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