Codex: a digital comic book viewer

Codex is a digital comic book viewer I made back in 2003. It uses a general-purpose 2D-engine built on top of Direct3D that I had originally developed for Slopbucket. You'll find screenshots of both on the coding page of this site.

Codex was written in C#, a rather excellent programming language burdened with the DLL-hell of Microsoft's .NET Framework. The upshot is that this useful little application has rarely worked for anyone but me.

Now recently I had occasion—the truth is I didn't have a fucking choice, but let's say "had occasion"—to format my hard disk and reinstall Windows. When a couple of days later I fired up Codex intending to read a comic book, I began to encounter certain .NET error messages that other people had reported to me. I soon nutted out what was going wrong, and I've repackaged Codex with what I believe is the fix.

Codex has several virtues: it's fast, it's silky smooth, and it doesn't get in your way. It also has a number of flaws, because it's still alpha software and you can't have everything.

This program is for Windows only. You'll need to have some variety of the .NET framework installed (go here), as well as some variety of DirectX 9 (go here). If somehow you don't already have these, you'll probably want them anyway.

Download Codex (1mb)

A scene from Wiggles in CodexFor those of you without a digital comic book collection, I'm making available a copy of the public domain comic "Wiggles the Wonderworm" on which my second CSS Zen Garden was based. It's a delightful and mildly incomprehensible story with wholly perplexing characters. Really, you'll be saying "OMYGOSH" and bumping your head for days.

Download Wiggles the Wonderworm (6.6mb)

Codex follows principles of unobtrusive software design; which is to say, it doesn't screw with your system. To get the whole thing going, here's what to do:

  1. Put the comic book file someplace you're gonna remember.
  2. Unzip the Codex package to a directory of your choosing.
  3. Run Codex.exe.
  4. Hit the L key to load a file.
  5. Find and open the comic book file in the dialog.
  6. Hit the W key to run Codex in fullscreen.
  7. Use your mousewheel to scroll.

Hit F1 for extra commands. Advanced users will want to associate .cbr and .cbz files with Codex.exe directly. Let me know how you go, too. I dunno where the source code is at the moment, but I'm sure I could find it if need be.

By the way, if you want to get more digital comic books, I can't really help you. But, uh, try asking your peers.

Joseph | 6 Jan 2005

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