I am sad to report that Ray Zone, known as the master of 3D comics for more than 30 years, passed away on Tuesday:

Ray passed away on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He leaves a long legacy as an author, publisher, historian, photographer, filmmaker and artist. A longtime advocate of stereography as an art form, he earned the title “King of 3-D Comics” for publishing or producing the 3-D separations for over 130 3-D comic books. Ray was a longtime member and past President of the LA 3-D Club, and was currently serving as the club’s Vice President.

Zone started exploring the art of stereoscopy in comics, using red and blue and 3D glasses, in the early ’80s and soon became the absolute master of the form. I worked with him on a few stories at Disney and he was always finding ways to use the technology as an artform and a storytelling device. He was quite an eccentric, as you might expect from someone who was so deeply ingrained in a niche technology, but also a passionate and wildly creative devotee of the medium. If you own any comics from the ’80s or early ’90s you surely have a 3D comic as envisioned by Zone, since he was the master of it all.

My condolences to his friends and family.


  1. BOOOOOO! So sad to hear Ray Zone passed away. I always adored his 3D comics and have spent many hours trying to convince new girlfriends how cool they are. Rest in peace, Ray, and thank you.

  2. This is shocking and sad news. When I was producing a recent book on the history of the 1950s 3-D comics I reached out to Ray to see if he wanted to be involved. He informed me he was very busy working on an all encompassing book of his own about the whole history of printed 3-D so he politely declined. I hope whatever he was creating was near completion and someone can see that it gets published posthumously as Ray was with no doubt the world’s expert on printed 3-D and more. And Ray himself created a untold vast quantity of acclaimed incredibly produced 3-D comics and projects. 20 some years ago Ray generously invited me to his home after a San Diego convention and enjoyed warm dinner conversation and a jaw-dropping showing of some of his huge comics and ephemera collection. Along with
    3-D Ray was a champion of unsung brilliant cartoonists of the past and the then present (including underground cartoonists)–his taste in “the good stuff” was spot-on. Many of these artists got the incredible Ray Zone 3-D treatment in the array of cool comics he published. His enthusiasm was unmatched and I am among his many, many admirers. Heartfelt condolences to Ray’s family and friends.

  3. Oh, what a loss to us all. Ray was an unfailing supporter of our bookstore (Skylight Books) from the very beginning, and it was always such a pleasure to see him and carry his books. Years ago, he decided we needed a website, and when such things were more than we could take on at that time, he created one for us and volunteered to keep it updated in exchange for a small gift certificate every now and then. We will miss him.

  4. Shocked to hear it–Ray was always a bright spot at Comic-Con back in the 1980s, with his Hawaiian shirts and cheerful disposition. Very sad to hear it.

  5. I just heard of Ray’s passing and I am deeply saddened.
    Ray Zone was a genious. And he was a delight to work with.
    I was hoping we could eventually do Ghost Car 2. I just mentioned this to Ray just 2 weeks ago. I am so glad I got to see him again at that
    time. God Bless you Ray Zone and God Bless your two sons.
    I know you are in Heaven Ray.

  6. I think when it comes out just how many different projects he worked on, people will be amazed. The man was practically a medium unto himself. I’ve recently been converting illustrations and such into 3D, and 100% regret not sending him an email just to say hello and thank you for being an inspiration and a trailblazer.

  7. Ray did 3D conversions and consultation on 4 issues of Nick Magazine when I was editing the comics section and he made it a blast. I was all fussy: “let’s make sure every artist does everything they can to make the 3D work.” Ray would humor me but basically his attitude was “I’ll make it cool. Just let them do their thing.” Among the many pieces he converted for Nick Mag were comics and illustrations by Jacob Chabot, Lark Pien, Laura Park, Evan Dorkin, Michael Kupperman, R. Sikoryak, Jen Sorensen, Corey Barba, Sam Henderson…it’s a long list that keeps on going. Possibly the most memorable Ray Zone Nick Mag collaboration was with Kim Deitch on a 2 page masterpiece, “4D” , a meditation on comics censorship (and book burnings), spectacle, childhood, and nostalgia. I’m hoping to get it posted online with Kim’s permission (or an excerpt) because it is quite stunning.
    65 was too young. I hope someone can keep his book going.

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