Back in the spring of 1995, not long after I had signed on to America Online, I was at a convention with DC’s online guru Greg Ross. We were talking about the various chatrooms being hosted by DC editors and I suggested that I would be interested in hosting one. Greg seemed a bit surprised by this, especially since some of the editors had to be “persuaded” to spend an hour-plus of their free time hosting a chat.
I saw it as an opportunity to get in touch with DC fans, build an online mailing list, and have some fun. I chose the Monday night 10:00 slot because I thought it would give west coast fans some access. It was slow going for “Anything Goes” at first, but I had the benefit of a lead-in audience from Kevin Dooley’s Green Lantern chat and slowly but surely, people started to hang around for my hour.
It was a few months later that I came up with the piece that made my chat a must for a lot of fans: the trivia quiz. The earliest ones were just random questions, but it wasn’t long before I started coming up with themes for them. [The earliest one I have a copy of is from February, 1997 and the questions identify the subjects… well, check out below.]
I also started giving away prizes to the people who correctly answered the questions: posters, press proof copies of books and covers, mini-comics, cards, and other odds and ends that were lying around my office. Eventually, that led to regulars accumulating points that could be redeemed at various levels for prizes. Quite a few folks made it to the 29 points needed for the best prize of all.
The capacity of the DC chatroom at the beginning was only 24 people and we regularly maxxed it out. Usually, there were people “at the door” waiting for someone else to leave so they could get in. When the capacity of the room was doubled, we still frequently packed the house. And on October 19, 1998, when I held my last “official” DC chat, the room was stuffed to the rafters. [There were apparently people trying to get in who were sending instant messages to those already inside saying, “You’ve been in there long enough! Get out and let somebody else in for awhile.”]
But I wasn’t really willing to give up holding a chat… and a lot of my regulars still wanted someplace to go on Monday nights. So I moved out of DC-Land and set up “Anything Goes” in one of AOL’s private chatrooms. We tried a brief stint the following summer in a non-AOL chatroom, but ended up back “home” after too many of the regulars had problems accessing it. And for quite awhile now, I’ve been in AOL’s Comics & Anime Chatroom.
Well, after six-plus years, thousands of trivia questions, and hundreds of different visitors (from one-time stop-ins to a few who have been there almost all the time), I’m closing up the Anything Goes chat. I’ve enjoyed spending Monday nights with my chatroom pals, but it’s time to move on. Monday, September 3, 2001 will be / was the farewell chat (depending on when you read this).
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
From the archives, the first “recorded” Trivia Quiz from my Anything Goes chatroom of February 3, 1997…
1. Tie up people with Wonder Woman’s magic lasso and you can compel them to do what?
2. He filled the Joe Chill role in “Batman: The Movie.”
3. Every cover of SANDMAN has been the work of what artist?
4. Dick Grayson’s movie parents were killed as a result of whose crime spree?
5. Contradicting all logic, who is the President of the United States when The Dark Knight Returns?
6. She talked about life in a giveaway warning of the dangers of AIDS.
7. To escape from imprisonment of Htrae, what did Superman show Bizarro #1 that was NOT imperfect?
8. Arrange the folowing by birth dates: Professor Zoom, Bart Allen, Wally West, Max Mercury, Iris Allen.
9. Though Bernie Wrightson drew the first ten issues, what artist drew more issues of SWAMP THING’s original series?
10. Updated by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, this character ended up in a yellow and purple costume.
11. En espanol, his name means “wolf.” What does Lobo mean in Czarnian?
12. 1776 was the era of which ancestor of The Batman?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. One participant thought the theme of this quiz was “People at Hal Jordan’s funeral.”
2. Another thought the theme was the fifth anniversary of the first Vertigo series.
3. A third went to great lengths to explain how each answer contradicted something in the comics or in the real world.
FROM THE EMAILBOX:
As a comics fan from the late 70’s – present, I am wondering what Roy Thomas, Cary Bates, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman, and Steve Englehart are doing? I haven’t seen much, if anything from them in a while.
— Big D (email@example.com)
What is artist Ron Frenz doing now? Is he going to be doing another monthly title regularly soon?
— Greg B (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What happened to Rob Liefield?
— Cain Marco (email@example.com)
I was wondering what ever became of Cary Bates. Is he still working in the comic book world?
I was also wondering if you are friends with Alex Saviuk. Seems like the two of you did a lot of work together.
— Bob Dandeneau (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Is Coppervale Press, publisher of Starchild, still running? What is James A. Owen up to? Where can I contact him?
— Arnaud (email@example.com)
Roy Thomas is editing ALTER EGO for TwoMorrows as well as working on some comic book projects.
Gerry Conway is doing TV work as far as I know; I’ve seen his name as writer on some episodes of “Law & Order.”
Marv Wolfman was doing TV animation writing last time I heard, as well as an upcoming FARSCAPE miniseries for DC/Wildstorm.
Alex Saviuk and I remain good friends, though we don’t see much of each other now that he lives in Florida. He is penciling the Amazing Spider-Man Sunday newspaper strip.
The latest edition of PREVIEWS does not list anything from Coppervale Press.
As for the rest of the folks asked about, I have no current information. If anybody out there has an update, I’ll be happy to pass along the information here.
Todd McFarlane apparently loves a court battle. However, with the sales of his comics and toy lines slumping, can he afford another protracted battle? Given the recent disputed ownership of Miracleman, does Todd McFarlane have enough financial strength to keep any case filed against him tangled up in court long enough to frustrate the litigants? Is he rich enough to wait out Gaiman?
— Thomas Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How much did McFarlane pay for the Eclipse copyrights?
— Andrew Hein (email@example.com}
I’m not privy to Todd’s financial statements nor any of his business dealings, so I can’t comment on these questions.
On a totally unrelated subject, I suspect that Todd is keeping his eye on the home run hitting of Barry Bonds. Should Bonds break the 70-homer record this season, Mr. McFarlane is going to own a $5 baseball for which he paid $3 million dollars. [For those who aren’t aware, Todd paid that amount for Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball.]
That will do it for this week. I’d like to thank ALL the folks who’ve been a part of my Monday night chat over the years, including (in no particular order) Troy Nunis, Howard Margolin, Brian Bailie, Hoy Murphy, Joe Linehan, Adam Frey, David Tilley, Crowmeus, Jen Contino, Jason Fliegel, Debby Clune, John Wilson, Ken Cox, George Nelson, John Steib, Jack Grimes, Dale Roberts, Damon Owens, DJ Toell, Ken Rothstein, Chip Chandler, Alex Tam, Bala Menon, Matthew Krevat, Rob Queen, John Pirtel, James Dracoules, Steve Chung, Stephen Gerding, Michael Brady, Mae Lee, Tae Johns, Andy Khouri, Wayne P. Bertrand, Ron Salas, Brian Pruitt, Joe Grunenwald, Frank Lauro… and Rich Morrissey (somewhere out there in the ether).
1. Tell the truth
2. Jack Napier (before he became The Joker)
3. Dave McKean
5. Ronald Reagan
7. The shape of the planet, which was then reshaped into a cube
8. Max, Wally, Zoom, Iris, Bart
9. Nestor Redondo
11. “He who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.”
12. “Mad” Anthony Wayne
As I indicated above, this was not the first of my trivia quizzes, but it was notable in its own way: This was the first time I used the notorious “first letter clues” to give a hint of the theme. [In fact, this one gives away the actual theme.] Each of the questions refers to a character who had been sculpted into one of the DC statues; Sandman was already on his second one, hence, two questions.
Six-plus years of trivia questions and there are still plenty more, including a new one every day at 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.