Reading web comics can really brighten your day, and there is no question that XKCD is one of my personal favorites. Sometimes a quick little comic that takes less than a minute to read can actually put a smile on your face, and the free Windows app called Comical aims to make the most of those minutes.
What makes Comical so awesome is that it not only aggregates all your favorites into one list, but it can also archive them for offline reading. You can specify the interval that you want to check for new comics (or you can do it manually), and a little green icon will appear next to the ones that have new content. A simple double-click on that particular comic will open and save it off to your computer so that they can be viewed even when you aren’t near an Internet connection. It would be even better if it could also download the new comics during an update check, but that might be a feature we’ll see in a future release.
If you don’t mind diving into some XML you can also add your own comics. In the XML you’ll specify the URL of the page that always has the latest comic as well as a simple regular expression that matches the format of the comic’s filename. So you can actually customize this to grab new images from just about any site.
Aside from all that the app is actually rather simple. You can create lists of your favorites so that you can make sure those get read first, and there are some settings you can customize… such as how file archiving, whether you want to be notified if there are updates, and so on. If you’re against all forms of laughter this is a good time to move along, otherwise proceed with the free download.
Comical Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)