HELLO… OR HELLO AGAIN!
I’m Bob Rozakis and I’m the “new kid on the block” here at SBC, though the title apparently doesn’t hold for long – the person who had it before me had it for only two weeks before I showed up. In any case, whether you’re one of my AOL Monday night chatroom regulars, a fan of my Daily Anything Goes Trivia Quiz at World Famous Comics [www.wfcomic.com/trivia], a reader of my short-lived column at Comic Book Life, or a Silver Bullet Comics fan who found a new page to read…welcome to my new home.
The bio on the left fills you in on the nuts and bolts of my career, so I can skip that. What I will tell you is that I intend to use this column for a variety of tales of my twenty-seven years in the comics business, reviews, a weekly trivia quiz (usually built around a theme), and answering questions.
Ah, yes…answering questions. If there is any part of my career that has made more of an impression than being the Answer Man, I don’t know what it is. I’ve written hundreds of stories, was responsible for bringing the production of DC’s comics into the 20th century (and the 21st) and wrote the letter columns for numerous books for years, but it is the Answer Man sobriquet that is most remembered.
A man at a nearby table in a restaurant overheard me talking about comic books with an editor, asked who I was, and when I told him, he exclaimed, “The Answer Man!” A woman I taught with in the Johns Hopkins University summer program for gifted students proclaimed that she had grown up reading my columns, prompting another of the teachers to say, “That was YOU!? YOU’RE the Answer Man?!” Even here at SBC, Big Kahuna Jason’s first contact was based on my Answer Man reputation.
That portion of my career has paid off over the years, too. Back in 1980, there was an electronic game called the Quiz Wiz. You punched in the number of one of 1001 questions, picked your answer from one of the four offered and it beeped or blinked if you were correct. There were more than twenty varieties of Quiz Wiz manufactured, from Sports to Music, from the Ocean to the Bible. I was selected to write the Super-Heroes edition and I have to tell you, coming up with 1001 questions about DC characters was a lot harder than you might think. (Actually, I had to come up with 1026; they wanted 25 extras in case they rejected any. They went with the first 1001 and the last 25 have never seen the light of day.)
Much more recently, I was hired by Cross Generation Comics editor Barbara Kesel to write the questions for the Trivia Contest they sponsored at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando, Florida. A hundred and twenty multiple-choice questions, evenly split between pre-1975 and post-1975 categories were provided to test the knowledge of such comics luminaries as Stan Lee, John Romita, and Roy Thomas. I’ve heard the event was a big success, but no one’s fessed up on how well the celebs did.
So, as I mentioned above, one of the mainstays here will be a weekly trivia quiz. If you’ve ever been to my weekly chatroom or belong to one of the emailing lists I’m on, you already know that I will do a dozen or so questions that are all somehow related, and that I often provide an extra clue in the first letters of the questions. To wit…
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
1. Navajo Flying Ace who later became a Loser
2. One of few brother-sister combos in comics; Marie’s the sister, who’s the brother?
3. The comic strip Frank Robbins wrote and drew
4. A mainstay of Julie Schwartz’s writing staff, he scripted the majority of the Flash and Green Lantern stories
5. One version of the origin calls them Eben and Sarah; what’s his name when she’s called Mary?
6. Not Ma Hunkel…the OTHER Red Tornado.
7. Everyone recognizes America’s Typical Teenager; who was head honcho at the company that brought him to life?
8. Newsreel photographer turned super-speedster
9. A schoolmaster who blackens his hair to fight outlaws
10. Mrs. Richards’ brother, who used to shout “Flame on!”
11. E-MAN #’s 6-10 featured his early art in a back-up feature
12. Diane Mead often partnered with this detective
13. Delineator of Little Lulu
14. On Borrowed Time Club member who owes seven years in club dues
15. ERB’S “ambassador” to Helium
The answers appear at the end of the column.
So, where do we go from here? Well, since the title of this column is “It’s BobRo…the Answer Man,” I’d say that your questions will be an important part of it. Whether it’s a question about a specific bit of information or a more general one about the history of the industry, I’ll do my best to answer them here. And (thanks to the folks here at SBC), the best questions will earn discounts on stuff you order. Plus, just like in the olden days of my DC career, you get your name in print. (Okay, so it’s not as special as having it appear in an actual comic book, but someday I’ll collect all these columns into a published tome and then you’ll be immortalized!)
Reviews will also be a part of the column. I grew up in an era of comics when editors demanded individual stories that had a beginning, middle and end. I worked for people like Julius Schwartz who expected his writers to fit more plot in an eight-page story than most writers today use in a six-month run on a title. To that end, I’m critical of never-ending sagas and appreciative of creative teams who give me an entertaining story in a single issue. (Anyone wishing to send books to be reviewed should contact me at BobRo@silverbulletcomicbooks.com for the mailing address.)
Finally, I’ll be talking about my twenty-seven years in the comics business, the things that I’ve had a hand in, and those I’ve seen happening around me. In the coming weeks, I’ll pick up on a topic that I’d been covering in the Comic Book Life column: CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE. I had reviewed most of the material contained therein and was just about to tell all about the Freedom Fighters/ Secret Society of Super-Villains / Justice Society crossover when the site went on “indefinite hiatus.” That fabled crossover has been discussed in various forums over the years, but I’m the one who wrote the scripts (and I’ve still got copies), so you’ll want to be here for the whole story.
Till next time, see you in the online comics shop!
TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWERS:
1. Johnny Cloud
2. John Severin
3. Johnny Hazard
4. John Broome
5. John Kent
6. John Smith
7. John Goldwater
8. Johnny Chambers a.k.a. Quick
9. John Tane a.k.a. Johnny Thunder
10. Johnny Storm
11. John Byrne
12. John Jones a.k.a. J’onn J’onzz, Manhunter from Mars
13. John Stanley
14. Johnny Peril
15. John Carter
I presume that I don’t need to explain this particular theme.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.