Bob Rozakis

Robert "Bob" Rozakis (/rəˈzækɪs/; born April 4, 1951)[1] is an American comic book writer and editor known mainly for his work in the 1970s and 1980s at DC Comics, as the writer of 'Mazing Man and in his capacity as DC's "Answer Man".

Bob Rozakis
Rozakis at the Big Apple Convention,
May 21, 2011
BornRobert H. Rozakis
April 4, 1951 (age 67)
Area(s)Writer, Editor
Pseudonym(s)The Answer Man
Boris Zabok
Ted P. Skimmer
Notable works
'Mazing Man
Spouse(s)Laurie Rozakis
ChildrenCharles Rozakis and Samantha Rozakis


Bob Rozakis got his start in the comics industry through his many letters to comic book letter columns. Among his earliest credits is that of editor on DC Comics "Pro-zine" ("Professional fanzine") The Amazing World of DC Comics[2] between 1974 and 1978. In addition to editing, Rozakis wrote for the bi-monthly publication and oversaw the letters page.

He is known as DC's "Answer Man", answering trivia questions from readers in the Daily Planet promotional page in many late–1970s comics and he has had an online presence in that capacity since the mid-1990s.[3] Other pen names used by Rozakis are Boris Zabok[4] and Ted P. Skimmer.[5]

Comics credits

His first comics credit was in Detective Comics #445 (March 1975), as writer of the back-up feature "The Touchdown Trap", with back-up stories in Action Comics, The Flash and Batman Family soon following.[6] He was assistant editor to Julius Schwartz[2] on issues of Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Superman. His writing credits consist largely of back-up features, especially for Action Comics featuring Air-Wave, Aquaman, and the Atom. Rozakis stated in a 2014 interview that "I don't recall how we ended up with the three of them. It may have simply been that all three had names that began with 'A' and it was a backup in Action Comics".[7]

His credits during his 25-year career with DC total "almost four hundred stories" featuring most DC characters, "plus dozens of features, puzzles, and activities pages".[8]

In 1976, Rozakis and Paul Levitz co-wrote a revival of the Teen Titans.[9] Among his characters he created during this time are Duela Dent;[10][11] the Bumblebee;[12] and the Calculator,[13][14] a character who later played a major role in DC's Identity Crisis limited series. He revived Batwoman[15] and the original Bat-Girl.[16] Rozakis and artist Juan Ortiz crafted an origin for the Teen Titans in issue #53 of the series.[17]

He and artist Dan Spiegle created the character Mister E in Secrets of Haunted House #31 (Dec. 1980).[18] Rozakis wrote seven stories for the "Whatever Happened to...?" backup feature in DC Comics Presents in 1980 and 1981[19] and the Superman: The Secret Years miniseries in 1985. He scripted the comics adaptations of such movies as Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989).[6] He was the writer of the syndicated comic strip The Superman Sunday Special for two years.

His most well-known writing came in the twelve-issue 1986 series 'Mazing Man, featuring the misadventures of self-declared homemade hero Sigfried Horatio Hunch III, which Rozakis co-created with artist Stephen DeStefano. The two returned to the character for three specials and for Secret Origins #16 (June 1987), to tell "The Closest Thing To A Secret Origin of 'Mazing Man You Will Ever Get". Rozakis co-created the series Hero Hotline with DeStefano, on which Rozakis provided the coloring.

Rozakis' comic book work in 1998–2000 was a variety of custom publications including the "Celebrate the Century" comic books[6] for the United States Postal Service, as well as publications for Con Edison, the San Francisco Giants and the United Nations Land Mine Awareness program. In 2008, he began writing a series of "alternate reality" articles titled "The Secret History of All-American Comics Inc." for Alter Ego and Back Issue! magazines.

DC Production Department

Between 1981 and 1998, Rozakis ran DC Comics' production department, and as Executive Director of Production he was instrumental in the development of offset-printed comic books in a wide variety of formats. He was the leading proponent of "computerized color separations and typesetting, electronic page preparation, and computer-to-plate printing", and as a result of his efforts on DC's behalf, the look of comic books across the entire industry changed, DC won "over one hundred awards for printing excellence", and Rozakis himself was profiled in Publishing & Production Executive on two separate occasions.[8] In 2003, Rozakis announced his retirement from the comic book industry.

Personal life

Rozakis is married to prolific author Laurie E. Rozakis, a professor of English, grammar expert and "author of more than 100 books",[20] and Bob Rozakis' co-writer on Detective Comics #464 (Oct. 1976).[6] The two have collaborated on The Complete Idiot's Guide to Office Politics[8][21] They have two children: son Charles "Chuck", who wrote his Princeton University thesis on the business viability of webcomics,[22] and daughter Samantha "Sammi".[20] In 1973, Laurie and Bob drove the DC Comicmobile, a van which sold comic books "like the ice cream man did".[23]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Bob Rozakis (editor) at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Contino, Jennifer M. (January 2001). "The Answer Man Bob Rozakis". Sequential Tart. Retrieved September 5, 2015. I started doing the chatroom in 1996 because I saw it as a way for DC staff people to be in direct contact with the fans.
  4. ^ The colorist credit for the Robin story, "Terminus" Detective Comics #483 (April–May 1979) at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Rozakis, Bob (September 24, 2009). "Ted P. Skimmer and Me". Anything Goes. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012. Ted does not exist. In fact, everything he wrote was actually written by yours truly.
  6. ^ a b c d Bob Rozakis at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Trumbull, John (October 2014). "Shrinking Roles and Shorter Features: The Atom in the Bronze Age". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (76): 27–28.
  8. ^ a b c Rozakis, Bob (November 24, 1998). "The Bob Rozakis Home Page". Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  9. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. More than three years since Teen Titans was canceled, writers Paul Levitz and Bob Rozakis, with artist Pablo Marcos, revived the series.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Rozakis, Bob (w), Novick, Irv (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "The Joker's Daughter!" Batman Family 6 (July–August 1976)
  11. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1970s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 123. ISBN 978-1465424563. It would be Robin's story [in Batman Family #6] that was destined to go down in Batman's history with its introduction of the Joker's Daughter.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Rozakis, Bob (w), Delbo, José (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Daddy's Little Crimefighter" Teen Titans 48 (June 1977)
  13. ^ Rozakis, Bob (w), Grell, Mike (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Crimes by Calculation" Detective Comics 463 (September 1976)
  14. ^ Manning "1970s" in Dougall, p. 123: Detective Comics #463 "The second villain to debut in this issue was the Calculator...written by Bob Rozakis and drawn by Mike Grell."
  15. ^ Manning "1970s" in Dougall, p. 125: Batman Family #10 "The original Batwoman, Kathy Kane, made her first appearance in the Bronze Age of this story by writer Bob Rozakis and artist Bob Brown."
  16. ^ Manning "1970s" in Dougall, p. 127: Teen Titans #50 "The time was ripe for [Batwoman's] sidekick, Bette Kane, the original Bat-Girl, to return from comic book limbo. In an adventure written by Bob Rozakis and drawn by Don Heck, Bat-Girl came out of retirement."
  17. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 176: "The team's untold origin...was vividly transcribed by writer Bob Rozakis and artist Juan Ortiz."
  18. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 189: "In the last feature of its thirty-first issue, a story by writer Bob Rozakis and artist Dan Spiegle, a new monster hunter named Mister E was introduced."
  19. ^ Wells, John (May 2013). "Flashback: Whatever Happened to...?". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 51–61.
  20. ^ a b Rozakis, Laurie (September 26, 2008). "Adventures with Sammi!". Test Success: Grammar, She Wrote. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012. We were able to go because Sammi held me up, especially up and down the stairs. What a wonderful daughter!
  21. ^ Rozakis, Laurie; Rozakis, Bob (1998). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Office Politics. New York, New York: Alpha Books. p. 320. ISBN 0-02-862397-5.
  22. ^ Rozakis, Charles (April 9, 2003). "An In-Depth Look at the Business Viability of Webcomics" (PDF). Princeton University. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2005. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  23. ^ Hamlin, Brad (August 2011). "Mystery Island Interviews DC Comics Super Alumni Bob Rozakis". Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.

External links

Preceded by
Bob Haney
(in 1973)
Teen Titans writer
Succeeded by
Marv Wolfman
(in 1980)
'Mazing Man

'Mazing Man is the title character of a comic book series created by Bob Rozakis and Stephen DeStefano and published by DC Comics. The series ran for twelve issues in 1986, with additional special issues in 1987, 1988, and 1990. In addition, 'Mazing Man had an origin story in Secret Origins #16, and an original one-page story that appeared in an ad in Comics Buyer's Guide.

Batman Family

Batman Family was an American comic book anthology series published by DC Comics which ran from 1975 to 1978, primarily featuring stories starring supporting characters to the superhero Batman. An eight-issue miniseries called Batman: Family was published from December 2002 to February 2003.

The term "Batman Family" is most commonly used as the informal name for Batman's closest allies, generally masked vigilantes operating in Gotham City.

Bumblebee (comics)

Bumblebee (real name Karen Beecher-Duncan) is a fictional character, existing in DC Comics' main shared universe. She was a member of the Teen Titans and of the Doom Patrol. First appearing in Teen Titans #45 (December 1976), Karen adopted the Bumblebee identity three issues later.

Historically, Bumblebee is sometimes considered DC Comics' first Black woman superhero character, though this distinction is also accorded to Nubia, Wonder Woman's twin sister (and a less traditional costumed crimefighter than Bumblebee) who debuted in 1973.

Captain Comet

Captain Comet (real name Adam Blake) is a DC Comics superhero created by DC Comics Editor Julius Schwartz, writer John Broome, and artist Carmine Infantino.

Once a minor character in the DC Comics canon, he occupies an almost unique position in DC Comics history as a superhero who was created between the two great superhero comics periods--the Golden Age and the Silver Age. His early stories fall into a no-man's land, sometimes referred to as 'The Atomic Age' because of the recurrent science-fiction themes of most comics of the period, when very few superheroes comics were published and less than a dozen short-lived, superhero characters were introduced.

Along with Marvel Comics' Namor the Sub-Mariner and Toro (sidekick of the original Human Torch), he is among the first mutant metahuman superheroes (meaning he was born with his powers), predating X-Men by 12 years. He is one of the few DC Comics characters not to have had their earlier history significantly changed by various DC Comics major continuity changing events over the years such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour.

Captain Stingaree

Captain Stingaree is a fictional supervillain in the DC Comics universe, and a minor foe of the Batman. He first appeared in Detective Comics #460 (June 1976), and was created by Bob Rozakis, Michael Uslan and Ernie Chan.

Central City (DC Comics)

Central City is a fictional American city appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. It is the home of the Silver Age version of the Flash (Barry Allen), and first appeared in Showcase #4 in September–October 1956.

Crusaders (DC Comics)

The Crusaders is a team of DC Comics superheroes. The team was created by Bob Rozakis and Dick Ayers in the pages of Freedom Fighters #7 (March 1977). The characters serve as stand-ins for several Marvel Comics superheroes from the 1940s, while the team roster resembles the line-up of The Invaders.

Daily Planet (DC Comics house advertisement)

Daily Planet was a promotional page appearing in DC Comics publications from 1976 to 1981. The Daily Planet contained previews of upcoming stories, as well as recurring features like "The Answer Man", where DC writer/editor Bob Rozakis would answer questions sent in by readers, and a comic strip by cartoonist Fred Hembeck which poked fun at DC characters. Edited by Rozakis, the Daily Planet was set in the format of a page from the fictional Metropolis newspaper where Clark Kent worked.

Greg Brooks (artist)

Greg Brooks is an American comic book artist, best known for his work on the 1988 Crimson Avenger mini-series. He also did work on the Green Lantern, as well as two Marvel titles.In 1988, he was convicted of murdering his wife.

Hero Hotline

Hero Hotline is a fictional DC Comics corporate superteam introduced in Action Comics Weekly #637 (cover-dated Jan. 1989). It was created by Bob Rozakis and Stephen DeStefano.

Laurie Rozakis

Laurie Rozakis (born July 20, 1952) is a writer of the Complete Idiot's books and an expert on writing, grammar, usage, test preparation, and coaching writers. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Hofstra University in 1973; her Master of Arts from Hofstra in 1975; and her PhD from the State University of New York in 1984.

Madame Zodiac

Madame Zodiac is a fictional character, a comic book witch published by DC Comics. She debuted in Batman Family #17 (April 1978), and was created by Bob Rozakis and Don Heck.

Midway City (DC Comics)

Midway City is a fictional city in the DC Universe, the shared universe of comic book titles published by DC Comics. Midway City is always shown to be a city of the Midwestern United States, based loosely on the real world city of Chicago, Illinois (though Chicago also exists in the DCU). In an "Ask the Answer Man" column printed in Detective Comics #470 (June 1977), writer Bob Rozakis stated that Midway City was in Michigan, near Sault Ste. Marie. This statement has since been reasserted in assorted official and licensed publications. Previously, some writers stated it is in Illinois.

Mister E

Mister E is a fictional character, appearing in magazines published by American company DC Comics. Created by Bob Rozakis and Jack C. Harris, the character first appeared in Secrets of Haunted House and was a recurring character for ten issues. He was then radically redesigned by Neil Gaiman for use in The Books of Magic, after which he appeared in his own mini-series and was a recurring character in Vertigo Comics titles owned by DC.

Secrets of Haunted House

Secrets of Haunted House was a horror-suspense comics anthology series published by DC Comics from 1975 to 1978 and 1979 to 1982.

Sol Harrison

Sol Harrison (1917 – November 19, 1989) was an American comic book colorist, production manager, and executive whose career spanned nearly 50 years in the industry.

The Amazing World of DC Comics

The Amazing World of DC Comics was DC Comics' self-produced fan magazine of the mid-1970s. Running 17 issues, the fanzine featured DC characters and their creators, and was exclusively available through mail order. Primarily text articles, with occasional strips and comics features, Amazing World offered a great deal of insight into Bronze Age DC corporate and creative culture.

The bulk of the issues were edited by Allan Asherman and later by Paul Levitz and then Cary Burkett; individual issues were edited by Carl Gafford, Bob Rozakis, and Neal Pozner.

Contributors included Burkett, Ramona Fradon, Jack C. Harris, Nestor Redondo, Steve Skeates, Michael Uslan, Wally Wood, and Mark Gruenwald (in one of his few credits outside of Marvel Comics).

The World's Greatest Superheroes

The World's Greatest Superheroes was a syndicated newspaper comic strip featuring DC Comics characters which ran Sunday and daily from April 3, 1978, to February 10, 1985. It was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate.

Initially starring Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Black Lightning, it underwent several title changes, as the focus changed to primarily feature Superman.

Writers: Martin Pasko scripted at the beginning. Paul Levitz took over October 15, 1979 until March 22, 1981, with his initial story coming from a Pasko idea. Gerry Conway then picked up the assignment. A continuity from Mike W. Barr followed, appearing October 26, 1981 through January 10, 1982. Paul Kupperberg handled continuities from January 11, 1982, until the end, including a segment from January 12 through March 12, 1981, that he ghosted for Levitz. Bob Rozakis wrote all but two of The Superman Sunday Special.

Artists: Initially dailies and Sundays were pencilled by George Tuska and inked by Vince Colletta. At various times from April 25 until November 13, 1982, the strip was worked on by Tuska, Colletta, José Delbo, Bob Smith, Frank McLaughlin and Sal Trapani. Delbo and Trapani then illustrated the feature from November 14, 1982 until the end.

Yellow Peri

The Yellow Peri is a fictional character published by DC Comics, who is able to use magic thanks to a book of spells. The character first appeared in The New Adventures of Superboy #34 (October 1982), and was created by Bob Rozakis and Kurt Schaffenberger.

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