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Gillin' With Da Home Boys 
by Mark "the Shark" Gillins
 
Word up, yo?
This being my first time writing this column, I'd like to give a simple explanation to give y'all a good idea of what this features.  Each month I'll be interviewing a different employee at DC Comics, whether it be penciller, writer, or Executive Director in Production (as is the case this month).  The main goal of this column is not to gain the inside scoop of what's going on at DC (I'll leave that to the rest of the comic book articles out there), but rather to educate the reader of just who the heck the people who make our favorite heroes/heroines appear each month are.  Each person will be given the same set of, what I call, the 20 Questions each time.  In addition to the Big Twenty the DC employee will be given a smaller set of unique questions that will pertain mainly to themselves.  These questions will be asked by the readers of Fanzing, myself, and pretty much anyone else as long as they are acceptable by me/the editor and the person being interviewed.  Feel free to e-mail me your suggestions (for interviews and questions) at the_shark15@hotmail.com..  I'll try to get to a point where I can announce the upcoming "celebrities" so giving me questions for that person will be more convenient for all of us.  But until then I'll just put all the questions in a file or something until that person is featured in this column.  Whew!  That having been said, without further ado… 


Gillin' With Bob Rozakis

For our first month of this article I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob Rozakis, the Executive Director of Production of DC Comics.  As mentioned in the interview, Mr. Rozakis hosts the Anything Goes Production Hour in the DC chat room on AOL every Monday night at 10 pm EST and gives a 10 - 12 question trivia contest (with prizes) while he's online.  The questions/answers are posted in the offical DC newsletter each week. 
Fanzing is in RED.  Bob is in BLUE. 

The 20 Questions: 
1.  When and where were you born?  
4/4/51 in New York City 

2.  Where were you raised? 
Grew up in Elmont, on Long Island 

3.  What were your childhood hobbies? 
Playing baseball, comic book collecting, stamp collecting 

4.  Who did you look up to as a kid? 
Teddy Roosevelt 

5.  What is the first comic book you've ever read? 
I'm pretty sure it was a FELIX THE CAT comic, around 1957. The first super-hero book was an issue of SUPERMAN featuring "The Black Knight's Super-Sword." 

6.  What is your FAVORITE comic book/story you've ever read? 
That's a tough question. In my comic-READING days, probably "The Death of Superman." 

7.  What is your favorite TV show? 
Of all time? "The Fugitive." These days, anything David E. Kelley writes ("The Practice" "ally McBeal") 

8.  What is your favorite movie?  
A tie: "Marty" starring Ernest Borgnine and "On the Beach" 

9.  What is your favorite book/novel? 
Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" novels, especially the early ones 

10.  What is your favorite food? 
Pasta with freshly made tomato sauce 

11.  What college did you attend?  What was your major/minor?  
BBA in Public Accounting from Hofstra University in 1973. I minored in "Yearbook" -- was editor-in-chief of HU's book for three of my four years there 

12.  Are you married?  If so, when and to whom? 
Married Laurie on 4/5/74 

13.  Do you have any kids?  How many? 
Charles is 17, Samantha is 13 

14.  What "inspired" or "prompted" you to get into the comic book biz? 
I was always a fan; I wrote over 500 letters to the editors and at the time held the record by having almost 150 published. I had made up some comics-related puzzles and when I came for a visit to the DC offices, I gave copies to E. Nelson Bridwell. Julie Schwartz took them to Sol Harrison. Sol came in and said "If you make up ones just about Superman and Batman, we'll buy them." That was a Friday afternoon. On Monday, I was back with nine puzzle pages.  After doing some more pages, I graduated college and asked Sol for a job; the comic book business seemed far more exciting thatn being a CPA.  Sol hired me first as a production assistant and then had me driving the Comicmobile.  

15.  What process did you go through to get to where you are today? 
After the Comicmobile drove off into the sunset, I became Julius Schwartz's assistant editor. I worked with Julie for three years, then in 1976 moved into the production department as proofreader and assistant manager. In 1981, I became Production Manager and I've been here ever since. 

16.  If you didn't work for DC, what would you want to be doing today? 
I'd like to be teaching and writing. I spend two weeks every summer teaching a creative writing class for gifted kids in a Johns Hopkins University program. I've written a novel which is floating in submissions limbo and have plots for a couple of others that I haven't made the time to write. 

17.  If you were a superhero, who would you be and why? 
Superman. Is there anyone else to be? 

18.  What are your current hobbies? 
Playing softball and volleyball, reading. 

19.  Do you have any goals you'd like to accomplish? 
I'd like to get my novel published, and write more. 

20.  What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? 
Summer: Sit in the pool. Fall/Winter: Watch football. All year: Read the Sunday NY Times and do the crossword puzzle (in ink) 

And now for the rest of the questions: 

1.  What have you been up to lately? 
Keeping the world safe for comic books. Running DC's production departments. I created the activity pages for the recent Superman/Wonder Woman Landmines Awareness book we did for distribution in Central America. I host The Anything Goes Production Hour on AOL Monday nights at 10:00 ET and create a weekly set of trivia questions for it. [They are reprinted in the DC Online newsletter.] As I said, I teach for two weeks in the Hopkins program. I also teach a Saturday morning writing class during the school year. I'm Advancement Chairman for my son's Boy Scout troop; we've had nine boys make Eagle Scout (including  my son) in the past two years. I play softball in an Over-40 League.  

2.  Since Hero Hotline hasn't continued past the mini-series, will you ever confirm the identity of the team's supervisor?  Was it (as was hinted pretty obviously) the Americommando? 
Well, the Coordinator seemed to be pretty sure that the "body" in the ice block was NOT the Americommando.   

3.  Have you tried pitching any humor titles recently, or is the market for them very poor? 
Stephen DeStefano and I have a perpetual proposal in for another 'Mazing Man special. 

4.  Here's a question that could stump Mr. Trivia himself: Was the Shining Knight's horse, Winged Victory, male or female? 
Male 
D'oh!

5.  Finally, is there anything big coming up in DC Comics that the faithful readers of Fanzing don't know about but could?  :) 
I'm sure there is, but they never tell me about thngs until it's time to get them printed. I find out more about what we're doing from fans online than I do from the office. 

Well, there you have it.  I hope that this helped you learn a little something about Mr. Rozakis -- I know I did!  As of the time of this writing I don't know who will be interviewed next month, so I'll leave y'all in suspense until then.  Enjoy the rest of the magazine!

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This column is © 1998 by Mark S. Gillins.

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