Comics Panel: Frank In The 3rd Dimension is a stunning achievement in 3-D comics

The back cover of Jim Woodring and Charles Barnard’s Frank In The 3rd Dimension (Fantagraphics) taunts that it has “the most startling volumetric 3-D ever printed,” and while that may sound like hyperbole, it really is a major accomplishment in anaglyphic 3-D illustration. Woodring brings a lot of dimension to his 2-D art by using wavy lines of varying thickness to shade figures and create specific textures, and Barnard breaks Woodring’s intricate drawings down into hundreds of individual layers that are slightly modified, making many small changes that add up to create images with breathtaking depth.

Most anaglyphic comics use this illusion of depth to simply create distance between flat planes of artwork, but Barnard’s meticulous conversion process creates volume within the individual planes, accentuating the texture of Woodring’s line and giving the figures more weight. The cover is one of the subtler visuals, but it …

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