In nod to past, but with an eye toward tomorrow, Marquez and Ryan's 'Joyners in 3D' debuts

The Associated Press

This cover image released by Archaia shows "The Joyners in 3D," a graphic novel by R.J. Ryan and David Marquez. Marquez and Ryan whose latest effort has embraced the use of 3-D, a format rarely seen in contemporary comics, present a story about pride, coonceit and hubris out of control in a society far advanced yet seemingly emotionally stunted. (AP Photo/Archaia)

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By MATT MOORE, Associated Press

The protagonist of David Marquez and R.J. Ryan's new graphic novel has revolutionized the way society lives once.

In the pages of the pair's latest collaboration, a three-year project that embraces anaglyph 3-D, the duo tells the story of George Joyner and how his pride, conceit and hubris lead to the loss of everything he's achieved as he completes his second technological breakthrough in a society far advanced yet seemingly emotionally stunted, too.

Marquez and Ryan's 128-page hardcover, "The Joyners in 3-D," was released Wednesday by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. It melds a utopian future with a dysfunctional family and a dose of corporate espionage for good measure, too.

Marquez called the book, which includes blue-red glasses to see the 3-D effects, a labor of love for him and Ryan, who worked together on Archaia's "Syndrome," and a chance to pay homage to a genre that has largely been overlooked in recent years.

"When we first started discussing this book, we talked about how there really hasn't been a strong, dramatic graphic novel done in 3-D," he said. "We wanted to see one, but as there weren't any, we had to do it ourselves."

Ryan noted that the title is more than just a reference to its presentation.

"To call a book 'The Joyners in 3D' means we're not just promising 3-D effects, we're promising three dimensional characterization, in the writing and the art," he said.

Learning to write, and draw, for a 3-D story took some adjusting, as did bringing it to fruition.

There was historical research, too. And Marquez went with a decidedly different art style.

"I drew 'The Joyners in 3D' in a very different style than my mainstream work at Marvel, and this was a conscious decision," he said. "I wanted to lean more into a cartoony, graphic style and see if I could still deliver a strong, emotional story."

Ryan said they took a calculated risk in developing the graphic novel.

"Neither of us had ever tried 3-D anything before. We knew going into the book we'd have to teach it to ourselves," said Ryan. "It was like going to graduate school but all you're reading are badly-printed western comics from the 1950's. David and I immediately saw hundreds of little details and graphical elements of the old-timey 3-D comics that we could address, update and improve upon."

They worked with artist Tara Rhymes to develop a new conversion technique and the result, said Marquez, "resulted in a surprising 3-D effect unlike anything we had seen before."

The end result, said Ryan, is a story that shows the earnestness of 3-D as a medium and not a novelty.

"This is a story that takes the storytelling potential of 3-D extremely seriously," he said. "That's the message we've been trying to get out."

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Moore reported from Philadelphia. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/mattmooreap

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