I was a big fan of your version of the Teen Titans. Toward the end of the run, someone had stolen Mal’s horn. Who was it?
 Frederick Vaughn [freddyvaughn@hotmail.com]

Poor Mal Duncan. He spent a lot of his time with the Teen Titans trying to figure out who he was, first appearing in a jumpsuit and using his own name during the title’s first incarnation.

When the book was revived in the mid-70s, Joe Orlando was the editor, with Paul Levitz and yours truly sharing writing credits on the first issue. Since the idea of having him still running around with no powers didn’t sit well, Mal inherited an exo-skeleton and the costume of the original Guardian.

With the second issue of the revival, Julius Schwartz took over as editor and he didn’t like the idea of Mal running around looking like an old minor league Golden Age hero. So, the poor guy got another change of direction as he battled Azrael, the Angel of Death, and received the ram’s horn (a.k.a. the shofar) from Gabriel. This resulted in yet another identity, that of Hornblower (and one of the uglier costumes of the 1970s)..

Somewhere along the way in my TT tenure – probably after yet another editorial switch, this time to Jack C. Harris — the horn disappeared and I had plans to have Mal discover who had taken it. In fact, it was to have been Mal himself who had hidden the shofar, subconsciously wanting to give up being a superhero. Even though the plot was never resolved, Mal did give up the costumed-hero business anyway and had become a novelist when he was next seen.


TRIVIA QUIZ

  1. “Nameless” was made of the same material as which of the Metal Men?
  2. On a planet in the Ashtar solar system is where who ended up after his transformation?
  3. Psychology professor Jonathan Crane was nicknamed what by his Gotham U. colleagues?
  4. Look, I want to know which House was the first chosen to rule Gemworld.
  5. After helping defeat Pythia, who became an honorary Doom Patrol member?
  6. Clyde Mardon’s brother became what villain thanks to a notebook describing his experiments?
  7. Ed Dawson turned into what by touching a meteorite called Mithra?
  8. Late of the Beyond Country, who had a pet named Teeki?
  9. Imp Gazook was summoned by whose magical powers?
  10. Krypto wasn’t the only Super-Pet from Krypton; name the other.
  11. Exposure to kryptonite seemed to weaken what artifact of Ekron?
  12. It has been migrating across the U.S. as the mythology evolves; where is Smallville now?
  13. The mother of Huey and Sisty and wife of “Hunk” became what “super-hero?”

BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:

  1. The first tornado of which there is any record occurred in New Haven, Ct. on June 10, 1682.
  2. The members of the musical group Kansas met while attending high school in Topeka.
  3. The tintype camera was patented by Hamilton L. Smith in 1856.

MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX: NAME GAMES

I came across two issues of BATMAN (#s 267 and 271) that were written by David V. Reed. There was some mention that David Reed was not is real name. Could you reveal his true identity and if he is still writing comics today.
 Jonathan Baylis [AlchemyJMB@aol.com]

Born David Levine, he changed his name to David Vern and was a long-time associate of Julie Schwartz. He passed away a few years ago.

****
Why did Jim Owsley change his name to Christopher Priest?
 J. C. DuVal [daitaku@hotmail.com]

I’m afraid I can’t answer that one, though I’ve wondered about it myself. There is, in fact, a British author named Christopher Priest whose work I’ve seen mistaken for that of the former Mr. Owsley.


STILL MORE EMAILBOX STUFFERS: POTPOURRI

How would someone go about interviewing a comic book penciler for a school report? I tried calling and the answering machine isn’t helping much.
 Brahmabull [riskbreaker007@aol.com]

If you’re not particular about which penciler you interview, you could post a request on the DC and Marvel message boards, both of which are regularly visited by a number of freelancers. If you’re looking for someone in particular, a snail-mail letter addressed to that person care of the company for which he is currently working will usually get forwarded.

****
In how many issues of SUPER FRIENDS did The Atom appear?
 Scott [atomjla@aol.com]

I found the Tiny Titan in SUPER FRIENDS #s 3, 6 and 8.

****
Back in the late 70s, there was a collection of DC action figures that came with buildings (Hall of Justice, Fortress of Solitude) and fake spring-powered dynamite that would destroy those buildings, giving the hero a reason to kick the villain’s butt. This set also had a big green vehicle called (I think) “The Crusher” that supposedly ate the hero and then spit out him or her…FLAT! I never got one, but it’s bugged me since I was six that I don’t know how this was supposed to work. Can you solve this twenty-plus year mystery for me? Next to the identity of Deep Throat, this is number one on my “must know before I die” list.
 Douglass Barre [blackflak@aol.com]

I remember the action figures and even the buildings, but I’m drawing a blank on “the Crusher.” All I can offer as a possibility is that the vehicle came with drawings of the various heroes. You could stick the action figure into “The Crusher” and then pull out the corresponding drawing, pretending that this horrible fate had actually befallen the hero.

As for the identity of Deep Throat, well, maybe Woodward and Bernstein will someday let that secret out.

****
An over-asked question, perhaps, but what is the be-all, end-all best way to have one’s artwork seen by editors?
 James Murray [jamesj1p2j3@aol.com]

Pack up your best stuff and head for one of the bigger comics conventions. Most of the large companies have people there looking at portfolios.

Some hints about getting a shot at actually working for them:

  1. Don’t bring everything you’ve ever drawn, just the best (and more recent) work. These editors and art directors look at hundreds of samples during a convention. You’ve got a few minutes to impress them with your talent and you don’t want them to lose interest flipping through piles of less-than-great material. And no editor I’ve ever met wants to see what you drew five years ago… they want to see what you can do NOW.
  2. Bring a variety of work. You never know what an editor or company will be looking for. Limiting yourself to one genre (or figure shots or faces) will get you shoehorned into a corner. [The exception to this would be if you are looking to work for a company like Archie Comics, whose line of comics revolves almost totally around the teens of Riverdale. THEY would want to see how well you can drawn their characters.]
  3. Bring some examples of your ability to actually tell a story in comics form. Pick an existing sequence in a story you enjoy and redraw it from different angles, changing such things as point-of-view, close-ups to wide scenes, and different parts of the action.
  4. Make some 8 ? x 11 copies of your VERY best stuff with your name, address, phone number and email on every page, but not more than four or five sheets in total. Be prepared to leave a set with any editor who shows an interest in your work. It will serve as a quick reminder of who you are and what you can do.
    5) If an editor shows interest, try to get a business card. If not, make sure you have the correct address of the company where he/she works. [Also, make sure you have the correct spelling of the person’s name!] Once you’ve gotten home, drop a note thanking the person for reviewing your work and enclose another set of the samples, just in case the ones you handed over at the convention have been misplaced.
  5. Don’t stop drawing. Carry a pad or notebook with you and sketch whatever you see. From my early days at DC, I have a manila envelope that artist Walt Simonson used to bring in some work. While riding on the subway, Walt sketched the people sitting around him on the back of it. It’s a great example of an artist who is constantly refining his work and improving his skills.

All the folks whose questions and comments were used in this week’s column get a 10% discount on anything they order from Comics Unlimited through SBC. Want answers to your questions and to save a few bucks too? Use the handy question box in the column on the left.

Meantime, that’ll do it for this week. See you in seven days.


TRIVIA ANSWERS

We’re off to see the Wizard this week, with trivia relating to L. Frank Baum’s classic tales.
1. Tin
2. Toto (who later became Titano)
3. Scarecrow
4. Ruby
5. Dorothy Spinner
6. Weather Wizard
7. Lion-Mane
8. Klarion the Witchboy
9. Yellow Peri
10. Beppo the Super-Monkey
11. Emerald Eye
12. Kansas
13. Red Tornado

Follow the yellow brick road to more trivia every day at Anything Goes Trivia.

 

 

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


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