Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Number 1870: Will Elder: 3D in 2D

Will Elder did a rare horror story for EC in their second 3D special, Three Dimensional Tales From the Crypt of Terror (1954). At EC, primarily known for his satirical work in Mad and Panic, this is a different sort of job by him, setting a horror mood.

It is drawn for 3D by using overlays over a background board.

Elder follows Al Feldstein’s original version of “The Strange Couple” in The Vault of Horror #14 (actual issue #3), from 1950.

I have an earlier posting (see the link below) to a posting showing Feldstein’s version, and the 3D story itself, plus a bonus from Boy’s Life, showing how to make your own 3D glasses.



In an interview with Grant Geissman for the book, Tales of Terror!/The EC Companion by Geissman and Fred Von Bernewitz, Feldstein tells of writing “The Strange Couple” with Gaines, first as a class assignment for an adult course taught by writer Theodore Sturgeon.

Feldstein said, “[The story] was a straight original.”*

“There was an adult course in writing . . . we [Gaines and Feldstein] figured it would help us in writing, plotting and things like that. So we went to this course and [Sturgeon] was talking about how he writes, basics, blah-blah, and we were assigned to do a short story, and we asked if we could collaborate. He said ‘sure.’ We went back and we typed up in text form ‘The Strange Couple.’

“. . . Sturgeon went crazy; he loved it . . . that was kind of an ego thing, so we felt we didn’t need the goddamn course.”

*As opposed to many other EC stories which had their genesis in the works of other writers. — Pappy


This is the link to the earlier post. Just click on the thumbnail.


John on the Sunset Coast said...

Pappy, I recall another faux 3D comic book process from that era. It involved framing each drawing with broad, jet black bands. This was supposed to, I suppose, trick you into thinking you were looking deep into the picture. Mostly the result was to get lot of black ink on your fingers.

As to the red/blue drawings, some were extremely effective. However most were not registered correctly, or the glasses would not block the corresponding color well; in either case the 3D effect was minimal to nil.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

So, basically, is this a "fake" 3-D, like Truevision used by ACG?
"Feldstein" and "EC Horror" are synonymous, but I must admit I prefer Elder's version of this story.
Two old, little, creepy spouses. Much more disturbing than regular Feldstein's horror mugs.

Pappy said...

J D, no, not a fake 3-D job like the Truevision issues of ACG. This is the original artwork on bristol board, with transparent overlays for the varyious layers of depth.

I like your new picture. Not a fake J D, but the real living, three-dimensional J D, I assume.

Pappy said...

John, that faux 3-D was from ACG, and was called Truevision. You can see an example of it and a fake 3-D Charlton story from a 2010 posting here.

The two-color 3-D comics produced during the short 3-D boom of the '50s were OK if the printing was done correctly. Not easy in those days of varying degrees of sloppy, quick printing produced on giant web presses. I have several of those early 3-D's in my collection, and I also have 3-D comics done in the '80s, prepared by Ray Zone for various publishers of the time. On the desk next to me as I write this is a 1987 Eclipse Comic called Scout, done in 3-D, which is quite effective. A side note is that editor Catherine Yronwode had a problem with her eyesight that precluded her from seeing the 3-D illusion while wearing the red-and-blue lenses.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Yes that's me... Not much of a picture, my sister took it with her Iphone. :)

Eclipse did a great job on 3d, reprinting some classic Horror stories.
Some of them appeared on Michael T. Gilbert's "Mr. Monster" line of comics.
Lovely character, Mr. M., you should call it a labour of love for Golden Age classics.

Pappy said...

J D, don't be modest; it's a nice picture.

I think I have all the 3D comics that Ray Zone did in the '80s...or at least I thought I did until I was in a junk store recently and found a copy of Truman's Scout in a $1.00 box full of comics. I can see 3D just fine, but it tires my eyes, even after I had corrective surgery 15 months ago. Old, tired eyeballs...not young, energetic eyeballs like I had in my youth.

Alicia American said...

OMG this is so cool-lookering yo OMG!

Pappy said...

Alicia, yes it is! Thanks for your stamp of approval!