1987: Captain EO 3-D

Captain EO 3-D (1987) #1 by Tom Yeates et al.

I thought I didn’t have to read any more 3D comics, but I had forgotten this one.

It’s an adaptation of a 3D movie by Francis Ford Coppola? Oh, it was shown in various Disney amusement parks, and starred Michael Jackson at the height of his fame.

So of course Eclipse tried to get as much money out of the adaptation as possible, which I think is very sensible. It was also released in a larger edition only sold via Disney, but I’ve got the smaller version (i.e., normal comics size). It was probably the most expensive item I bought for this blog series, so Michael Jackson still has fans…

Anyway, the adaptation is by Tom Yeates, who is a very good artist, so I was curious how this would look. And it looks pretty great. Yeates’s artwork works very well in 3D: It’s detailed, but not fussy, so my eyes had it pretty easy when trying to pick out the levels and make it all snap to 3D.

And when comics are drawn for 3D, it’s so much better than when it’s converted as an afterthought. Yeates places his objects on the page for maximum 3D pop. That spaceship was hovering way out of the page.

This may be the best 3D book that Eclipse published, I think.

As for the storyline… Well… Michael Jackson, I mean Captain EO meets an evil ruler and then convinces everybody to get along by dancing. It’s fine by me. They manage to squeeze in some gags along the way.

I haven’t seen the film, of course, but I think Yeates probably did it justice. He doesn’t overwhelm it with exposition, but just shows us all the fun bits without having the characters explain everything to us. It’s good storytelling.

His Michael Jackson could perhaps have been more Jackson-like. I mean, it looks like Yeates traced his face and costume right from a photo, but it still isn’t… all there. But it’s fine.

So it this a lost masterpiece of some kind? No. But as a Michael Jackson 3D memorabilia comic book it’s better than it has any reason to be.

As expected, I couldn’t really find much in the way of reviews of this book, the there’s this:

Gloriously flamboyant, massively OTT, but as great a piece of drawing as came out of the over-egged Eighties, Captain Eo is a truly intriguing book that might just grab any jaded reader who thinks there’s nothing new or different left to see…

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