- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-5 of 64 matching: interview
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
As all Booster boosters of a certain age know, when Michael Jon "Booster" Carter first came to the 20th century back in 1985, he started a company he called Goldstar, Inc. in honor of his originally intended alter ego (which he fumbled naming in front of the United States president).
The name "Goldstar" was used a lot in the first year of Booster's adventures, eventually becoming the name of Booster's sidekick. And then, after a trip back to the future, Booster renamed his company "Booster Gold Incorporated" with very little explanation why.
Which is not to say that there wasn't a reason.
The answer lies in Russ Burlingame's exclusive interview with Dan Jurgens in a book I'm sure I haven't mentioned around here yet, The Gold Exchange: The Boosterrific Deluxe Edition:
Burlingame: It's funny. I was talking to someone younger than me, recounting the story of how Booster was originally Goldstar. And I said that I always wondered whether that was because of Goldstar, the electronics manufacturer, and whether you had really made that change, rather than it just being a throwaway gag. But that person was younger than me, so they had no idea what the company was that I was even talking about.
Jurgens: Yes. Yeah, it was, by the way. That's exactly what it was: we were into it, I had done Goldstar, and Booster's sister as well, but ultimately, they said "We've got to work away from this," and it was because there was a company out there called Goldstar, which none of us were aware of when I first started using that name. So I was like, "Okay, we've got to roll with that one too."
So yes, that is 100% true.
To be clear, United States trademark law protects a "word, phrase, or design" that distinguishes a company's goods and services from its competitors' similar goods. Therefore, while it was in Booster's best interest to rename his licensing company to avoid confusion with pre-existing international electronics company GoldStar (which you can tell your kids became part of what is now known as LG Corporation), there's no reason DC can't keep using "Goldstar" as a character name.
And now you know... the rest of the story.
Friday, September 23, 2022
Wednesday, I recalled my opinion about the short-lived Booster Gold / Harley Quinn romance. More important than my feelings about this topic, though, are the feelings of Booster Gold's creator, Dan Jurgens, who revealed them in an exclusive interview with Russ Burlingame, as quoted in The Gold Exchange: The Boosterrific Deluxe Edition pages 603-4:
Burlingame: [In an earlier interview, writer Tom King] did seem to suggest that, had he known he was doing The Gift at the same time you were doing Booster Shot over in Action Comics, he likely would have gone a different way with it, since it was so strange to see [Booster] doing two opposing things at the same time.
Jurgens: Yeah. At the same time, I do think characters have to have a little bit of elasticity to them, and it was kind of a fine line in terms of how it might have worked. I also thought that in a book like Heroes in Crisis, it was nice to have Booster included, and I thought it became a good mix of characters that way. I thought that Booster and Harley made a really interesting pairing that was interesting to read, and they played off each other very well, I thought.
Jurgens: Which I think the internet reacted to quite badly, is that right? Or at least a good portion of it?
Burlingame: I think it was less about Booster and more about the feeling that they had just set up Harley to have this amazing relationship with Poison Ivy, and they were killing her off. And then probably part of that was jettisoning a same-sex relationship for a heterosexual one.
Jurgens: Right. I think... could Booster and Harley work? Yes. Could you possibly attract fans who are interested in that relationship? Probably also yes. I don't think there's a right and wrong. I think that if you write it well, you can get people invested in it.
Burlingame: That one just didn't have time to be written well, because the blowback was so instantaneous, and DC didn't seem to see it coming.
Jurgens: Yeah, I think that's right.
Jurgens is such a nice guy. If he doesn't have a problem pairing Booster and Harley, I shouldn't have one either. I can live with that.
Thanks to Russ for asking the question and giving permission to reprint it here.
Friday, September 16, 2022
To borrow another quote from Tom King's interview with Russ Burlingame exclusive to The Gold Exchange The Boosterrific Edition book:
Booster puts up a lot of shields — he's got forcefields; it's a good metaphor — but he puts up a lot of shields around himself, and some of those shields hide a lot of depth.
I couldn't agree more with that. If there's anything that Booster Gold is known for, it's his over-the-top confidence, but that confidence is often just an act, a projection of how Booster *wants* people to see him.
Rarely is the difference between Booster's private and public persona more visible than in my favorite page from Booster Gold volume 1 #9, the scene in which Michael Jon "Booster" Carter officially becomes Booster Gold.
Golly, I miss thought balloons in comics.
That "At least it's... different!" really sums up another key aspect of Booster's personality: his determination to make the best of every situation (even when he's responsible for making the current situation so bad).
He might be a time traveler, but Booster Gold is always looking forward.
Monday, September 12, 2022
You know, for someone who says I don't like Tom King's work, I somehow dedicate a lot of space on this blog to him. What can I say? The guy's just kind of hard to ignore, especially when he tweets things like this:
That's the book cover under the dust jacket of the Human Target Volume 1 hardcover coming our way September 27. Yeah, we've seen that art before — it was created by Greg Smallwood for the interior of Human Target #1. But it's still Boosterrific no matter how many times we see it.
While I'm on the topic, this would seem to be a great time to mention that Russ Burlingame has an exclusive interview with Tom King in The Gold Exchange: The Boosterrific Deluxe Edition. With Russ's permission, I'm quoting starting from page 594 here:
Burlingame: You said earlier that you write Booster "wrong." That feels like a healthy way of internalizing audience feedback, just to crack the joke and say "I know 30% of everyone reading this are going to bitch, and that's fine."
King: I mean, I say "right" and "wrong," but I wouldn't change the way that I write. I just wrote Booster for Human Target, and I loved how those pages turned out. Yeah, my Booster's a little goofier and a little sillier, and I know it's not going to please everyone, but it's my job to make the best product I can, and that's the best product I see.
If I'm just trying to write the way everyone wants me to write, then I'll write crappy. I know it's going to turn out worse if I try to do it the other way.
My general opinion is that there are a lot of superheroes who are super-competent and super good in the DC Universe, and it's nice to have one who's not that way. It's what makes him interesting and funny. It's nice to have a guy who can make jokes, and that when you read him, it can make you laugh. That's what I like about Booster; he's not like all the other superheroes.
To me, it's the difference between what Iron Man was up until Robert Downey, Jr. and what he is now. He was just a generic, boring guy, and yeah, he had alcoholism, but that was basically it. And then Robert Downey, Jr. came along, and it was like, "What if we made this guy so arrogant it was funny?" And then we're like, "Oh, yeah. Now he's a [effing] great character."
Burlingame: In Human Target, it isn't just Booster, but the entire Justice League International. Do you approach Booster a little differently as part of that unit?
King: I knew I was taking the Keith Giffen/JLI version as opposed to the Dan Jurgens, more heroic version. I wanted to make sure I had it down, so I talked to Dan about it and he was like, "Well, Booster is a guy who doesn't mind making money off being a superhero," so I wanted to make a thing where he was making money off being a superhero, so I put Booster's Bagels in there.
I just started to put captions back in my writing. I haven't used captions since The Vision, so that's like seven years without captions. The whole point of Human Target is, he goes through each JLI member and kind of cuts to the core of them at some point and says why they're awesome, or what's at their heart. So it gave me a chance, using Chance's voice, to say what I love about the character.
So Booster is Booster. And "Yeah, Booster's a joke, but aren't they all? At least this one's funny" is I think his great Booster line.
We can agree on that, at least. Booster Gold *is* funny.
Thanks for the interview (and the book), Russ!
Monday, August 15, 2022
Tales of the Human Target is due to arrive in your Local Comic Shop next week, on August 23. Tales is an anthology book, with stories featuring Guy Gardner, Fire, and Booster Gold. According to Newsarama @ gamesradar.com, Booster Gold was chosen because that's who Kevin Maguire wanted to draw. I'm very much okay with that.
That Newsarama article hyperlinked above is an interview between Grant DeAmitt and Tom King about a whole bunch of Human Target-related stuff. Importantly for Booster boosters, it includes an on-the-record discussion about why King keeps putting a dumbed-down version of Booster Gold in his stories:
Nrama: Okay, moving on, the next character that's in Tales is Booster Gold.
King: My favorite character in comics. I love writing him.
Nrama: Oh yeah?
King: I tell Dan Jurgens all the time, 'thank you for creating this character.' Even if I write him a little differently than Dan would write him, because Dan writes him a little smarter than I write him. I write him a little more goofy. But I love that sort of goofiness of him.
Nrama: Is that what attracts you to the character? The goofiness?
King: There are two things that attract me. Number one, I write these tragic, sad things. I never get to write funny. I love writing funny. I love comedy. It's a chance to get into that. And yeah, there's this like, don't tell anybody this, but I base him kind of on Futurama, on Zapp Brannigan and Kiff. You know how Skeets is his partner who, like, loves him and hates him at the same time? I love that.
I also love – this is the thing I got from Jurgens. What Jurgens understands about this character is, that in the end, Booster does the right thing and doesn't get credit for it. He's the superhero who's like, yes, he first thinks of himself. Yes, he first thinks of money. Yes, he's a goofball. But at the end of the day, he's really a really good person. He really is self-sacrificial. But just because of all that other bravado stuff, nobody gets to see that part of it. He's one of the nicest, best heroes in the DC Universe. Everyone assumes that because he's a goofball, he's not good. And I love that about him.
Nrama: So in the beginning of Tales, when he has that monologue about being just like Superman, he's actually right? He's closer to Superman than we give him credit for.
King: People forget that in 52, the big DC event, he was the Superman for a time. A character called Supernova. So again, you read that and you're laughing at him, but there is something in him that's just a little Superman.
The craziest part about Booster is that he had the stupidest plan in the world. He's like, I'm going to go into the past. I'm going to steal a bunch of tech and go back and be a superhero. And then he actually did it! He executed the stupidest plan, and it worked! There's something Brave and Bold about that.
That said, all jokes — and my personal appreciation for King's ouevre — aside, I don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying Booster Gold for whatever reason they find to enjoy him, even if their reason isn't mine.
Live and let Booster Gold.
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