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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Booster Pyynk, Part 1 of 2

As part of my continuing quest to spotlight those brave souls willing to wear the Gold at comic conventions nationwide, I asked cosplayer Pyynk, also known as Brian Wilder, if he would be willing to share his experiences cosplaying Booster Gold. This is what he had to say.

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Boosterrific: Can you describe your relationship with Booster Gold?

Pyynk: While I'd noticed Booster before, it wasn't until the 52 maxi series though that I really "got" why he was awesome. Here was a normal guy, one who really doesn't have superpowers, thrust into extraordinary circumstances and attempting to make up for a somewhat checkered past. Being a fan of Westerns as well, that sort of formula is pretty much right up my alley.

Once Geoff Johns' Booster Gold solo series started up post 52, I was hooked. Wanting to know more, I sought out his earlier appearances in Justice League International and... wow. Superheroes on a team who legitimately liked each other, sharp and witty dialogue that almost bounced off the page, and a Batman who wasn't a jerk; great stuff that made me a fan of Booster, Blue Beetle, and Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire.

Not surprisingly, the same traits that made me a fan of Booster's made me follow similar characters, among them Union Jack, Bucky Barnes, Tara Chace of Rucka's Queen and Country, and Jonah Hex. All of them normal, flawed people in extraordinary circumstances. And yes, Booster's appearance in All-Star Western was fist pumping fun.

Boosterrific: What led you to costume as Booster Gold?

Pyynk: Well, remember earlier when I mentioned that one of the things that I loved about the JLI was the interactions between the team members? Sometimes real life is like that too. By 2007, I'd been costuming as the Batman: The Animated Series Joker for six years and at that time it was my only costume. One of my friends, Drew Palmer, noticed how much fun I was having and he told me considered costuming, but the only way he'd do it would be as the Blue Beetle. I told him that if he'd commit to Blue Beetle I'd make Booster Gold. He and I debuted our initial take on the Blue and Gold at Dragon*Con that next year. It surprised me then just how overwhelmingly positive fan reaction was. Sure, it helped that Drew is one of my best friends so our banter is real, but the love fans had for both characters was infectious for both us and for our friends.

Slowly, but surely we've added to our informal JLI team. While Drew is more likely to costume as the Elongated Man these days, I still costume as Booster, Drew's wife Heather put together Fire, we talked a couple into costuming as Guy Gardner and Ice, we've got a Power Girl and Blue Beetle. Thanks to even MORE friends with the Superhero Costuming Forum [ ], we even managed to snare a few pictures with G'Nort one year.

As for why I do it, it's a good excuse for one thing to step out of yourself and have some fun. It's even more fun to do something like this with friends. And while I've got other costumes I really enjoy, I'd have to say Booster is my favorite.

Thank you, Brian. The second half of this interview will be posted later this week.

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