Jun 4, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 466: 3D Laser Eraser and Pressbutton

http://www.comics.org/issue/59150/

I have a soft spot for 3D comics. They're one of those moments of a venerable medium trying its hardest to become cool and cutting edge, but really only succeeding in looking like your grandad wearing converse and riding a skateboard. Most of the time it's just going to look ridiculous and completely fall apart.

There is the odd occasion, however, when grandad impresses you and makes it look like he's from Dogtown. I'm thinking specifically of the end of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, which is one of the most amazing uses of 3D printing tech I've ever seen (3D printing tech meaning printing 2D stories in 3D, not rendering them as plastic objects, obvs). Today's comic isn't quite that amazing, but the 3D adaptation of the stories is really quite good. I have to say that the place that I found it to be particularly effective was with the speech bubbles. They float in the panels at different focal lengths, giving the impression that some things are said before others (giving a third dimension to the McCloudian reading of speech bubbles), and that the words are, as they do in conversation, hanging there in the air, floating. It's a small thing, but really adds a nice texture to the comics themselves. Some bits of the actual graphics are handled quite nicely, though others are simply confusing or, at worst, headache-inducing. But I've definitely seen worse 3D effects than this little gem, so I'll leave the critique at that.

I like Laser Eraser and Pressbutton. They're badasses who do their own thing, have a murky, if generally good, moral code, and, though they're both bloody killers, really seem to have a good deal of affection for one another. I'm not always big on the retreaded UK comics that found homes in the smaller publishing companies of the 1980s (see my very first few reviews in this project of 2000 A.D.), but these ones are actually quite good. I grabbed this comic at the 2016 Calgary Expo, and it completed, as far as I know, my Pressbutton collection, so I'll get to their regular 2D adventures eventually. But til then, onward!

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