- Booster Gold
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Monday, February 25, 2019
What's a color guide, you ask? Time for a brief history lesson!
Computers and modern printing techniques have changed things, but for most of the history of comics, all hues were printed from a few shades of one of three distinct colors. Below is artist Todd Klein's color chart from the 1980s when he worked at DC Comics. It has codes for each possible color, where "Y" stands for yellow, "B" for blue, and "R" for red. The "2" meant 25% saturation, "3" was 50% saturation, "4" was 75% saturation, and no number was fully saturated, pure color. When JLI #25 was released in 1989, 124 colors were possible.
DC colors on cover stock via KleinLetters.com
Like a kid with a single box of crayons, the colorist filled in the black and white drawings with watercolor paints to match those colors. The less fun part came after the paint dried. That's when the colorist had to go back over their work to provide the printer of the comic with an appropriate code for each color used so that the image could be reproduced. The colored and coded page was called a color guide, and that's what Aaron is selling.
Justice League International #25, page 11, panel 1 as planned
(If all that sounds like a lot to do, keep in mind that it was followed by a much more labor-intensive process called color separation. Using the coded pages of the color guide as their template, the color separator would paint sheets of acetate to be used when photographing the original art for transfer to the four printing plates needed for the CYMK color process. Printing comics was hard work!)
Justice League International #25, page 11, panel 1 as printed
Aaron's auction ends tomorrow, so don't drag your feet. If you'd like to lay your eyes (or your hands) on a bit of Blue and Gold history, hurry over to eBay.com today!
(And if you'd like more information about how comics are made, check out Todd Klein's fine blog at kleinletters.com or Klein's book co-written with Mark Chiarello, The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics.)
Friday, February 22, 2019
We're less than a week away from Heroes in Crisis #6 of 9, which means we're pretty close to learning the truth behind who killed everyone at Sanctuary. It seems like a good time to talk about Booster Gold's mental health.
Clearly, Booster has been mentally struggling with fallout from his incredibly stupid actions in Batman #45. I had complained at the time that Booster's reaction to Green Lantern's graphic on-panel suicide was inappropriate — and it was — but I'm willing to concede that Tom King was trying to make a point in his own way about how the human brain reacts unpredictably to such trauma.
And how is Booster Gold reacting to that trauma? His symptoms as exhibited in Heroes in Crisis look like an aggravated case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is exactly what press reports advertised King wanted to address in this series. PTSD is triggered by extreme trauma with common symptom including avoidance of repeat stimuli, willful memory loss, and hallucinations. Booster has spent most of the series hiding from just about everyone, so check one. And he claimed he couldn't remember exactly what happened, so check two. But hallucinations? Maybe those too.
As Frankie Hagan pointed out in blog comments last month, so far in Heroes in Crisis, no one seems to have noticed Blue Beetle other than Booster Gold, which certainly suggests that the Blue and Gold reunion may be all in Booster's head. I don't know what that says about Booster Gold, but if it turns out to be true, it may be even more disappointing for Booster Gold fans than if our hero turns out to be a mass murderer.
Speaking of murder, that's the real question, isn't it? Is Booster's mental illness severe enough to drive him to kill? Statistical evidence indicates that there are indeed links between PTSD and increased rates of outbursts of anger and violence. However, the odds that PTSD would unbalance a hero enough to engage in a spree killing remain remote.
Experts say that the biggest indicator of how an individual may respond to PTSD is that person's pre-trauma personality. It's true that Booster Gold has always had his own set of foibles, yet he has never killed anyone, even when given the opportunity. At heart, he's no murderer, no matter what Tom King wants to imply.
We'll find out more about Booster Gold's health when Heroes in Crisis #6 is released February 27.
Friday, January 18, 2019
We're still a week-and-a-half away from Heroes in Crisis #5, but what appears to be its title page turned up on reddit earlier this week. Feast your eyes on this!
That's Clay Mann's art, all right. He's really quite good. In fact, he's the best thing about Heroes in Crisis.
For the record, DC, I'd buy a book of splash pages of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold hanging out eating pizza and drinking beer. Can we make that happen?
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
"Blue and Gold." It's a simple phrase that means silly good times and brotherhood.
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold have been best friends since their earliest days together in the Justice League International, and fans soon took to the shorthand way to reference their unique brand of bromantic hijinks as "Blue and Gold" in letter columns and on issue covers. But when did the phrase first appear within the DC Universe itself?
The answer: Justice League America #53, as spoken by Blue Beetle himself.
Actually, the article says it first appears in Justice League America #52, but I just looked into my own long boxes, and I'm certain it was #53. To be fair, the image accompanying the text is for #53, and #53 was indeed the first issue of the "Breakdowns" story as indicated. So we're going to chalk it up to an accidental typo.
Forgiveness is very "Blue and Gold."
UPDATE: Cronin has corrected his typo. Making up for your past mistakes is also very "Blue and Gold."
Friday, January 4, 2019
Booster Gold appeared in two comics this week. The one I didn't mention on Wednesday was Old Lady Harley #3. It seems that in the future, Booster will have his own Las Vegas casino.
(Thanks again to Logan Peterson for the spot.)
The other one was, as you are no doubt aware, was Heroes in Crisis #4. And while I have mentioned it already this week, it deserves a repeat post because of this panel alone.
Ah, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. My heroes.
We still don't know what the shared history of these two is in the Rebirth DCnU. (It can't be time spent in the Justice League.) But who cares.
The friendship of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle cannot be destroyed by Maxwell Lord, Superboy punches, Doctor Manhattan ex machina or any other continuity-destroying device that DC throws at them.
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