Big Nate: Comix By U!

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Big Nate: Comix By U! App Poster Image
Bright, creative app will inspire kids' inner cartoonist.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn storytelling skills and how to use their imagination to produce new content. Big Nate: Comix By U! can help kids practice using dialogue to tell stories, express emotion, and use humor effectively. There's no spell check or filter on this app, so parents may want to establish some rules about language and content, and they may want to check spelling when kids complete a comic. Kids can also learn how to collaborate with someone else's partially completed work (for example, drawings but no dialogue) to create new content. Kids can develop their creative skills as they add their own ideas to Big Nate's already big stories.

Ease of Play

Easy to play, especially for kids who are proficient in reading and spelling. Three modes of play -- Story Starter, Fill in the Blanks, and Start from Scratch -- give kids options. Kids can also simply view five original comics on the app by Big Nate creator Lincoln Peirce.


There is no filter on this app, so kids can type in whatever words they want into the comic strips.


A tab on the app's main page links kids to iTunes, where they can purchase Big Nate books and audio books. There's also a tab for "More Apps" on the same page, but there's also a warning that "More Apps is for Grown-ups!" You have to swipe two fingers across the screen to access a page where you can purchase more apps from Night & Day Studios.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BIG NATE: COMIX BY U! gives kids a way to create their own stories on a comic strip using the popular characters from the Big Nate book series. While Big Nate is especially popular with boys, the bold, colorful comics and numerous characters and settings will appeal to both boys and girls who like comics and storytelling. Three modes of play give lots of options to kids at different spelling and storytelling skill levels. Kids can share their creations with friends via email or save them in a personal in-app gallery.

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What's it about?

Tap "Create a Comic" and choose from three modes: Story Starter, Fill in the Blanks, or Start from Scratch. Story Starter provides the beginning frames and gives kids options for characters, backgrounds, word balloons, props, and sound effects. In Fill in the Blanks, kids get a completed comic drawing but empty word balloons to fill in. Start from Scratch provides different layouts but no content. Once kids complete a comic, they can save it or send via email. Kids can also view original comics by Big Nate's creator.

Is it any good?

Especially for kids who are interested in comics, Big Nate: Comix By U! will provide many sessions of fun. Many of the pre-designed backgrounds are related to school or outdoors with friends and include similar settings to the Big Nate books, so kids can often use their real-life experiences in the creation of their own versions of the Big Nate comic strips, providing an outlet for personal storytelling, identifying emotions, humor, and creativity. Kids who cannot yet spell or read well may be frustrated with this app, unless assisted by a parent. For Big Nate fans, this app is sure to inspire and entertain. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • If your kid is having a challenge at school with a teacher or friends, suggest he or she try to play it out in a comic and see what happens.

  • Ask questions about your kid's comics: Why did you choose those characters? That sound effect? That background? What was that character feeling in that scene?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love storytelling and expressing themselves

Themes & Topics

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