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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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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rich Editor Loves Gold released a "DC Tales From the Vault" episode promoting Batman on Tuesday, and it includes Batman Group Editor Jamie Rich reading his own fan letter published in Booster Gold #7 (1986).

Here's the original letter so that you can read along:

To the press agents of Boo$ter Gold, I think BOOSTER GOLD is excellent. It's something wonderfully new. The first issue came out and I became hooked. What can I say? I laughed. I cried. it became a part of me. I anxiously waited for number two to come out. I sat in my chair all week, sweat dripping down my face and spitting shards of nails on the floor. Finally, Friday came. I ditched school and rushed to Pee Wee Comics. I tore my way to the rack, knocking down people on the way (including the bearded guy with about 40 comics). I rushed to the end of the rack and grabbed Booster's book. I chucked the .75 the guy's eye and ran all the way home. (I wonder if my dad's still waiting for me to come back to the car?) I turned the. TV to The Twilight Zone and settled down to read BOOSTER GOLD. I LOVED THE CRAZY THING!!! The only thing wrong was I had to wait another month for #3!!! So we'll skip the boring parts and move up to the present. I have read BOOSTER #3, and once again, you AMAZE me!! The art and story were the best you could have produced. The characters that have been used were wonderful, and now you bring in Thorn, another great character. Uh·oh. I just thought of something. I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER MONTH FOR #4!!! Jamie S. Rich 6625 Oesoto Ave. #14 Canogoa Park, CA 91303

Rich wasn't named Batman Group Editor until April, and Tom King's referenced Booster Gold story, "The Gift," was already deep in production by then. So we won't judge Rich too harshly for that fiasco. (I refuse to believe that any OG Booster booster like Rich would have let King lobotomize our hero if he could have stopped him!)

You get a pass this time, Rich. But know that Booster Gold fans are watching you extra closely now!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Klein Strikes Gold in the DC Comics Offices

For the purposes of this website, Todd Klein is known as the man who created the original Booster Gold title logo. In addition to being a great letterer — he's perhaps best known for his work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman — Klein is also a comics fan and historian.

Over on his blog,, Klein's latest history project involves the 1980s occupants of the DC Comics offices at 666 5th Avenue, New York. This was the time period that Booster Gold was born, and our hero makes an occasional cameo appearance as Klein discusses many of the editors staff artists involved in the production of comics of the era.

DC Comics Editor Barbara Kesel at work in 666 5th Avenue

In the photo above, you'll see Booster Gold #25 on the shelf behind DC editor Barbara Kesel. Other photos in the 6-part article identify the offices of Booster Gold editors Janice Race and Alan Gold. You'll even find a pic of young Dan Jurgens with his fellow Superman writers.

If you have any interest in the history of DC Comics, you'll find the whole article at

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Booster Gold Appeared Before Superman

Every Friday for the past ten years, Brian Cronin has run a regular "Comic Book Legends Revealed" post that clarifies some common misconceptions about comic book history. This past Friday, Booster Gold got a turn. Specifically, Superman's appearance in Booster Gold #6.

COMIC LEGEND: The first comic book appearance of the Post-Crisis Superman was in the pages of Booster Gold!

STATUS: I’m Going With True

[I]n the pages of Booster Gold #6 (by Dan Jurgens and Mike DeCarlo), Booster met Superman for the first time. ... Superman doesn't recognize the Legion of Superheroes flight ring, because THAT’s the Post-Crisis Superman!

They essentially confirm it in the letter pages of Booster Gold #10, when people wrote in asking why Superman didn't recognize the ring.

Cronin included many great pictures with his article, but not the letter in reference. So here it is:

Dear Dan and Mike, 
Just a short letter to let you know how much I'm enjoying BOOSTER GOLD. Number 6 was no exception, his origin is proving as intriguing as previous issues promised. For example, Booster comes from 500 years in the future yet he has weapons from the Legion who come come from 1000 years in the future. I see that the Legion will be appearing in a couple of future issues so hopefully this anomaly will be resolved. Also, Skeels mentions a

Read Cronin's whole analysis and reasoning (with many, many pictures) at

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Did He Just Say?

Are you wondering what Peraxxus was saying as he gave Guy Gardner a Parallax-sized beat down in yesterday's Justice League International #4? Well, now you can translate the trash talk with this handy Peraxxus Cryptographic Language Key!

Peraxxus to English translation key

To get you started, Peraxxus' first line of the issue is "The alarm! There is an intruder!"

Beware: Peraxxus' speech contains a couple of typos. And for some reason, the standalone first-person singular pronoun "I" is represented by three different glyphs! Do no DC editors speak Peraxxian? (Note to letterer Travis Lanham: it looks like no one's looking, so go nuts! I understand that if you are clever enough about it, you can start sneaking your friend's names into the book. Just ask Jim Pesl.)

If you'd rather simply read the translations than try to decipher them yourself, you'll find them in the issue annotations here.

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