1st comic book archive.

Now that you have the archive how do you read it for that you will need an application. I suggest CDisplayEX but there are others found in this link. Now you have the comic book and you have the reader now you just need to add it to your game, but the first thing you will need to do is add your reader to LB like you would any emulator. After you have done that simply right click the game you want to add the comic file to and choose edit then head on over to the additional apps tab in the edit form and add a new app. From there add the title add the path to your cbz file and click the use emulator checkbox and point it to the reader you added as an emulator 
image.thumb.png.602cc91bd443d3d1c0dc909118fb4990.png Then simply click okay as many times as you need to to close everything out and then right click the game and you should now see your comic book file in the context menu ready to be launched. For any of you interested in Sword Quest you actually need the comics for the clues that are given to you in the game so you really may want to consider at least grabbing those 3.

Well when I started this I never dreamed it was going to grow to be so lengthy so whew. I really hope someone actually reads it and decides to add these little tidbits of the gaming history to their collection as I am now setting out to do to mine.


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Ya know I was actually having a somewhat decent day until reading this and now I'm just pissed the eff off....thanks a lot!! LOL  I remember buying some of these games as a kid and never knew there were comics in them, I feel like I missed an important part of my childhood now. lol

Seriously though thank you very much for bringing this to our attention and for writing up how to make them into usable comics in LB, I'm definitely going to be doing that now.

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wow, these things are a mess. They're fine if you view them in single page mode, but if you view them in book mode there's a cover page, etc. in most of them that's missing so the two page artwork, etc. doesn't view properly. When I get back from taking my dog for a walk I'm going to go through and create/find the missing pages so then they'll all display properly in book mode. I'll find a good place to upload the .cbz files so it's easier for everyone once I'm done creating them and testing them.


PS: For anyone interested, Emuparadise has the rest of the Atari Force comic series (full sized comics released separately) in .pdf format which most all of the comic book viewers can also view.


PSS: See what you started @DOS76 :P 

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41 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

Yeah there is a 2nd Atari Force series that runs I think 20 issues but I didn't mention them as they weren't included with any games.

21 issues and yeah I figured that's why you didn't mention them but figured if I didn't know these 10 existed until you mentioned them that others might not know about the expanded series.

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Okay so I finished going through the 10 comics, added the missing spacer sheets and went ahead and converted them to .cbz files. I tested them all in Sumatra (didn't try CDisplayEX because it tries to force you to install other stuff) and they all worked fine. If anyone wants a copy I put them on my personal Mediafire with open share so feel free to grab a copy.



PS: @DOS76 sorry for kind of stealing your thread, just didn't see  the point in making a new one for the same thing.

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