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Monday, February 25, 2019
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 on cover stock via KleinLetters.com
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.
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!)
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 eBay.com today!
(And if you'd like more information about how comics are made, check out Todd Klein's fine blog at kleinletters.com or Klein's book co-written with Mark Chiarello, The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics.)
Friday, August 19, 2016
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, kleinletters.com, 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.
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 kleinletters.com.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
FYI: Late last week I traded emails with Todd Klein, longtime professional comic book letterer. (You can find his blog here, chock full of interesting comic book tidbits.) Todd confirmed that he was the original designer of the first Booster Gold masthead logo, and Rob Leigh designed the modern masthead logo. Everyone thank Mr. Klein for his contribution to the greatest character on this website.
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