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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Full Color Memories

DC has released August solicitations, and as expected, Booster Gold volume 1 is getting a full color reprint!

written by DAN JURGENS
These are the 1980s tales that introduced Booster Gold, the glory-hungry hero who traveled back in time from the 25th century to become a superhero called Goldstar—but manages to mangle both his mission and his name, winding up with the oddball name by which he is known. In these stories, while battling rad 1980s super-villains, Booster attempts to line up endorsement deals with limited success. Collects BOOSTER GOLD #1-12 in color for the first time, plus design material, unpublished story pages and more.
ON SALE September 25, $39.99 US

Sadly, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing Booster Gold anywhere else this August, because the only other mention of our hero is in another reprint that won't arrive until late September.

written by TOM KING
There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by CIA operative turned comics writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD?
Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate—but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition? This collected edition features the entire nine-issue miniseries!
ON SALE September 25, $19.99

How *does* a hero handle PTSD? According to the story itself, the answer is "he kills a bunch of innocent people and then frames some other innocent people so that he won't be caught." Ick.

Comments (5) | Add a Comment | Tags: heroes in crisis solicitations

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

This Time in Color

Rob Snow dropped a note in Monday's comments to say "Looks like DC is republishing the 80s Booster and Beetle runs in color." DC hasn't made any announcement yet, but certainly agrees with him.


Booster Gold: The Big Fall Hardcover – October 1, 2019
by Dan Jurgens (Author)

The 1980s stories that introduced the time-travelling adventurer known as Booster Gold are collected in color for the first time.

Introduced in 1986, the glory-hungry but bumbling hero known as Booster Gold is in reality from the 25th century. Traveling back in time, Booster planned to use futuristic technology to become a super hero called Goldstar -- but he managed to mangle both his mission and his name, winding up with the oddball name by which he is known. In these stories, while battling rad 1980s super-villains, Booster attempts to line up endorsement deals with limited success. Collects BOOSTER GOLD #1-12, plus design material, unpublished story pages and more.

Product details
Series: Booster Gold
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: DC Comics (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1779500750
ISBN-13: 978-1779500755
Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 10.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 13 ounces

"Unpublished story pages?" What's the chance this is why Dan Jurgens was teasing us with those unused pages from issue 6 earlier this month? (Please, please, please.)

I also have to wonder whether this will see print as "The Big Fall," or if that's a placeholder title. "The Big Fall" is the name of the story in the first issue of the series, not the whole twelve issues. You kids today might find this hard to believe, but back in the day, comics weren't written with an inevitable 6-issue collection in mind, so there weren't many "The Big Fall: Part 5"s out there. Granted, Issue 12 does end with (Warning! 33-year-old spoilers!) Booster sick and powerless and Skeets (gasp!) corrupted and deactivated. So maybe "The Big Fall" is as good a title as anything.

(Issue 12 is kind of a downer stopping point, isn't it? They couldn't have just kept going to issue 15? That's the one that brings Booster's origin full circle. Oh, well. I guess they have to have a reason to publish a second volume. I doubt many new readers would tune in for Millennium tie-ins.)

Even though I already own multiple copies of each issue of Volume 1, I'll probably pick this up, too, for the unpublished material. You can never have too much Booster Gold!

Thanks for calling our attention to that, Rob. (And for those of you interested, here's the link to that Blue Beetle reprint.)

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Boosters Are Gold, Beetles Are BR2

Booster booster Aaron Hale is currently selling ten pages of the original color guide for Justice League International #25 on

© DC Comics

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 expanded on cover stock, via
DC colors on cover stock via

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.

© DC Comics
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!)

© DC Comics
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 today!

(And if you'd like more information about how comics are made, check out Todd Klein's fine blog at or Klein's book co-written with Mark Chiarello, The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics.)

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Museum Quality Pieces

I rarely discuss original comic book artwork for sale. By which I mean work created for the purpose of publication, not fan commissions.

This isn't an oversight so much as it is the byproduct of my own ignorance about the market. As a skinflint reluctant to part with $4 to buy a modern comic, I find the much higher prices of the original art market make me absolutely squeamish.

That's not to say that I think the prices are undeserved — I consider the original artwork for the cover to Booster Gold #1 to be essentially priceless. (One day I will own an original Booster Gold piece by Dan Jurgens, perhaps in time for Booster's 50th anniversary!) However, as an outsider, I really don't feel qualified to discuss the original art market. This is a shame considering how much amazing, original comic book art is available online.

Take, for example, this piece by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund on sale through

Dan Jurgens pencils and Norm Rapmund inks
Booster Gold, Volume 2, #17

Isn't that great? With the colors removed, you can really see the pen and brush techniques of the artists and get a feel for how the inks can complement the original pencils. (Pencillers get all the attention, but the influence of an inker on a finished piece cannot be understated.)

I understand why people collect this original art, especially in this modern age of electronic media. In a way, owning a piece like this is like owning a page of Leonardo da Vinci's sketchbook. It brings you closer to the medium that you love.

If you'd like to see much, much more original art, click the image above to visit

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Friday, September 4, 2015

30 Years of Full Color Action

As I said two weeks ago, the first volume of Booster Gold was in many ways a re-investigation of the heroic ideal of the DC Universe. But Dan Jurgens didn't draw the line at exploring what made a hero. He also took a hard look at what made a villain.

© DC Comics

Jurgens tended to humanize Booster's villains, giving them reasonable backstories that were filled with the same short of hardships that Booster Gold was struggling to overcome. Sometimes that resulted in characters like Broderick or Dirk Davis, but it didn't always work. No matter how much you pathos you give to a color-blind man who dresses like a prism, he's still going to look like a clown.

© DC Comics

Of course I asked Jurgens what his motive was for bringing the Rainbow Raider, one of the least successful of Flash's foes, to Metropolis. Why choose him, a villain with a lackluster Silver Age-style gimmick, to feature in a two-part story against a modern anti-hero like Booster Gold?

I though it'd be fun to play off the color angle. Plus, I liked the visual of him riding his rainbow.

Not my best day.

So not everything can be Shakespeare. It's important to remember that sometimes a funny-book is just a funny book.

The True Story of Booster Gold

Despite that Rainbow Raider story, we still thank you, Mr. Jurgens.

(Reminder: no post on Monday because of the Labor Day holiday. Blogging is hard work!)

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