Comic Book DS


Comic Book DS is a program making it possible to read your Comic Books on your Nintendo DS.
It can be also used as a photo or image based documents viewer.
Those books can either be downloaded in the Book web page, or created thanks to PictoDS or pycbds.
Different themes are available in this page.
Go here to go directly to download section.

Video (of the 2.0 version)


ComicBookDS ComicBookDS ComicBookDS ComicBookDS

User Guide

This User Guide explains the "Right Handed" mode, associated with a "Left To Right" Reading. Orientation is "Landscape". Default key configuration is used.
For the "Left Handed" Mode , the "Portrait", and the "Right To Left" reading, the behaviour is almost the same but the key configuration may differ.

The program starts in LIBRARY MODE

library mode

This mode displays the available comicbooks.
The thumbnails can be selected using the pad or the stylus.
A selected thumbnail is then displayed in overview on the other screen.

To display the book in real size, you must either press the L button or click on an already selected thumbnail.
The program will then switch to the OVERVIEW MODE

Various information is displayed in the screen:
  • The name, the author and the provider of the book
  • The current page and the number of pages of the book
  • The current book index and the number of books

Thanks to the Save icon you can save the current pages number of all the comic books (if needed).
Thanks to the Thumbnails icon you can switch to THUMBNAILS MODE.

thumbnails mode

This mode displays the small images 10 by 10.
Those thumbnails can be selected using the pad or the stylus.
A selected thumbnails is then displayed in overview on the other screen.

Various information is displayed in the top part of the screen:
  • the total number of images and the current image number (on the top left)
  • the total number of thumbnails pages and the current thumbnail page number (on the top right)
  • the name of the image (on the bottom)

Thanks to the Library icon you can switch back to LIBRARY MODE.
To display the next (or previous) 10 thumbnails, you can either click on the small hands or you can use the pad (while going on the right with the last image selected, or on the left with the first one selected).
To display a thumbnail in real size, you must either press the L button, press the view icon or click on an already selected thumbnail.

The program then switches to the OVERVIEW or DUAL SCREEN MODE

view mode (overview and dual screen)

The OVERVIEW mode displays a part of the image in real size on one screen and a overview on the touch screen.

Pressing again the L button will set the DUAL SCREEN MODE.
This mode displays the image in real size on both screens.
Pressing again the L button will set the THUMBNAILS MODE (and so on...)


You can move the stylus on the touch screen to change the displayed area.
The pad can also be used to change the displayed area.
X and Y can be used to zoom in and out. Pushing both buttons at the same time will make the image real size (or will switch back to the previous zoom).
While being on the right of the image, pressing the right key will move the visible area to the bottom on the left (same behavior while going on the left, top or bottom)
While being in bottom on the right, and going on the bottom or right, the next page will be displayed (the previous one is displayed while being at top left and going on the top or left)


If the icons are not displayed (in OVERVIEW and DUAL SCREEN MODES)you can click one of the corner of the touch screen and some icons will be displayed (during approximately two second).
Each icon has a particular action:

       next page.
       previous page.
       switch to OVERVIEW mode.
       switch to DUAL SCREEN mode.
       switch to the THUMBNAILS mode.
       switch to the LIBRARY mode.
       Locks the icons. In order to make them remain visible on screen.
       Unlocks the icons. In order to make them visible only during approximately two second.
       Zoom In: makes the image bigger.
       Zoom Out: makes the image smaller.
       Cancel Zoom : makes the image realsize.
       Use the previous Zoom value (juste before the Cancel Zoom).
       Saves the current pages number of all the comic books (if needed).
       Opens the selected folder.
       Opens the top-folder.
       Choose a book randomly.
        Zoom : ajust the zoom moving this icon on the scrollbar.

at anytime

  • The L button switches between thumbnails/overview/dual screen modes
  • The R button switches from portrait mode to landscape mode
  • The A button toggles between THUMBNAILS and LIBRARY modes (THUMBNAILS being always the first one)
  • The B button toggles between OVERVIEW and DUAL SCREEN modes
  • The SELECT button changes the luminosity of the DS
  • The START button displays a menu allowing to :
    • switch between the Right Handed and Left Handed mode
    • switch between the Left to Right (Comic) and Right to Left (Manga) reading mode
    • switch between Portrait or Landscape orientation
    • take into account, or not, the space between the 2 DS screens
    • save the pages number
    • show the credits (various information, like the program version, current comic book informations)
You can change the default key configuration modifying the ComicBookDS.ini file.

Special Thanks to

   Mollusk and his PAlib library (as those who contributed to it).
   Wintermute and his work on devkitpro.
   Chism and his DLDI FAT access.
   Burton Radons, and headspin for their JPEG Decompression Library.
   Lick and his brightness control source code.

   Sansanx who allowed me to present his great Comic Book La Vie de Norman.
   Eric Caoili and his beautiful first review of ComicBookDS at
   The HomebrewCast team at team and their ComicBookDS review and comments :).
   Alex, the omalone and puzzlemaniak game author, who made me want to start programs for the DS.
   Everybody who like this program, moreover the ones who wrote good things about it in their blogs or forum posts.

Troubleshoots and Remarks

  • On the DS, if the image is not correctly displayed, or if the application crashes (after an 'Image Too Big' message), try to reduce the quality and the width/height of the converted files (using the "NDS Settings" option of the PC converter pictods)
  • It has been reported that ComicBookDS V2.0 (and probably V2.1) is not compatible with Supercard Rumble and some M3 simply. I cannot do anything against that, as far as i know. The 2.0Beta 5 version should be the last compatible one.
  • If, even after patching the file correctly with the DLDI library, ComicBookDS says that FAT is not possible, the problem might come from your SD card. It was reported that some SD cards (mainly the Kingston ones) could not work correctly with ComicBookDS.
  • In case you need a reverse .cbds conversion, just rename the .cbds file with a .zip extension and unzip the file. You will see the .jpg images and the associated thumbnails and miniatures. However, the images are not exactly the original ones since their size and quality may have been reduced by pictods (in order to ensure that they can be read on DS)

Download and Install

Unzip the following file in the choosen directory of your PC :
This Nintendo DS program should be used with the PC program PictoDS (allowing to convert the comic bookds for ComicBookDS) or with the python pycbds script.
Different themes are available in this page.
  • Copy the "cbds" directory in the root of your card. This "cbds" directory contains the theme directory (which can be changed) and the ComicBookDS.ini configuration file.
    This ini file can be changed manually in order to modify some ComicBookDS settings (you can alternatively update and generate it with PictoDS).
  • Choose one of the 3 ComicBookDS files (ComicBookDS.nds,, ComicBookDS.ds.gba) according to your flash cart and copy in your cart.
    • Supercard SD users : choose .sc.nds
    • M3 users : choose .nds file (launching with Start button)
    • G6 lite users : choose .sc.nds file (add in u-disk manager, nds tab)
    • EZ4 users : choose .ds.gba file
    • DS-X users : choose .nds file
    • Others : check on google or in some forums. you might find some help (for slot1 solutions, the .nds file should be the one)
    If the program doesn't launch or reports that fat is not supported then you may have to patch it. Go there : to find how to do it.
  • The .cbds files (the books generated with PictoDS or downloaded from must be placed in the "cbds" directory.
    However, you can create some sub-directories to organise them.

Program History

  • 3.0 (09/09/2007):
    • New: WIFI mode created. The books from can be consulted directly on the DS thanks to the WIFI connexion.
      (The next big images are downloaded in background while viewing the current ones).
    • New: New look of the different screens (many thanks to FA for this nice design)
    • New: Theme support: Sounds, Colors, Backgrounds, Icons and Sprites can be changed. All the theme content is placed in the "/cbds/Theme" folder.
    • New: Quicker file scan (new restriction : all .cbds, .ini and theme files must be placed in the "cbds" root folder. Sub-folders are still handled).
    • New: Improved change page trigger (using the one key navigation feature) : instead of an exact page side match, an average is used (1/3 of the visible area by default), to trigger or not a page change.
    • New: Display of a notification icon before a page change. A second key press is then now necessary (this feature can be deactivated in .ini file).
    • New: More configuration available in ini file (avoid blinking, initial brightness, scrollincrementX,scrollincrementY,start key configurable ...).
    • New: Slightly better reactivity , preempting and error handling. Small bug fixes and improvements.

  • 2.2_Only (26/08/2007):
    • New: PictoDS removed from the ComicBookDS package (PictoDS is now available here.)

  • 2.2 (14/05/2007):
    • New: Display of the folders and sub-folders containing .cbds files, for a better organization.
    • New: Alphabetical Sort of the .cbds files, according to the filename.
    • New: Customizable background image.
      3 background images are located in the "nds/ComicBookDSTheme" subdirectory of pictods. Copy them anywhere on your card (but all the 3 in the same directory), and you'll have those backgrounds displayed instead of the black one.
    • New: Magazine (and vertical images) handling : While being on the bottom of the image, pressing the bottom key will move the visible area to the top on the right (of left in manga mode). Same behavior for the top. Page changed may also be triggered.
    • New: Progressive Key scroll : 1 pixel scroll at the beginning, then quicker, until the maximum value is reached (the one defined in the .ini file)
    • New: Animated scroll of the Title/Author/Provider/Image name, when their length exceed the visible area.
    • New: A random book can be selected pressing the dice icon (visible in library mode, when the top-most folder is displayed).
    • New: Changes in the way the right/left hands icons are displayed, reflecting better that the first or final page is reached (mainly in the view modes).
    • BugFix: As usual ... small bug fixes and improvements.

  • 2.1 (16/03/2007):
    • BugFix: The images are now fully displayed. (there are no missing right and bottom parts of some images anymore).
    • BugFix: Memory regression problems solved, causing even small images to be partially displayed (the 'image too big' message display)
    • BugFix: Stylus Jumping effect is highly reduced.
    • BugFix: Program shouldn't freeze anymore when quickly switching from one book to another.
    • BugFix: More than 300 pages per Book can be browsed. (however, the display will be quite slow)
    • New: Thumbnails of the Library screen are loaded in background and they remain visible when switching between Library and Thumbnails modes.
    • New: A popup is displayed when an error is found on the filesystem. (causing some .cbds files not to be found)

  • 2.0 (04/02/2007):
    • New: Renaming the .cbds files is not necessary anymore. The .cbds files can have any name (eg : "La Vie de Norman.cbds") and can be placed anywhere.
    • New: The Library screen is more reactive to user inputs. When the book is not opened yet, the filename is displayed.
    • New: Current page name is displayed during image load.
    • New: Do not wait for key release anymore in Thumbnails and Library screens. This allows a quicker thumbnails navigation while keeping the key pressed.
    • BugFix: The Stylus (touch screen) can now be used with R4DS and M3 Simply.
    • BugFix: Sometimes, the selection frame of miniature mode was not displayed.

  • 2.0Beta 5 (25/01/2007):
    • New: Quicker load of the thumbnails, miniature and images, once a comic book is opened (mainly for big .cbds files).
    • New: Current page number is displayed during image load.
    • New: A Warning message is displayed if there is not enough memory to fully decode the image.

  • 2.0Beta 4 (21/01/2007):
    • New: comicbookds.ini file generated with various settings allowing ComicBookDS customization.
    • New: Title,author and provider associated with cbds files
    • New: Multiple Books visible in the same application. A new screen is added, allowing to choose your Book.
    • New: DLDI compatibility ( More carts should be compatible.
    • New: The current Page number of the books can be saved.
    • New: No more 32 mb limit with the .cbds format (however big .cbds files may need more time to load)
    • New: Sound effects on user action (and at program start).
    • New: Previous zoom prev icon added (toggling with the No Zoom icon).
    • New: Pressing both the zoom in and out buttons toggles 'no zoom' 'prev zoom'.
    • New: Menu is navigable with keys.
    • New: Display of a loading animated icon during image load.
    • New: ComicBookDS icon (and appname) for the .nds file.
    • New: Key configuration (manually editing the ComicBookDS.ini file).
    • New: Icons locked by default.
    • BugFix: Memory fix (loading bigger images should be allowed).
    • BugFix: Icon display fixes (some were not replaced or removed)
    • New: Various small changes and bugfixes ...
    • New Web: Creation of to get some free cbds content.

  • 1.3 (05/11/2006):
    • New: Progressive zoom feature. Image can be zoomed in and out using some buttons or the on-screen scrollbar.
    • New: A lock icon is added. When locked, the icons remains on the screen.
    • New: Closelit support. When the DS is closed, screens are switched off and energy is saved.
    • New: Smoother animation for transitions.
    • New: Key configuration changed, mainly for left handed landscape mode. Two buttons are also dedicated to the zoom feature (they were previously used for page change).

  • 1.2 (16/10/2006):
    • BugFix: Fixed inverted thumbnails in Left Handed/Landscape mode.
    • New: Screen Space option added (to take into account, or not, the space between the 2 DS screens).

  • 1.1 (15/10/2006):
    • BugFix: Pressing select (backlight change) does not crash anymore.
    • New: Images are now ordered according to a Numeric Natural Order ("1","2",...,"10" work. No need to have "01","02".."10").
    • New: Left Handed mode added (press start and change "Right Handed" to "Left Handed").
    • New: Manga mode added (press start and change "Left To Right" to "Right To Left").
    • New: Key mapping changes according to the different modes. Right Handed: ABXY does not slow scroll anymore.(check #key mapping)
    • New: Changing thumbnails with the arrow does not jump anymore some thumbnails.
    • New: Various small changes and bugfixes ...

  • 1.0 (05/10/2006):
    • PC Converter released. Now, anyone can create his own Comic Book DS file.

  • 1.0 - beta 1 (30/09/2006):
    • Release of the French Comic Book "La Vie De Norman" as a sample.