The E-Mailbox has been filling up with questions while I’ve been away teaching, so this week I’ll do what I can to answer some of them:

The original Green Arrow is named Oliver Queen. Is there a story of who Mort Weisinger named Ollie after or do you know how he came to be named? (We know that Roy Harper is named after a college friend of Mort’s.)
Scott

I’ve never heard any stories of where Ollie got his name, but it is quite possible that it was inspired by Ellery Queen, a prominent mystery writer of the era. (Ellery Queen was both the character in the novels and the author of the books, though the latter was actually a collaboration of cousins Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay.)

Many writers (including yours truly) name characters after people they know. Some, like Ray (The Atom) Palmer, named by editor Julius Schwartz after science fiction editor Raymond A. Palmer, are with us forever. Others make a single appearance and then disappear.

Was the Silver Ghost your original creation?
Mark Christopher

No, the character was created in FREEDOM FIGHTERS #1 by Gerry Conway. I did create his Earth-X origin and the rest of the back-story, as revealed in this column a few weeks ago.


BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
This is the concluding installment of the 4-part themed quiz:
38. Ulu Vakk came to Earth to join the Legion as what hero?
39. Spooky and Casper were pals of what red-clad lass?
40. Pair of titles that have John Byrne art and share a word: ____ SQUAD and ____ + 1; what’s that word?
41. One ‘Mazing Man story featured the child of Eddie and Brenda; who was that title character?
42. Sgt. Rocky (a.k.a. Sgt. Rocky) debuted in what magazine?
43. This western hero got a name change when his was taken over by a cycle-riding hothead; what two names did he have?
44. A native American became Johnny Storm’s college roommate; who was he?
45. Late in the run of HOLLYWOOD FUNNY FOLKS, what character took over the book and the title?
46. Chasing Peter Pan was what villainous pirate?
47. Of the original group of Marvel heroes, which one modified his “costume” most often?
48. Dangling by a thread over whose head was a massive block of stone?
49. Eventually he ended up in the Phantom Zone, but what Kandorian was Flamebird?
50. Snapper Carr was a resident of what Rhode Island town?


BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. There have been two baseball teams named the Washington Senators. The first became the Minnesota Twins; the second became the Texas Rangers.
2. Basketball’s Los Angeles Lakers are not named for any bodies of water in California. The team moved from Minnesota, the “Land of 1,000 Lakes.”
3. The Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team that plays in New York. The NY Jets and NY Giants play their home games in New Jersey.


MORE FROM THE E-MAILBOX:

Do you still hold chats anywhere?
Peter Gatt

I’ve been away from the chatrooms for the past few weeks during my teaching stint in the Johns Hopkins University summer program, but I’ll be back in my Monday night AOL chat (Private Room: Anything Goes) on August 7th at 10:00
ET. I realize that many of my readers here (and even folks with AOL access from outside the USA) cannot get into that chat, but experiments with alternate locations proved to be a major hassle for my “regulars.” I’m open to trying another locale IF it’s as easily accessible and usable as an AOL chatroom.

What is Clark Kent’s Social Security number? Supposedly, this was given in an old issue of ACTION COMICS or SUPERMAN, but I’m not sure. Help me, Answer Man!
John Tamburri

I have not been able to locate an issue with it, but that doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. However, I suspect Clark’s SS number is either 123-45-6789 or the actual number of one of the people who worked on the story. Were you planning on trying to use this information (along with his mother’s maiden name -Clark – and his date of birth – June 18th) to get a credit card in his name?

Hey, Bob, I’m really enjoying your column, but I was hoping you could tell us more about the inside goings on at DC and the comics biz. Dish, pal!
– Unsigned [E-mail address invalid]

Well, there are things I can talk about and things that I can’t (or sometimes won’t) talk about. In any case, see below for the beginning of a new feature.

Also, Unsigned, you missed out on your chance to take an extra 10% off anything you order here at SBC. That’s something that Scott, Mark, Peter, and John will be able to do. In fact, all the readers whose questions get used in this column can take advantage of that bonus. Send your questions using that convenient little box in the column on the left right now!


DREAMS, HOAXES & IMAGINARY STORIES (PLUS RUMORS, LEGENDS AND MYTHS) OF THE COMICS BUSINESS

Okay, you want to know some secrets? As I said above, there are things I can talk about and things I can’t. And then there are the stories that everybody in the industry seems to know:

  • When DC moved from 909 Third Avenue to 75 Rockefeller Plaza in 1973, a massive amount of original art disappeared en route. Though no one was ever prosecuted, it was widely believed that the theft had been orchestrated by a very prominent artist of the time. Indeed, it was much of said artist’s work that was missing.

 

  • Legend has it that the stain on the rug in front of Carmine Infantino’s office at 909 Third Avenue was the result of an editor who’d had a “liquid lunch” upchucking one afternoon.
  • The there’s the story that Joe Shuster, suffering from vision problems, was forced to take a job as a messenger in New York City. One day, he delivered a package to the DC offices and either was recognized or made mention of who he was. Rather than get the red carpet treatment, he was shown the door and told to never return again.

    IN QUOTATION MARKS:

    “What a shame that all these young people are entering the industry.” – Gil Kane, to my wife Laurie, circa 1973, shortly after I joined the DC staff.


    I’ve got to go read twelve short stories written by twelve very gifted young writers. But I’ll be back here again next week with a story about the bizarre connection between serial killer Son of Sam and the comic book industry. Join me back here in seven days.

    BobRo

    TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWERS:
    38. Color Kid
    39. Wendy the Witch
    40. Doomsday
    41. Sam the Baby
    42. Our Army at War
    43. Ghost Rider, Night Rider
    44. Wyatt Wingfoot
    45. Nutsy Squirrel
    46. Captain Hook
    47. Iron Man
    48. Shazam
    49. Ak-Var
    50. Happy Harbor
    And what was the theme? Our fifty states, in the order they joined the union, represented by the two-letter postal abbreviation somewhere in the answer. (DE, PA, NJ, GA, CT, MA, MD, SC, NH, VA, NY, NC, RI, VT, KY, TN, OH, LA, IN, MS, IL, AL, ME, MO, AR, MI, FL, TX, IA, WI, CA, MN, OR, KS, WV, NV, NE, CO, ND, SD, MT, WA, ID, WY, UT, OK, NM, AZ, AK, HA)

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


 

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