Mile High Comics is having an auction of stuff they had lying around, and one of the items is so cool that Chuck Rozanski is opening the bidding to people by phone. It's the complete color guide to FF #88 in its original folder.
He expects it to go for $1,000-$2,000, which is a wide range, but I'm betting it may go higher. Color guides aren't that in-demand, but a complete guide--in its original folder--for a key SA comic, I think could be in demand. It's not original art, but it was in the Marvel offices in this form (and was probably colored by Marie Severin), so that's got a coolness factor--and it's cheaper than any one page of the original art by at least a factor of 10, so in that regard, it's actually cheap.
So if you've got some cash lying around, take a look:
http://www.milehighcomics.com/newsletter/111413retail.html (I updated the link to where it ended up after it was the first newsletter item).
In the past, at least, magazine covers typically were done on a sheet-fed printer with better capabilities, owing to their prominence and the use of fancier, glossier stock. The interiors are done as 16-page forms in a roll that goes really fast and can't achieve the same quality.
I haven't seen it done with comics, but I've watched magazines getting printed this way, and I assume it'd work the same.
The information was probably in the color guide that the printer needed, but the printer would have to translate it. If every color has been coded to its percentages, he can just code those in without having to actually look at the page and think about it.
Thanks again. Would you know why the faster printers couldn't achieve the same quality? Perhaps, not as many colour graduations were used?
Since I bought Mystery in Space #55 (NOV59) when I was eleven, I noticed the beast more than I did Alanna. But I digress.
Ewww...whose wrinkled fingers are those, turning the pages?
I imagine the color limitations had to do with the speed of the press and the way they had to be cut and folded, but I don't really know. It might have been the paper stock too.
I imagine those are Chuck Rozanski's fingers in the photo, but it could be someone else on staff. In this form we also know nobody's been touching the pages for 40 years!
BTW, I updated the original link, as it's got a more precise address now that it's not the first newsletter item any more. The page has a couple more photos and some info about it.