Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Hey! I Wrote Another Book!
Back in 1995 when AOL was king of the internet and their chatrooms were the place to be, I began hosting a DC Comics-sponsored chat on Monday nights at 10:00. Most of the other DC chats were hosted by the editors and focused on one character or another, but, as the Production Director, I had no specific topic to cover. So I named the chat "Anything Goes."
We covered all variety of topics related to DC and its characters, books, and history. And before too many Mondays had gone by, I started asking trivia questions.
Trivia quizzes and my Answer Man sobriquet date back even further in DC Comics history... to 1976, when I convinced then-President Sol Harrison to let me create a weekly Daily Planet house ad to appear in the books. A faux newspaper that hyped events in the various titles, the Planet also included trivia quizzes, mini-puzzles, and, ultimately, Ask the Answer Man, where readers could have their questions about DC answered..
The Answer Man column became so popular that I ended up expanding it to its own page in addition to the Daily Planet appearances. In fact, despite the more than 400 stories I wrote and the various contributions on the production side of the business, I am still best remembered by many fans as the Answer Man.
Though the Daily Planet and the Answer Man column were long gone by the time the AOL chatroom debuted, old habits die hard. I was answering all sorts of questions about DC's characters and history and it was not long before I started asking trivia questions of my own. At first, the questions were random, inspired by topics that came up during the course of the hour. These evolved into a series of questions, based on a theme, that I prepared in advance.
As guessing the theme of my questions became another challenge, I added "First Letter Clues" that spelled out a hint. And then I would throw in BobRo's Fun Facts to Know & Tell, bits of trivia that more often than not also related to the theme in some way. I continued to host the chatroom for almost three years after leaving DC in 1998, creating many more trivia quizzes (as well as providing a daily trivia question at World Famous Comics).
A few months back, I came across a disk with a large number of the chatroom quizzes and decided to collect them in book form. Early quizzes were modified to fit the First Letter Clue format and I added Fun Facts where there were none originally. And so, The Answer Man's Book of Trivia Quizzes was born. (It's available right now by clicking on the title.) One hundred and one quizzes, more than 1300 questions, plus Fun Facts and Answer Man Memories! Hours and hours of fanboy fun!
While you're there, feel free to order copies of The Secret History of AA Comics and my novel, The Junkyards of Memory.