During a recent search for information to answer some questions, I came across an envelope of goodies I had stashed away over the years. Some of them will be used in upcoming columns that will run while I’m away on my annual six-week teaching stint for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth summer program.
This week and next, however, I want to share a variety of letters I received during my early years at DC…
<< Dear Batman,
I know your real identity Batman and Robin’s too. Batman is Bruce Wayne and Robin’s is Dick. I think I no where the Batcave is. Alfred knows your identity too. Know one has tolled me about your identitys. I just guesst.
RAYMOND B., Liberty, NY >>
<< Dear Editor:
Clark Kent is quite the hero in the eyes of the public. But is he a man or not? When ever I read of him and the females he encounters you can count on him to act like a spineless steel structure. The women he feels at ease with are too concerned with being equal. Come now, is it true Clark Kent can be shy? Please send him to a doctor or give him his manhood.
LOUIS B., New Milford, NJ >>
This was a P.S. on a letter…
<< Sorry if my handwriting is a little hard to read and I cross out a lot – I’m a little shaky ‘cause I’m on my honeymoon.
DAN V., North Arlington, NJ >>
<< I’m sorry I couldn’t send a $1.50 money order. They had no more $1.50 money orders. They just had $500 and $300 and $200 and even $10 but they had no more $1.50 money orders. I hope you will take this $1.20 money order and 30 cents. Thank you. >>
<< Is Doctor Fate breaking the law when he calls himself Doctor when he doesn’t have a degree or anything? … If you think you can wiggle out of having Mera in the JLA by saying that she has to take care of Aquababy it won’t work because she is Queen of Atlantis so she can find a babysitter.
MICHAEL F., Ardill, Sask. >>
<< Dear Editor:
Since there is a Batgirl, I would like to know why there is not a girl for Robin. I guess it doesn’t make it that Robingirl would not be a good name but I would like to see a girl for Robin anyway.
SHANNON McC., >>
<< Dear Editor:
I think that Superman should try to be more romantic with Lois Lane. If he made a worthwhile pass at Lois she might be better off. In his identity as Superman he should take her out and at least make one pass at her. In the future I hope he makes more passes at her. One day soon I hope to see Lois Lane make a pass at Superman, just to see what he would do. Do you think Superman would take Lois to his apartment or do you think Lois would take him to her apartment? Do you have any of his and hers comic books? If you do, could you send me some please?
GARY F., Naranja, FL >>
Next week: More of these letters…
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Super-speed results from breathing what fumes?
2. A space flight through what might make you invisible?
3. You don’t buy Jay’s origin? What gave Barry the same power?
4. Sector 2814 lost Abin Sur because his ring could not protect him from what?
5. You might climb the walls too if you were bitten by what?
6. One way to charge up your space-craft batteries– or maybe just shock you and your siblings instead?
7. Unearthly emanations from what might metamorph your molecular makeup?
8. Robots become almost human when they have what faulty device installed?
9. Everyone else would develop cancer, but what might turn your skin green and your pants purple?
10. Want to shrink to atomic-size? Just grab a chunk of what?
11. Rann’s just a jump away thanks to what?
12. Once John Corben’s body was replaced, what did he need to power it?
13. Nowadays, the EPA would shut them down, but what was Monarch emptying into Gotham River?
14. Going to stretch your imagination? How about a drink of this?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL:
1. Multiplying the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds by 5 and adding 32 will give you the approximate temperature.
2. Most of the scientists working on the Manhattan Project did not know they were building an atomic bomb.
3. Coca-Cola will dissolve a healthy tooth in a matter of days.
I was wondering if you knew what happened to the Sand Creature from the Superman story where all Kryptonite on Earth was destroyed.
— Kai Jansson [firstname.lastname@example.org]
In SUPERMAN #242, the creature from Quarrm, returned to his home dimension after realizing what would happen if he and Superman went to war over the Man of Steel’s powers.
Any idea what the 1st appearence of Everette Hartsoe’s ‘Razor’?
— Charon Brujah (email@example.com)
It would appear to be RAZOR #0, which is cover-dated May, 1992. If it isn’t, I’m sure I’ll be hearing from someone who knows.
This isn’t a DC question, but it seems to deal with comic book arcana, so here you go. I was reading through my run of Walt Simonson THORs last night, and in a letter page commenting on THOR #337 (Walt’s first issue), among the ecstatic letter-writers (who included Art Adams and Larry Marder, by the way) was one very proud of himself for noticing “Erma, Henry, and Nico” in a crowd shot. The editor congratulated him for his mastery of comic book esoterica but didn’t comment further. This is really starting to bug me. Who are Erma, Henry, and Nico?
— Ken Jennings (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Comic books are full of inside jokes planted by artists and writers alike. I’ve looked at the letter you cite as well as the page the letter-writer comments upon, but I have no idea what the answer to your question is. Walt, if you’re out there… who ARE Erma, Henry and Nico?
Are there any reading recommendations you could give me in terms of “how the narration in comics works” apart from the works of Scott McCloud ?
— Joachim Klaeschen (email@example.com)
Scott (who worked for awhile as a Production Artists at DC when I was Production Director and said his time there resulted in his determination to keep ZOT! on schedule) has that market niche sewn up as far as I’m concerned. But we’re all always open to suggestions… anybody have another book to recommend?
I came across an auction on Amazon.com for The Atom story in ACTION COMICS #439 that was penciled by Tex Blaisdell. The seller claims that Tex Blaisdell was an alias that was used by Neal Adams. Do you know if this is true?
— Thom Young (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I know Neal and I knew Tex (he passed away last year) and I can state without a doubt that they are two separate and distinct individuals. I’ve even seen them in the same room together and neither one was a robot, an android, or some other artist in a clever disguise!
Phillip “Tex” Blaisdell had a long career in comics, the latter part of which he spent as an inker for DC. He worked initially with Bob Oksner inking the Superman books, then “graduated” to doing them on his own.
And just for the record, that Atom story, “Danger in Two Dimensions” was INKED by Tex. Dick Dillin did the pencils on the six-pager, from the script written by Martin Pasko.
That will do it for this week. As always, the folks whose letters appear get 10% off anything they purchase from Comics Unlimited in the next seven days. Get your questions answered and save a few bucks too – use the convenient box in the column on the left.
Comic book science is the theme this week.
1. Hard water fumes
2. Cosmic rays
3. Lightning and chemicals
4. Van Allen Belt radiation
5. A radioactive spider
6. Get zapped by a lightning monster on Korbal
7. The Orb of Ra
9. Gamma rays
10. White dwarf star
11. The Zeta-Beam
13. Chemical waste
It’s not comic book science, but actual fact. You can find more trivia at the daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.