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See the layers of a 3D comic book cover (pictures)

The bad guys are starring in DC Comics' superhero books for the month of September, and to commiserate (and get some attention for the comics) the company is wrapping its stories in 3D covers -- no glasses needed. Here's how they built the creepy covers.

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SETH_ROSENBLATT-1396.jpg

Seth Rosenblatt

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Sketching the cover

DC Comics is wrapping its September issues in 3D covers -- no glasses needed. Here's how they built those creepy covers.
Jay Fabok sketches the cover he wants to draw, noting which elements should "move" in the final product.
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Foreground layer

Then Fabok fills in the detail, from pencil to ink to color, on each element. Here's the character layer for the Joker.
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Hero in the background

The next layer, which doesn't move much, is the trussed-up hero in the background.
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Setting the stage

The setting layer also doesn't contain much motion, but it's important so the characters don't appear to be floating in the ether.
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The deadly laugh

While some villains might shoot lasers from their eyes, and the lenticular covers depict that, the Joker's "power layer" is his laugh.
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The villain in 3D

This flattened version of the final art shows it all on one layer. Read the story to see an animated GIF of the Joker cover, and a video showing how the comics look when held in your hand.

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