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Showing posts 1 - 5 of 26 matching: favorite pages

Friday, March 24, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Booster Gold 21

My Favorite Pages

A little something different today for Booster Gold #21. Rather than show you the page that's my favorite — probably page 6, but I like Ty Templeton inking Dan Jurgens so much, it could be just about any of them — I'm going to showcase the page I think is the most interesting. Page 21:

© DC Comics

As I said, I love the art, the beautifully naturalistic posing, musculature, textures, and expressions. But what makes this page so interesting to me is the layout.

Since Booster Gold is the first to speak in panel one, he's on the left. As a rule in English-language comics, speech balloons should be read in order from left to right (following the visual scanning tendency imparted by our left-to-right language construction). Therefore, it generally follows that in American comics, the first speaker should appear on the left side of the panel. In this case, that's Booster, who Jurgens the artist cleverly puts in the long cast shadow of the evil alien mastermind. So far, so great.

The alternating tight close-ups in panels two and three follow in the familiar tradition of the cinematic Western showdown between gunslingers, with Booster playing the white hat cowboy against the gloating villain. The allusion to a gunfight is especially apt given Booster's charged wrist blaster and accompanying death threat. That's a bluff, of course, but the alien hopefully doesn't know that.

And then there's panel four. By the same rules as panel one, the first speaker, Booster, should be on the left. But there's extra reason to put Booster on the left here because Booster was established on the left in panel one. Sequential art and cinema follow many of the same rules, one of those being the convention that speakers shouldn't abruptly swap positions during a scene. Cinema calls this the 180-degree rule. While this rule can and sometimes should be broken, doing so always calls attention to the violation, which is unwarranted here. So it might seem that panel four is following all the rules. But it's also wrong.

From the position of the reader, when the alien Rangor tells Booster Gold to "look," he points behind Booster to the left. In sequential art, where each panel represents a specific moment in a sequence, Rangor is essentially pointing the reader backwards in time. The figures in the panel should be posed such that Rangor points to the right, visually guiding the reader's eye to the issue's big reveal on the story's last page.

In the original publication, this is especially egregious as page 21 was printed on the left side of a two page spread!

When the issue was reprinted in Booster Gold: Future Lost, DC had the good sense to revise this so that page 21 was printed on the righthand side. The reader has to turn the page to uncover the surprise ending. It's a big improvement.

While we're here, I'd be amiss not to call attention to the contribution to these panels by colorist Gene D'Angelo. The first panel is a primarily an unsettling orange. Then each panel becomes progressively cooler in color temperature — pink, light blue, dark blue — as Booster's hot-blooded threat is chilled by the villain's machinations. It's a very nice touch (that looks even better with Jurgens' pyramidal layout).

Did I say this wasn't my favorite page? I might have to rethink that.

Booster Gold comics: even when they're bad, they're good!

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan jurgens favorite pages gene d'angelo sequential art ty templeton

Friday, March 17, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Justice League 6

My Favorite Pages

Every time I read Justice League #6, I'm surprised that I like it as much as I do.

For some reason, I always think it is going to disappoint me. I'm not sure why. Maybe that's because I know Booster plays a diminished role. Maybe it's because The Creeper annoys me.

What I am sure of is that page 6 is my favorite page, explicitly because of the Batman joke in those three panels in the middle of the page (which inexplicably mirror-images the punchline-panel — Booster's hair should be parted his left and Canary's on her right).

© DC Comics

Is it just me, or does it seem like DeMatteis and Giffen were originally trying to pair Black Canary and Booster before the Blue/Gold team developed? Ah, well. Canary was too cool for Booster anyway (no matter where her hair was parted).

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: batman black canary favorite pages justice league

Friday, February 24, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Justice League Annual 1

My Favorite Pages

My favorite page from Justice League Annual #1 has little to do with Booster Gold directly but still relates very much with it means for him to be a member of the Justice League (as well as demonstrating why Martian Manhunter is the League's metaphorical heart).

© DC Comics

Also, I really appreciate the placement of the "End," in no small part because Black Canary would not.

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Friday, February 17, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Booster Gold 20

My Favorite Pages

Despite being published in the late 1980s, the two-issue story of Booster Gold versus the Rainbow Raider in Booster Gold #19 and #20 has the feel of a Bronze Age Superman comic where "realism" and "fantasy" share the same panels.

Superhero comics are inherently absurd, so sometimes it's best to lean in on the silliness. Take, for example, page 8, my favorite of Booster Gold #20:

© DC Comics

Rainbows, beefcake, and a Don Herbert Mister Wizard reference. I love it!

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: favorite pages jack soo rainbow raider

Friday, February 10, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Justice League 5

My Favorite Pages

If you don't remember life before the Internet, you may not realize how much harder it was back then for young people to find a community who shared your interests outside of mainstream pop culture.

I distinctly recall being teased quite mercilessly in high school for admitting in front of the class that my ideal Saturday night was staying home and watching Tom Baker Doctor Who reruns on PBS. (I can't say much has changed.)

Which is why, once I'd found friends who liked to quote Star Wars and watch Japanese cartoons, we especially cherished the things that brought us together. Such as comic books.

Especially when those comic books had something really cool in them.

Like that time Batman punched out Guy Garner in Justice League #5.

© DC Comics

Like Blue Beetle, we talked about that forever. Which is why, despite having very little Booster Gold content — he's present but off panel — this is one of my very favorite pages of all time.

© DC Comics

(Seriously. Why isn't this a movie yet, Warner Bros?)

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