Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Brain Power in 3-D

Hey, Kids! Time to break out the old 3-D glasses for a trip into the retro-future!

Brain Power is a nifty little science fiction tale published in True 3D #1 way back in December of 1953! If I was alive then, I would have enjoyed one of these in my stocking that Christmas!

True 3-D was an experiment in the "3-Dimensional" experience by Harvey Comics that lasted all of two issues. In the 1950s comic books and the cinema both made attempts during that era to drum up some extra business through gimmicks and bizarre, if not outright fraudulent, stunts. The 3-D craze didn't last long as consumers swiftly realized that the special effects didn't really ad anything to the product other than being a cheap novelty and for the average B-Movie and Grade-C comic book the extra expense of producing the effects may have been prohibitive.

Yet 3-D is an aspect of entertainment that refuses to fade completely away. 3-D has made several temporary resurgences, and comes in cycles. 3-D appeared most recently in the film Journey to the Center of the Earth. The graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier and the Superman: Beyond comic book mini used 3-D effects to further the story. For my money the 3-D experience I've enjoyed the most were those great Viewmaster Donald Duck slides of years past.

Brain Power as I've reproduced it here is best enjoyed using the traditional red and blue 3-D glasses. I used them and the story looked great on the monitor. In some panels the printing process is a bit off but it still an enjoyable read with a surprise, shocking twist ending sure to send a tingle up the spine of the reader! If you don't have the glasses then you can easily make some out of colored plastic. The ingenious could even print out some colored shapes suitable for use if they used the right printing media. FYI, the polarized dark lenses you can get at a movie theater won't work.

Finding 3-D glasses or colored plastic of the correct hue in San Diego was pretty difficult. I was having no luck finding what I needed at various party, craft and retail stores and I was getting disappointed. Also, angry. There was some interactive Hannah Montana thing that had 3-D glasses but there was no way I was buying stuff that expensive just for the cheap spectacles. So I stopped into one of those San Diego comic book shops that sell more stuff than just comics to see if they had any. I asked the proprietor if they had any 3-D glasses and he did not, but ever the sales-person, reminded me that Superman: Beyond #1 was published a few weeks earlier. I checked out the copy to make sure it still retained the special glasses and then purchased it. The proprietor cautioned me not to break apart the cardboard glasses and that I should keep the book intact as is because "the magazine was a collector's item and would be sure to appreciate in value."

Sure, dude. Maybe so, but I just can't take seriously the advice of any comic book store owner that doesn't maintain their own humorous comic book web blog.

Click the images to make them...Well, you know.



  1. Hey, great Stuff! But i think it works only with deep blue/red glasses?! With my cyan/red glass is see double lines. But i´ve ordered some. So i must wait for my next Post sending.

  2. It works perfect with the Superman: Beyond glasses. Move back or forth until the image focuses.

  3. I've never had properly stereoscopic vision, so every time 3-D makes a comeback I just laugh and laugh. I am never tempted in the least and I have rather a good memory for the staggeringly lousy things that 3-D gets attached to. I haven't read "Superman Beyond", but I'm betting it ranks right alongside Jaws 3, Friday the 13th Part III, and Comin' At Ya! Because when you write a really good story, why wouldn't you want to use a headache-inducing gimmick to make it even gooder?

    Well, the fad always dies down and the hacks always go back from 3-D to triple-D's. Now there's a gimmick that never goes out of style.


Moderation enabled only because of trolling, racist, homophobic hate-mongers.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.