Comic Book Color Keys? Anyone?

I need some educated assistance please.
I have an acquaintance who has a very large & eclectic collection of “stuff”. He ran a collectibles shop in the 80s & early nineties and he was very active on the convention scene. He’s sort of an isolated fellow with no family and his home is filled wall to wall with stuff he amassed.
Anyway, he has a few different comic book cover “color keys”. Marvel & DC. No real key issues but still really cool. I know nothing about these, but he says they are one of a kind and rare. He’s not the type to lie and he was buying up rare stuff like original art, etc for next to nothing in the eighties.

Anyone give me a crash course? Were these color keys something that could have been faked/forged? Truly rare?

I’ll likely purchase a couple but even searches don’t provide much insight.

Thx in advance!

It is my understanding they are a lot like in animation. A colorist does not usually work directly on the art itself but works on a copy instead. These were sent off to the editor to make notes and corrections. The idea of using the color key was so the original was not destroyed in the process if there was an error.

Check out these auctions, they kind of back up what I said.


there’s a handful of original color guides from dazzler # 33 coming up soon


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