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Comic book archive displayed on Ipad and cell phone devices.

A comic book archive or comic book reader file (also called sequential image file) is a type of archive file for the purpose of sequential viewing of images, commonly for comic books. The idea was made popular by the CDisplay sequential image viewer; since then, many viewers for different platforms have been created.

Comic book archive files mainly consist of a series of image files, typically PNG (lossless compression) or JPEG (lossy compression) files, stored as a single archive file. Occasionally GIF, BMP, and TIFF files are seen. Folders may be used to group images.

The filename extension indicates the archive type used:

  • .cb7 → 7z
  • .cba → ACE
  • .cbr → RAR[2]
  • .cbt → TAR
  • .cbz → ZIP[3]

Comic book archive files are not a distinct file format; only the file name extension differs from a standard file of the given archive type.

Comic book archive viewers typically offer various dedicated functions to read the content, like one page forward/backwards, go to first/last page, zoom or print. Some applications support additional tag information in the form of embedded XML files in the archive or use of the ZIP comment to store additional information. These files can include additional information like artists, story information, table of contents or even a separate text layer for comic book translations.