Does DC have a library of back issues? If a writer wants to do a story about a certain character, can he or she just go in and read up on past appearances? Or would the writer have to use his own collection?
 Gary Arkell [gsarkell@yahoo.com]

DC does indeed have a library and it contains copies of virtually every comic the company has published in its sixty-plus years of existence, all bound into hardcover volumes, usually containing a year’s worth of issues. (I say virtually because over the years some of the key volumes have disappeared.)

The library, watched over by longtime staffer and unofficial DC historian Allan Asherman, is not open to the general public, nor even to the DC freelance community. If a writer is interested in reading up on an old character, his editor can sign out the appropriate bound volumes and make copies of the stories needed.

Back in the early 70s when I first joined DC as an assistant editor, access to the bound volumes was not so restricted. Over a period of months, whenever I had the time, I would check out a couple of books at a time and began making an index of their contents on 3 x 5 cards. (Imagine the fun I, as a longtime fan, had being able to read the early issues of ACTION COMICS, DETECTIVE COMICS, et al.) Each card had as much information as I could glean from the issue – characters, titles, page lengths, any credits that were listed – and when I moved over to the Production Department from Editorial there was a substantial body of work being stored in a filing cabinet in the freelance bullpen area.

Unfortunately, when DC moved from 75 Rockefeller Plaza to 666 Fifth Avenue, someone decided that “that whole drawer full of index cards” was of no use and tossed them all in the trash.


BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. After Lightning Lad was defeated, Lars Hanscom took on what identity himself?
2. Name the villain J’onn J’onzz tracked as Marco Xavier.
3. Ambush Bug’s sidekick, the Toy Wonder; name him.
4. Taking over the world is the daily goal of what duo?
5. Originally trained to be Hitler’s right hand man, who became Cap’s greatest enemy?
6. Myron Forest created a computer housed in an orbitting satellite; name it.
7. Year after year from ’89 to ’94, what DC team “changed” its name?
8. College roommate of Johnny Storm; can you name him?
9. Li’l Abner’s idol is what comic strip hero?
10. After Wonder Woman gave up her costume, who became her mentor?
11. Sandra Knight’s cousin was the first to become what hero?
12. So, Kanjar Ro took the JLAers off to battle in what?

BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. W. C. Handy’s first published song was “Memphis Blues” in 1907.
2. The first plant built exclusively for the manufacture of potato chips was in Albany, NY in 1925.
3. In 1997, there were 968 million acres of farmland in the United States.


MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

Was Wolverine’s costume inspired by the University of Michigan football uniforms? If you look at the “flying wing” design on their helmets, it’s quite like the shape of his mask.
 Raymond Neal [raymondneal@yahoo.com]

Artists get their inspirations from many different things; some of them are even subconscious influences. I’ve never heard anyone say Wolverine’s look was modeled on that of the UM gridiron eleven, but that doesn’t mean someone involved wasn’t a college football fan.

*****

Why doesn’t DC put a month of publication on their Prestige Format books?
 Robert Rowe [capybara@pacbell.net]

It was hoped that the higher priced Prestige books could be turned into a staple in bookstores. The more they looked like paperback books (albeit very slim paperback books), the easier it would be to sell them in. Having a month on them instantly turned them into magazines, limiting their shelf life.

*****

My father was featured in an early 1950s comic book that did centerfolds on war heroes. I’m trying to learn which one it was and if it is possible to obtain a copy. The article, about part of the battle at Chosin Reservoir, was an excerpt from STARS & STRIPES written by a MasterSergeant Greene. My father’s name was Bertrand Breton and I believe he was a Staff Sergeant at the time. Do you have any information about which comic book series this might have appeared in and how I might obtain a copy?
 Darlene Breton [bret@gwi.net]

Getting a copy of the book should be relatively simple once we figure out which one to look for. Unfortunately, there were dozens of different war comics published (by many different publishers) in the early 50s. So let me open this up to the readers: Any information, even a suggestion about which title or titles might have carried such a feature, can help answer Darlene’s question. Do we have any 50s battle book experts out there?

*****

I seem to remember a miniseries called CAMELOT 2000. Did you write it? I think Brian Bolland was the artist.
 Ronald King [Ron-Mark@att.net]

Actually, it was set a thousand years later. The 12-issue CAMELOT 3000 was written by Mike W. Barr (with art by Bolland) and ran from late 1982 into 1984. It has long since been collected into a trade paperback that is still in print.

*****

Is there a price list of the value of comics that have been signed by the artist or an actor?
 Habib Bari [habib@bari1.freeserve.co.uk]

One would assume there’s additional value placed on such copies, but there’s no formal list that I’ve ever seen… and the value of such books in truly in the eye of the beholder. In many cases, the autographer has personalized the message, so what value would you assign to a book reading “To Joe, All the best” if your name is Fred, Susan, or Habib?

*****

Did the pre-Crisis Superman lose all his powers whenever he was exposed to red sun radiation or did he just lose his invulnerability?
 James Dysart [tddysart@webtv.net]

Exposure to a red sun pretty much turned the Man of Steel into a normal guy back in those pre-Crisis days, though some later writers refined which powers came from our hotter yellow sun and which (flight and super-strength being the most obvious) were a result of Earth’s lesser gravity.

*****

I remember hearing your recorded voice way back when on the 1-800 Direct Currents Hotline. Any chance any tapes of those old messages still exist? They’d make great streaming audio files.
 Jim Shatz-Akin [jshatzakin@aol.com]

As I remember it, we would tape each week’s new message over the old one, so at most there might be one tape of the last message somewhere. But even that probably went out the door when the answering machine we used went to the junkpile.

For those who are wondering about this, readers could call an 800-number and listen to a DC staffer hype the books that would be on sale that week. I was among the number of folks who recorded messages during the course of the program.

*****

How come we can’t recognize you when you take your glasses off?
 Jack C. Harris

Gee, Jack, I’m not sure. Maybe because I can’t see much of anything when I take my glasses off?

*****

In 1971, did they make a Chevy Nova SS with a 6-cylinder engine?
 B [lisch71@aol.com]

Isn’t the Shell Answer Man still in business? Or am I the last Answer Man still standing?


All of this week’s correspondents will get 10% anything they order from Comics Unlimited through SBC. Got a question you need answered and want to save a few dollars at the same time? Send your query using the convenient box in the column on the left.

Till next week, I am outta here.


TRIVIA ANSWERS:
1. starFINGER
2. FACEless
3. CHEEKS
4. PINKY and the BRAIN
5. red SKULL
6. brother EYE
7. L.E.G.i.o.n.
8. wyatt wingFOOT
9. fEARless fosdick
10. i CHINg
11. stARMan
12. the slave sHIP of space

Use your head and get your hands on trivia every day. Finger the keyboard over to BobRo’s daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.

 

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


 

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