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It has been 77 Days since Booster Gold last appeared in an in-continuity DCU comic book.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Booster Pyynk, Part 2 of 2

The conclusion of the interview with cosplayer Pyynk, aka Brian Wilder.

JLI cosplaying with Pyynk and friends

Boosterrific: Please describe your costume.

Pyynk: From that first costume in 2008, I've made pretty constant upgrades, updates, and tried a few experiments. Some worked while some didn't. ProTip: Attached gloves are a bad idea. Trust me.

In 2011, Sean Patton of SMP Designs [ ] and I completely overhauled the costume in preparation for Dragon*Con 2012. Previously, I'd kept pretty close to Dan Jurgens' original design for Booster as a more traditional super hero costume. This time around we decided to re-think a few critical elements, both design and character wise. To Sean, Booster's costume didn't really make sense. If Booster had cobbled together his costume from items in the Space Museum, should it really look like a traditional spandex superhero costume? Did Michael Jon Carter know how to sew? After deciding jointly the answer was, "Probably not" we looked outside of comics for inspiration. Taking elements from modern spacesuit design, we gave those elements a 25th-century spin overhauling Booster's look, but still keeping enough of the traditional design elements so that it was unmistakably Booster Gold.

We used a variety of fabrics and textures in the costume's construction; everything from athletic mesh to leather to vinyl to... okay, some spandex. It's impossible to COMPLETELY escape spandex with a superhero costume. That said, the diversity of fabrics still does emphasize the "not of this time" origin for his costume, while still rounding the costume in some flavor of reality.

As for the "hard" props, most spacesuits have a locking mechanism around the wrist for gloves and the new design for Booster's wristbands definitely took some inspiration for that look. Finally the blasters on the new suit are actually the obverse of the build I used for the classic blasters in my older suit. Yeah, hoarders and prop/costume makers really DON'T ever throw anything away. For some reason that fifteenth time I looked at them, the unfinished nature of them looked more "techy" than the original blasters did. The goggles? Well, those are actually FROM the future, you see. ;)

As for Skeets — I've had a few ideas for putting together a Skeets prop, but nothing has ever quite worked out. My primary costuming convention has been Dragon*Con, an event not known for an abundance of walking space. While I've seen some folks who can pull Skeets off, the solutions I've come up with for him just aren't workable in a super tight space. It doesn't mean he's completely off the table, just that at the current time I don't have a resolution.

Boosterrific: What response has your Booster Gold elicited?

Pyynk: Of all the costumes I've done, from the Joker to Weather Wizard to Vigilante to Union Jack and even Captain America, none have quite gotten the reaction Booster has gotten. From the shouts of "Hey! It's Green Lantern!" from fans that have seen Justice League Unlimited's "The Greatest Story Never Told" to folks who are genuinely excited to take my picture or take a picture with me because "Someone else knows who Booster Gold is!" My experiences with Booster have far and away been positive. My friends take it all pretty much in stride – those who aren't cosplayers themselves are used to it since most of my friends are in the Goth / Industrial scene and we're frankly the kids who never wanted to let go of dressing up for Halloween.

I've learned a fair amount from costuming and had a lot of things reinforced. First off, to set realistic goals. I've got the bandwidth and capability of one new costume a year along with a couple of tweaks to existing costumes. There are lots of folks who do way, way more and there costumes are gorgeous works of art. But I know what *I* can handle and what I have fun doing and that's what's important for me.

Another is that you can do it if you want to, period. It may not be perfect, it may not redefine the nature of the universe, but if you want to do something (at least costume wise) you can. The year I was going to debut Booster, I was all set to finish making my boots and suddenly just freaked out. If I screwed these up, I didn't have a backup plan. I contacted Brian Parsley, the most amazing Green Arrow you’ll ever see and a really great guy on top, and begged him for help. He let me vent, calmed me down, and reassured me that I wasn't going to screw up, I could do it. And I did. They’re not beautiful (he'd have done way way better), but I did it.

Finally, just like in every other part of life, networking is super important. My friends at the Superhero Costuming Group have been a fantastic resource whether it was a resource to cut and style a wig at the eleventh hour, information on creating my first pair of wristbands, or just a fun group of folks to eat Chocos with, the members of the Superhero Costuming Forum [ ] have saved my bacon more times than I've probably COOKED bacon. And I've cooked a lotta bacon.

I cannot thank Brian Wilder enough for his response to my interview request. If you missed it, you can find the first part of this interview here.

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