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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zone’s comics jump off page

3-D comic book artist to speak at Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Ray Zone, a California artist, takes comic book art to another dimension.

Zone is the leading practitioner of stereoscopic art – comic books, posters, movies and other artwork that appears three-dimensional when viewed with special 3-D glasses.

You can see his work in all of its eye-popping glory as he delivers three lecture-demonstrations as part of the 2009 Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

He’ll deliver his talk at three different sites: Spokane Falls Community College, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and Eastern Washington University. Zone promises to bring a set of stereoscopic glasses for each audience member.

Zone said he was a child in California in the 1950s when two experiences changed his life. First, he saw the original 3-D comic book, a Mighty Mouse comic. Then he saw the film “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” in 3-D.

“It just warped my brain,” he once said.

He went on to be become a writer and comic artist, and in 1982, he began specializing in 3-D.

Zone’s company, The 3-D Zone, converts what he calls “flat art” into 3-D art. He has transformed more than 130 classic comics into 3-D.

“It’s kind of fun and great for the students,” said Tom O’Day, SFCC gallery director, who helped organize the lecture.

“It’s one of those things that captivates the audience, even if they’re not schooled in art. They can just come and have a good time with it.”

Zone also is a historian of the 3-D process. He wrote a major exploration titled “Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838-1952,” and has produced some 3-D films.

Here’s how he puts it: “To depict a whole object on a flat surface, literate man employs three-dimensional perspective; he shows only that surface visible from a single position at a single moment. In short, he fails.”

Zone will explain how he overcomes the limitations of the two-dimensional world during his Spokane visit.

“He considers himself an artist and not just a technician,” said O’Day. “He is using his own creativity to manipulate the image.”

An exhibit of Zone’s 3-D posters will be on display at the SFCC Fine Arts Gallery from Tuesday through May 14.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at jimk@spokesman.com.
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