- Booster Gold
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Friday, October 18, 2013
Booster Pyynk, Part 2 of 2
The conclusion of the Boosterrific.com interview with cosplayer Pyynk, aka Brian Wilder.
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 [ smpdesigns.com ] 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 [ thesuperherocostumingforum.yuku.com ] 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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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Booster Pyynk, Part 1 of 2
As part of my continuing quest to spotlight those brave souls willing to wear the Gold at comic conventions nationwide, I asked cosplayer Pyynk, also known as Brian Wilder, if he would be willing to share his experiences cosplaying Booster Gold. This is what he had to say.
Boosterrific: Can you describe your relationship with Booster Gold?
Pyynk: While I'd noticed Booster before, it wasn't until the 52 maxi series though that I really "got" why he was awesome. Here was a normal guy, one who really doesn't have superpowers, thrust into extraordinary circumstances and attempting to make up for a somewhat checkered past. Being a fan of Westerns as well, that sort of formula is pretty much right up my alley.
Once Geoff Johns' Booster Gold solo series started up post 52, I was hooked. Wanting to know more, I sought out his earlier appearances in Justice League International and... wow. Superheroes on a team who legitimately liked each other, sharp and witty dialogue that almost bounced off the page, and a Batman who wasn't a jerk; great stuff that made me a fan of Booster, Blue Beetle, and Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire.
Not surprisingly, the same traits that made me a fan of Booster's made me follow similar characters, among them Union Jack, Bucky Barnes, Tara Chace of Rucka's Queen and Country, and Jonah Hex. All of them normal, flawed people in extraordinary circumstances. And yes, Booster's appearance in All-Star Western was fist pumping fun.
Boosterrific: What led you to costume as Booster Gold?
Pyynk: Well, remember earlier when I mentioned that one of the things that I loved about the JLI was the interactions between the team members? Sometimes real life is like that too. By 2007, I'd been costuming as the Batman: The Animated Series Joker for six years and at that time it was my only costume. One of my friends, Drew Palmer, noticed how much fun I was having and he told me considered costuming, but the only way he'd do it would be as the Blue Beetle. I told him that if he'd commit to Blue Beetle I'd make Booster Gold. He and I debuted our initial take on the Blue and Gold at Dragon*Con that next year. It surprised me then just how overwhelmingly positive fan reaction was. Sure, it helped that Drew is one of my best friends so our banter is real, but the love fans had for both characters was infectious for both us and for our friends.
Slowly, but surely we've added to our informal JLI team. While Drew is more likely to costume as the Elongated Man these days, I still costume as Booster, Drew's wife Heather put together Fire, we talked a couple into costuming as Guy Gardner and Ice, we've got a Power Girl and Blue Beetle. Thanks to even MORE friends with the Superhero Costuming Forum [ thesuperherocostumingforum.yuku.com ], we even managed to snare a few pictures with G'Nort one year.
As for why I do it, it's a good excuse for one thing to step out of yourself and have some fun. It's even more fun to do something like this with friends. And while I've got other costumes I really enjoy, I'd have to say Booster is my favorite.
Thank you, Brian. The second half of this interview will be posted later this week.
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Hanging Out with Some Old Friends
Yesterday, Ryan in the Boosterrific comments reminded me that I haven't posted any Booster Gold cosplay pics from DragonCon 2013 yet. Let's rectify that today.
Booster Golds of all shapes and sizes were at this year's event in costumes running in quality varying from professional to amateur. The costume on the left comes from dr_archeville (more on flickr.com). The costume on the right comes by way of _nerdyblackkid (more on Instagram).
This pic is just one of many in Pat Loika's "Dragon*Con 2013: JLA vs Avengers Shoot" on flickr.com. The staged photo-op featured JLA cosplayers battling Avengers cosplayers at the command of George Pérez. (Booster Gold faced off against Black Knight!) Only at DragonCon....
You can see many, many more pics of the event at the links above. If you want to see video of the JLA fighting the Avengers, check out youtube here or here. (Thanks to Brian Wilder for the links.)
[UPDATE 2013-09-10: Credit where credit is due: that's Pyynk as Booster Gold in the big group shot. You can get a better view of his costume in my coverage of DragonCon 2012 here.]
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