Tuesday, December 10, 2013

3-D, Or Not 3-D? That Is The Question!

As you no doubt recall, 3-D comics were kind of a thing back in the 1950s:

That ad was from St. Johns' Nightmare #3 (1953).

Well, some companies didn't have the resources to compete by doing true 3-D comics. The solution? Fake it!!

For 8 issues in 1954, American Comics Group unleashed "TrueVision" upon readers of Adventures Into The Unknown. And what was this "3D Effect"??

Well, no glasses was kinda nice. But how, exactly, was this 3-D?

Well, that's really not much of an explanation. Let's look, shall we?

Step 1: Lots and lots of things leaking over panel borders:

I don't know what this means, but all of the panels had those rounded corners, and were basically the same size & shape & layout on all pages. Were they trying to emulate the look of television, or perhaps a movie screen?

Step 2: Use different coloring styles for the foreground and background, to try and create some illusion of depth:

Step 3: Lot of "motion" in the panels, especially towards the "camera"...

Step 4: Make your artists compose panels with lots of (more accurate than usual) perspective, again giving a more realistic illusion of depth than your average comic art:

And that's how you make fake 3-D!!

And even those scenes like this are pretty ginchy--

--let's face it, Tiger, it's hardly convincing as 3-D.

Apparently the public agreed, as ACG dropped the scheme, which they wouldn't have done had sales shown a clamor for "TrueVision." Or maybe the artists just rebelled...

Still, the ad mentioned that ACG also used the gimmick in "selected features" in some of their other comics, including romance comics!!

Now there are some interesting possibilities...

No comments: