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Ray Zone's 3D Jungle Adventures Comic brings a bit of 1953 to the iPad

David Winograd

Ray Zone's 3D Jungle Adventures (US$0.99) is native iPad comic book that took me back to when I was ten and my parents brought me to a flea market. There I picked up a ten year old copy of The House of Terror published by the now defunct St. John's Publishing Company. It was in gloriously gory anaglyph 3D requiring the use of red-cyan glasses. The first page displayed a scary devil's head that seemed like it was going to jump off the page and grab me, giving me nightmares for weeks.

Now in light of the current 3D craze, a new audience can experience this sort of dimensional schlock-fest in Jungle Adventure, a reprint of a 1953 Jay Disbrow comic. The story is as pulpy as it gets. Nianda, a jungle princess is captured by the evil Stang who wants to make a trade with the chief of the village for a big red ape. Jahka, who must be Tarzan's twin brother, comes to the rescue and fights a drooling Sabre-toothed tiger to win her back, but no one told that to the big red ape.

Shakespeare, it's not. But it is a good example of the pulpy product being put out between 1953 and 1954 when the last 3D comic was printed. The book was printed in black and white which eliminates the usually horrendous color reproduction of anaglyph 3D, and since only 4 colors are used -- black, white, red and cyan -- the degree to which things pop out at you is really effective.

Along with the 28 page comic, there is a 10 page intro to 3D penned by Jim Engel. Also included is a page of links to 3D sites such as a few NASA sites, a link for ordering free anaglyph glasses, and a few others taking you to 3D galleries.

It's up to you to decide whether it's worth a buck, but for me it was. It's a fine introduction to the early days of 3D and really shows you how effective anaglyph 3D can be. It'll only give you about 20 minutes of entertainment, but for me it was trip down memory lane.

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