Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fan City Trivia Card Collection

Note from Rebus: The Fan City Trivia Card Collection (1984), a set of 12 cards, followed The Brileys later the same year. Like all five of Rea's card sets this one came packaged in a small transparent Ziplock bag. After the Brileys series he didn’t include a piece of bubblegum in the package again. 


Stemming from The Brileys card set’s notoriety, I was enthusiastic about finding more ways to sell my cartoons directly to the public. As Trivial Pursuit was a popular game then, I decided to see if I could play with that trend.

With my second effort at producing collectible cards, the back of each card had a trivia question. On the reverse side the answer and an illustration appeared. I used the same network of a dozen or so retailers that I had created to market The Brileys cards.

A year later that same basic list of locations would be what I used to launch The SLANT. The first two issues of The SLANT in 1985 were 16-pagers that sold for a quarter per copy. But the history of that periodical is fodder for another project. Meanwhile, here are the questions and answers for Fan City Trivia:

Card No. 1: At the 1982 "Atomic Cafe" handbill trial, who was the art professor who testified as to the difference between random soup cans on the street and Warhol's art?
Answer: [Jerry] Donato

Card No. 2: What year did the experts change Grace Street to allow for two-way traffic?
Answer: 1981
Card No. 3: On Mar. 19, 1974, Franklin St. was witness to a riot in which 17 were arrested. What campus fad triggered the melee?
Answer: Streaking

Card No. 4: Billy Burke's late-'70s, Kennedy assassination newsletter was named after a place. What was it called?
Answer: The Grassy Knoll Gazette

Card No. 5: Name the [expatriate] jazz guitarist who wrote a song called "Grace Street" and recorded it on the Kicking Mule label.
Answer: Duck Baker

Card No. 6: Name the erstwhile and notorious umpire who called most of the Fan League's softball games in 1977 and hasn't been seen since.
Answer: Leo Koury
Card No. 7: The last Sal Special was burned to a crisp. Name the eatery that served [that signature dish] until a summer blaze in 1983.
Answer: The Capri
Car No. 8: With the heat lightning flashing on a 1970 summer night, Bruce Springsteen’s group knocked ‘em dead on top of a downtown parking deck. Name the band.
Answer: Steel Mill

Card No. 10: Who plays lead guitar (and the sax) for the Memphis Rockabilly Band?
Answer: Bill Coover
Card No. 11: On an Indian Summer day in 1968, the FBI seized a Yippie petition from what Ryland Street head-shop?
Answer: The Liberated Area

Card No. 12: On April 2, 1982, the Cha-Cha headlined a mud-wrestling bout. Name the two contestants.
Answer: Dirtwoman vs. Dickie Disgusting

Card No. 13: Name the fashionable, underground bi-weekly that documented the campus scene of RPI’s last gasp.
Answer: The Sunflower

The Fan City Trivia Card Collection edition didn't take off anything like the previous set had. On top of that, I wasn’t happy with all of the art. Plus, I was pissed off at myself for one particularly grievous careless mistake I had made in the copy of a question -- I spelled “expatriate” wrong.

Such is the problem with working alone. This was the beginning of the time in which I realized that having a staff of smart proofreaders, like I had enjoyed all that time at the Biograph, had been more valuable than I had ever given it credit for. 

When I stopped selling the Fan City Trivia cards, not all that long after their release, I did so with the idea I would make a few new cards to replace the ones that needed it. Then I would re-release the deck, maybe with a total of 15 cards.

It never happened, but I did recycle two of the same characters into a subsequent edition of cards called SLANT Legends (1993), which was the third of the five sets I have produced.

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