TIME TO EMPTY THE EMAILBOX

We’ll be taking a break from the history of color separations to deal with the large pile of email that has been coming in.

I’d like your opinion of the state of letter columns of today, versus those from your days as an editor and a letter-writer.
 Rick Olney [Founder@ORCAfresh.net]

I think advances in computer technology and the growth of the internet have had a great effect on them.

Back in my letterhack days, the few fanzines that existed had limited circulation and the only place you could express your opinion about an issue of a comic was if you were lucky enough to have it printed in the letter column. Fans like Jerry Bails, Roy Thomas, Martin Pasko, Paul Gambicini, Guy H. Lillian III, Mike W. Barr, Rich Morrissey (and yours truly) became as familiar to readers as the characters in the books because of the interesting, well-written letters they sent – mostly to Julie Schwartz’s books.

When I crossed over to putting together the columns for Julie and a few other editors at DC, we had a substantial selection of letters to choose from. Julie, by the way, read every letter that came in. He would grade them based on originality, interesting comments, etc. and the ones with the highest grades would be used.

These days you’re far more likely to find the opinions of the modern-day counterparts to Bails, Thomas, et al posted on message boards or in e-zines than in the pages of the comics they’re talking about. (Come to think of it, you can find the work of some of those guys I named here too!)

Pressed for something to run, editors have filled letter columns with lots of graphics, “Wow! That issue was the greatest one ever!” letters, or musings of their own. Some books run contests to get readers to write. Some have just opted to drop the letters pages altogether. I find this a bit sad.

I still remember the thrill of having my first letter published way back in ADVENTURE COMICS #321 and I can’t imagine that there is that same feeling when you post something to a website message board. [Of course, by having your letter “printed” here, Rick, you – and the rest of the letter-writers in this column – will save 10% on anything you order this week from Comics Unlimited through SBC. None of the editors who ran my letters ever gave me a discount!]


Were there ever parallel-Earth (Earth-2, Earth-3, etc.) versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes?
 Scott Braden [robopowered@hotmail.com]

At the risk of being contradicted because of a gap in my memory, I’m going to say no.


BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
Part two of the three-part theme…
11. When Superboy first got his own magazine, so did Blaze the Wonder Collie; what year was it?
12. Exposed to a meteorite’s radiation, Iroquois Flying Stag became what hero?
13. Steve Englehart introduced a new girlfriend for Bruce Wayne; what was her name?
14. T’Chaka and N’Yami were the parents of what African hero?
15. In his Hornblower identity, Mal Duncan had a shofar; what IS a shofar?
16. “Snap” Wilson was a pawn of the Red Skull before adopting what identity?
17. What do Jonathan Kent and Roy G. Bivolo have in common?
18. Exposure to a passing comet allows Super-Horse to take on what identity?
19. Second BRAVE & BOLD team-up featured the King of what with whom?
20. Time for a real lit question: “Into the valley of death rode the six hundred” in what poem?

BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monument.
2. The Hundred Years War actually lasted from 1337 till 1453.
3. When opossums are “playing ‘possum,” they are not playing. They actually pass out in sheer terror.


MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

I don’t know if the Answer Man column is here to answer these questions, but here ghoes: Is Peter Milligan going to do anything soon? Will Alan Moore’s 1963 ever have it’s ending annual?
 Jose Aragao [josearagao@altitudesoftware.com]

I presume Peter is going to do something, but I guess you want to know about comic book work. A quick perusal of DIAMOND PREVIEWS did not turn up his name on anything, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t working on something.

As for the 1963 ANNUAL, count me as one of the folks who has been waiting for it since the miniseries appeared back in 1993. So far, though, we’re still waiting.


I really enjoyed your look at DIAL “H” FOR HERO, particularly the revelation about how you chose Chris and Vicki’s alter-egos at random. You mentioned, though, that Blackjack was Stephen DeStefano’s only published creation for the strip. I can think of one more: Zeep the Living Sponge, who was later revived in HERO HOTLINE.
 Writer Unidentified

You’re right. Zeep was a member of the HH Night Crew who actually got to work with the regulars in one of the issues. Stephen started drawing him into the stories and his campaign for a Heroes Union became a running gag in the series.

By the way, I apologize for losing your name. If you’ll contact me (and mention the other topic of your letter) I’ll see that you get the 10% discount too.


Could you give us an update on the status and likely outcome of the fight over the rights to Captain America? There was a big deal made in the comics press for awhile and then it just disappeared.
 Patrick Keller [gernworld@email.com]

Whatever is happening between Joe Simon and Marvel Comics is obviously being done outside the public arena. When it is resolved, I’m sure the story will resurface (over at our SBC News site, for one). As for the likely outcome, attorneys for both sides will probably make money.


CONVENTION ALERT: I’ll be one of the guests at UTICON at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY on Sunday, September 24th from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. This is a great little show with lots of guests (Joe Staton, Roger Stern, and Todd DeZago were among last year’s attendees) and lots of reasonably-priced comics stuff. Plus: a truckload of door prizes, including items from my own Cabinet of Goofy Stuff! Join us!


AND EVEN MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

A few years ago, someone posted in the RAC.dc universe news group Marv Wolfman’s plans for the “Children of the Sun” storyline before the Crisis changed his plans. Do you know what the original storyline was supposed to be?
 Randy Dere [dere@mail.com]

Sorry, I have to plead ignorance on this one. Marv, if you’re out there, maybe you could fill us in?


What was the first appearance of the Hyena, Firestorm’s “enemy”? And was Hyena actually Ronnie Raymond’s girlfriend Doreen?
 Tom Petersen [tompetersen@home.com]

The Hyena (who was not Doreen Day, but her sister Summer) first appeared in FIRESTORM #4.


Why can’t Rob Leifeld get the Alan Moore-scripted comics out on time?
 Thomas Holmes [holmest@etsu.edu]

Maybe he just needs a good Production Director.


When will Howard Mackie’s contract as writer on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN end? Are there any plans to replace him given the fans’ clamor?
 Jay Go [jgo@iberpacfic.com]
Will we ever see the end of Howard Mackie on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?
–Bill Gunn [goliath_returns@avengersassemble.net]

Now that Joe Quesada has taken over as editor-in-chief at Marvel, I think it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing a wide variety of changes.


Your FREEDOM FIGHTERS was one of my all-time favorite comics as a kid. I just came across them recently and reread them. They still stand up as great stories and characters. Was it the DC Implosion that did the comic in or low sales?
 Steven Kerzner [kerzner@idirect.com]

Sales. The DC Implosion was responsible for their return to Earth-X (in SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS) never being published. By the way, had the book continued, I had planned to have the FFers discover their home Earth had again been taken over by the Nazis.


Well, that made a small dent in the pile. Join me again next week as I try to work through the rest of the email. Meantime, if YOU have a comment or question, send it along using the handy box over in the left-hand column.

BobRo


TRIVIA ANSWERS:
11. 1949
12. Super-Chief
13. Silver Saint Cloud
14. Black Panther
15. A ram’s horn
16. The Falcon
17. Both were the Rainbow Raider
18. Bronco Bill
19. King of the Sea (Aquaman) and Hawkman
20. “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Tennyson

Need another trivia fix? Check out the Daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia

 

Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


 

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