19. November 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60010-853-2
$39.99 US, ca. € 30, 196 pages, printed “in six colors on carefully chosen paper. Enjoy”

A wonderful, loving, historic review of the 3 D comic craze of the 1950s. Joe Kubert was there then, maybe invented it all, and he remembers. “Comic historian Ken Quattro … explains what happened after Joe Kubert had seen 3-D photo magazines while stationed in Germany.” “In one long night, Norman Maurer drew the first 3-D comic page, entitled ‘The Three Dimensional Stooges in the Third Dimension,’ to Leonard’s [Norman’s brother] specification. Early the next day, the Maurers waited for the midtown Manhattan Woolworth to open in order to purchase lollipops. ‘We figured we could get red and green cellophane from lollipop wrappers,’ Norman was quoted in The Three Stooges Scrapbook. ‘We bought two packages and made a funny pair of glasses which, believe it or not, worked perfectly.’”
·It all started in 1953 with Mighty Mouse in 3 D. The magazine came out for a quarter and sold over a million copies. The Mighty Mouse 3 D front cover and the starting page are reproduced in the book, you can see it here along with a more detailed review of the content. There are many glorious and funny 3 D examples and stories in the book, even “pseudo” 3D stories – buy it! Still I cant’t resist to quote page 121 here, “Adventures in 3·D”, January 1954, Bad Powell studio, “Il Maestro” racing the mille miglia. Put on your anaglyph 3 D glasses, click on it and note the Porsche on the right.

I’d like to add some technical aspects. First of all, I found it quite interesting how they made those drawings. Kubert: “We drew on multiple layers of acatate to get the variety of planes of depth.” Each layer must have had two colors, one for each eye, mechanically produced from the one original drawing, and then shifted. I think I see some pictures with variabe depths, i. e. not just planes, but things like airplanes, cars (like the one above here) or rockets with a smooth transistion from rear to front.
·If the two colors (the two eye’s images) are shifted far apart, the layer appears far away or nearby, really depending where you focus. Try it with focussing on a finger before your nose in the foreground: When you then blink your eyes, the background jumps sidewise. If you focus on the distance and blink, your finger up front will “move”. In any case layers at different distances have different distances between the red and blue identical drawings. See the cutting from “The 3-D-T’s, A Look Behind the Scenes of America’s Screwiest Industry!” by Joe Kubert and Norman Maurer (Alias Koobert and Moorer), top right.
·In those days red and green was used, perhaps because of the lollipops; today we use red and blue (cyan) for the anaglyph glasses. Which eye is red and which green or blue, wasn’t always the same either, but usually red is left. You still can buy a lot of variations, see for example www.perspektrum.de/3d-brillen.htm#anaglyphen-3d-brille-rot-cyan.
.You can test, if your particular glasses match by laying them flat onto the 3 D drawing: The red filter should take away all red lines, the blue side all blue lines. Typically blue does not work that well, a pity. I assume that the extra two colors in the printing process of the modern book here are to match exactly the glasses’ color. Thank you! The only place where the printed 3 D colors do not match the glasses is on page 24. (On the screen the blue filter schould make the red color real dark, the red filter darkens the blue screen parts; test it on my anaglyph page.) I suspect that the book would be best seen with slightly different viewers than the ones supplied, perhaps red-blue.
·New to me are the “Blinkeys”. “Close your left eye and see Red Dust’s road … then close your right eye and see the Green Sleeve’s Route,” – or a similar suggestion for two stories in one. Works, but isn’t practical. You’d better be a good two-sided blinker.
·Finally, you might like to know that not just black and white pictures lend themselves to anaglyph 3 D, you can even make your own 3 D still pictures in nearly full color, see this. I explained that in some German articles and on my page www.Joern.com/anaglyph.·There I “measued” the blue (cyan) side of todays usual glasses to be R=0, G=150, B=255, while the printed blue seems to be more like R=177, G=246, B=218. This is just what my picture editing program tells me; experts will know better. I still have to find the right lollipos here, never managed to make my own glasses – perhaps with a good color laser printer on foils?

Mighty Mouse 3D comic of 1953.
Today about $ 8o on Ebay

PS. Modern red-cyan glasses for example at http://www.perspektrum.de/3d-brillen/3d-brille-rot-cyan.htm

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