Sunday, December 09, 2012

Rayfamzone and the 3-D Comics

I was a huge fan of 3-D comic books from the first minute I ever saw one. Probably my introduction was the 1960s 3-D Batman and then I backed up to the Batman issue and the Superman issue from the 1950s and then the 3-D world opened up to me with Joe Kubert's Tor and EC 3-D and Captain 3-D by Jack Kirby (in collaboration with Joe Simon and Steve Ditko and Ben Oda) and so many others.

The 3-D comics experienced a massive comeback in the 1980s and I did my best to grab every title that was released. (I had been thinking that that 3-D Gumby (of which there were SEVEN issues!) had an Art Adams cover, but I see now that I was confusing it with Gumby comics published by Comico.) It seemed like every one of the class of the 80s had the byline of "3-D by Ray Zone." Could that be his real name, I wondered?

I knew that Mr. Zone had rejuvenated 3-D comics for a new generation but I did not realize until this year that he had improved the 3-D processing! I learned this in a recent obituary for the gentleman. The anecdote is that Ray Zone showed Joe Kubert his simplification of the 3-D technique and Mr. Kubert was astounded at how much Mr. Zone had streamlined the process.

Here is an article that has Mr. Kubert reminiscing about the old 3-D comics (and did you know that Mr. K's 1950s partner Norman Maurer was married to the daughter of The Three Stooges' Moe Howard?). Here is another Kubert 3-D article with clear reproductions of a couple of Tor pages, and here is a blog from which you can download the contents of Captain 3-D #1.

And, lastly, here is an artful photo of Mr. Ray Zone himself, whom we hereby honor with a hayfamzone salute.


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