BII vs. PP

This page is actually dual-purpose. It lists short biographies for (most of) the contestants, plus some others associated with the matches (immediately below). It also offers statistics across all the years the match has been held.

Who's Who

If you're a comic book fan, you should have heard the names of the pros. It's quite likely, if you hang out in rec.arts.comics.*, you've read posts from the fans as well. But in case you need a refresher, here is one. I'd like to apologize for my inadequate knowledge and writing skills in doing these bios. If the subject of any bio has objections, corrections, or additions, please let me know.

Header titles are color-coded on graphical browers supporting stylesheets. Members of the Black Ink Irregulars (BII) have their headers on a black background. Members of the Purple Pros (PP) have their headers on a purple background. Other people associated with the match, but never a member of either team have their headers on a pink background.

Pete Bickford, fan (1995)

Peter Bickford is best known for developing ComicBase, a popular comic collection tracking database. He was active on rec.arts.comics.* from 1994 to 1999, although most the posts of his I could find seem to be related to hawking his program.

BII team record for his year: 1-0

Tom Brevoort, pro (2000–2001, 2004), question writer (2003)

Tom Brevoort is a long-time editor at Marvel. He began his career as a writer. His most notable runs were Fantastic Force and Secret Defenders. His editing credits are numerous, including New Warriors vol. 1 and Avengers vol. 3. In 2000, Waid gave up his seat to Brevoort because of the latter's supposedly superior Kirby knowledge. It turned out Waid, sitting in the audience, knew the answers to several questions Brevoort didn't. They didn't hold that against him, however, as he was a member of the team alongside Waid in 2001 and 2004. Brevoort was a regular poster to rec.arts.comics.* from late 1994 to late 2004 as KitchenT.

PP team record for his years: 3-0

Stephen Brumbaugh, fan (1996)

BII team record for his year: 0-1

Bob Buethe, question writer (2005, 2010)

Bob Buethe of Long Island, NY, is a computer programmer and a comics fan since 1965. He writes the "Now & Then" column for Hogan's Alley magazine, moderates the Yahoo SilverAgeReviews group, and has a website at www.cartoonacy.net.

Kurt Busiek, pro (1995–2001, 2003–2004, 2007, 2010)

Kurt Busiek has many, many writing credits. Busiek first broke in as a writer at DC. He was later an assistant editor on Marvel Age and editor of Open Space, which he co-created. The work that got him noticed by most fans was Marvels. From there, he went on to create Thunderbolts, Astro City, and Power Company, amongst other properties. He has enjoyed long runs writing Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Iron Man vol. 3, and Avengers vol. 3, plus he wrote the long-awaited Avengers/JLA Marvel/DC crossover. He signed a DC-exclusive contract at the end of 2005. Busiek has been a very active participant in rec.arts.comics.* since mid-1995.

PP team record for his years: 6-5

Michael Chary, question writer (2005)

Michael A. Chary has been a active member of the rec.arts.comics.* Usenet heirarchy since at least 1991. He was in charge of the Bizarro Squiddies in 1996 and 1997, having taken over when Tom Galloway stepped down.

Terence Chua, fan (2007–2008), question writer (2010)

Terence Chua was an active member of rec.arts.comics.* from 1994 to 2004, but slipped away after that. He is better known in science fiction fandom for his filk music, which can be sampled at his web site, along with a link to his blog. While he's attended several conventions, his 2007 debut in the Pro/Fan Trivia match was also his first Comic-Con.

BII team record for his years: 2-0

Peter David, moderator (2008)

Self-proclaimed "writer of stuff," Peter David (a.k.a. PAD) got his start as a comic book writer with "The Death of Jean DeWolff", published in Spectacular Spider-man #107-110. He is probably best known in comics for his 12-year tenure on The Incredible Hulk, although he has also written numerous other series for both Marvel and DC, plus creator-owned work such as Soulsearchers and Company, Sachs and Violens, and Fallen Angel. David has also written dozens of novels, both for licensed properties such as Star Trek and original works such as the Modern Arthur and Sir Apropos of Nothing series.

Alfred Day, fan (1999)

BII team record for his year: 0-1

Keith DeCandido, moderator (2005)

Jim Hay was unavailable in 2005, so Tom Galloway recruited DeCandido based on his experience helping Galloway with "Win Tom Galloway's Money" at Worldcon in the past.

Jim Drew, fan (1995, 1997–1998, 2000)

In 1994, Jim Drew was banned for being on the winning trivia team three years in a row. When Len Wein suggested a fan/pro match, Drew joined Tom Galloway, who had been banned at the same time, on the fan team. Drew is guaranteeed a slot with the Black Ink Irregulars each year, should he desire to do so.

BII team record for his years: 2-2

Ted Elliott, pro (1995)

Ted Elliott is a script writer who has worked on many projects, including Shrek and Disney's Aladdin.

PP team record for his year: 0-1

Tom Galloway, fan (1995–2001, 2003–2005, 2007–2008, 2010, 2013)

Thomas Young Galloway, sometimes known as "tyg," has been posting on Usenet since at least 1981 and probably longer (but that's as far back as Google's archive goes). He has been involved with the rec.arts.comics.* hierarchy of newsgroups since 1986, when r.a.c was created (and probably with net.comics before that). In the early days (c. 1989–1991), he compiled statistics on rec.arts.comics posters. In 1992 he started the Alternative/Bizarro Squiddies and administered them through 1995, when Michael A. Chary took over. Galloway has been known to depart rac.* occasionally -- and sometimes dramatically -- but he always seems to return. He is articulate, has a good sense of humor, and his comic book knowledge seems endless.

In 1994, Galloway was banned for being on the winning trivia team three years in a row. When Len Wein suggested a fan/pro match, Galloway agreed. He has led the Black Ink Irregulars every year the Pro/Fan Trivia Challenge has been held.

BII team record for his years: 8-6

David Goldfarb, fan (1995–1999, 2001), question editor/writer (2003, 2005)

David Goldfarb is another stalwart of rec.arts.comics.* who has been there since its creation in 1986. He continues to post today. Goldfarb managed to get an asteroid named after himself in a Legion of Super-Heroes comic for suggesting Cosmic Boy use the metal discs on his uniform as weapons.

Goldfarb was a member of the winning trivia team in 1994 when Jim Drew and Tom Galloway were banned for leading their team to victory three years in a row. Goldfarb went on to be on the winning team in 1995 and 1996, when he, too, was banned, thus guaranteeing him a slot with the Black Ink Irregulars each year, should he desire to do so.

BII team record for his years: 2-4

Michael Grabois, fan (2001, 2010), question writer (2008)

Michael R. Grabois has created many a document. These include the the Comic Convention Survival Guide and Anal Retentive Checklists for art by Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Grell, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and Legion of Super-Heroes appearances, reprints, merchandise, and web sites. Grabois has been collecting comics since 1974, when he was eight. He joined rec.arts.comics.* in 1995. Of late, he's limited himself to r.a.c.dc.lsh, and even there his posts are coming less often. In real life, he works at NASA in Houston training astronauts.

BII team record for his year: 1-1

Jim Hay, moderator (1995–2001, 2003–2004), question writer (1995–2001)

James Hay was responsible for organizing and moderating the event every year. He surrendered some organizational duties starting in 2003, when he had gotten married two weeks prior to the con. Although he still acted as moderator that year, the questions were written by others, with David Goldfarb serving as question editor. In 2005, he was unavailable to moderate.

Paul Levitz, pro (2005, 2007)

Paul Levitz first gained notoriety as the writer of Legion of Super-Heroes. He went on to become editor of the Batman line and eventually became the president of DC Comics.

PP team record for his years: 0-2

Jason Luna, pro (2008)

After Kurt Busiek was unable to make the 2008 match, a call for volunteers from the audience was made. Jason Luna was selected to fill in for Busiek. To ensure his "pro" status, moderator Peter David paid him $1.

PP team record for his year: 0-1

Tim Lynch, fan (2000, 2003)

Timothy W. Lynch is probably best known for his reviews of various Star Trek series. He's been a member of rec.arts.comics.* since at least 1990, when there was only one group. His posts have dwindled, but (as of mid-2004) he says he still lurks frequently.

BII team record for his years: 1-1

Elliot S! Maggin, pro (2007, 2013)

Elliot S! Maggin is best known for his long tenure writing for the Superman titles from 1971 to 1986. He also wrote two Superman novels and the novelization of Kingdom Come. Maggin's web site is www.maggin.com.

PP team record for his year: 0-2

Rich Morrissey, fan (1998)

Rich Morrissey was a huge fan of comic books and their history. He was often called upon by publishers to identify originally uncredited work that was being reprinted. He was also responsible for tracking down some Silver Age creators who'd long been away from the field and getting them to conventions. Morrissey volunteered as a BII in 1998 when the topic was pre-Crisis Superman. As Tom Galloway said, he was "possibly the only person who knew more Superman trivia than Mark [Waid]" (Usenet post). Galloway attributes the BII not getting horribly trounced that year (they still lost, however) to Morrissey. He died in early 2001. The Pro/Fan match that year was named in his honor. Mark Evanier did a nice bio on him upon his death. In 2008, Jim Shooter created a supporting character known as M'rissey in Legion of Super-Heroes who was named for Morrissey [source].

BII team record for his year: 0-1

Greg "Elmo" Morrow, fan (1996)

BII team record for his year: 0-1

John Morrow, question writer (1998, 2000)

John Morrow is a well-known Jack Kirby fan and, along with his wife, the publisher behind TwoMorrows Publishing.

Jim Murdoch, fan (1996–1997, 1999–2000)

BII team record for his years: 1-3

Jess Nevins, question writer (2003, 2005)

Jess Nevins has been present in rec.arts.comics.* since 1994, but he really made a name for himself by annotating the Kingdom Come limited series in 1996. Although his involvement with r.a.c.* has waned, he continues to lurk and sometimes annotate. He has actually had two books of annotations published, one for each volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

David Oakes, fan (2004–2005, 2007–2008, 2010, 2013)

David Oakes is "Freelance Artist/Statistical Consultant" who also likes Lego and comic books. He sometimes combines the two hobbies, as can be seen at his web site.

BII team record for his years: 5-1

Carlos Pacheco, pro (no-show 2003)

Carlos Pacheco is a writer and penciller. His best known work includes Avengers Forever, Fantastic Four, and X-Men. He was scheduled to play with the PP in 2003, but according to Kurt Busiek (Usenet post), Pacheco suffered from jet lag (he flew in from Spain) during the convention. He got up the morning of the Trivia Challenge, had a breakfast meeting, then went back to his room for a short nap. Five hours later, and after the match, he woke up.

PP team record for his years: N/A

Martin Pasko, pro (2013)

Martin Pasko is a writer for comics and television, both animated and live action. The bulk of his comic book work has been for DC.

PP team record for his year: 0-1

John Sardegna, fan (2001, 2003–2005, 2008)

BII team record for his years: 3-2

Hal Shipman, fan (2004–2005, 2007)

BII team record for his years: 2-1

Robert Skir, pro (2008)

Robert Skir has written for numerous animated television programs, including X-Men, Batman: The Animated Series, and Spider-Man. He also co-created or co-developed Transformers: Beast Machines and X-Men: Evolution.

PP team record for his year: 0-1

Roger Stern, pro (1995–1998)

Roger Stern has been writing comics a long time. His credits include runs on Action Comics, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Dr. Strange, and Starman (1988). He is also the co-creator of the original Hobgoblin. Stern has been posting to rec.arts.comics.* in spurts since 1995, although his posts seem to be coming less frequently as the years go by.

PP team record for his years: 2-2

Eric Sturgeon, fan (1995)

BII team record for his year: 1-0

Peter Svensson, pro (2008, 2010), fan (2013)

After Mark Waid was unable to make the 2008 match, a call for volunteers from the audience was made. Peter Svensson, "a contributor to Comic Foundry magazine and occasional pinch-hitter for Newsarama," was selected to fill in for Waid. To ensure his "pro" status, moderator Peter David paid him $1. Svensson filled in for Mark Waid again in 2010.

Svensson returned to the match in 2013 as a fan, making him the only person to play for both teams.

PP team record for his year: 0-2
BII team record for his year: 1-0

Mark Waid, pro (1996–1999, 2001, 2003–2005)

Mark Waid began his comic book career as writer and editor of Amazing Heroes, a magazine about comics. He went on to become an editor at DC, only to be dismissed for allowing the original Supergirl to appear, out of costume and only named as "Kara," in a post-Crisis Christmas special story. Waid then became a writer exclusively, gaining recognition for his work on Flash, Impulse, and other titles. Perhaps his best known work is Kingdom Come.

In 2000, Waid gave up his seat on the Purple Pros to Tom Brevoort because of Brevoort's supposedly superior Kirby knowledge. It turned out Waid, sitting in the audience, knew the answers to several questions Brevoort didn't.

In 2007 Waid was scheduled to be on the team, but was uanble to make it. Len Wein managed to find a replacement in Elliot S! Maggin.

PP team record for his years: 5-3

Sidne Ward, fan (2003)

Sidne Ward has the distinction of being the only woman to serve on either team.

BII team record for her year: 1-0

Len Wein, pro (1995–2001, 2003–2005, 2007–2008, 2010, 2013)

There are many comics bearing Len Wein's writing credit. He had lengthy runs on Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, and Thor and was co-plotter on Giant-Size X-Men #1, debuting the new X-Men. He also co-created Swamp Thing and Wolverine, amongst others, and has served as an editor for both Marvel and DC. In fact, he was the head editor of Marvel (before the position became known as "Editor-in-Chief") from 1974 to 1975. He has become notorious in the trivia challenge for realizing, after a question is answered, that he wrote the story it came from.

It was Wein who originally suggested the idea of a fan/pro trivia contest to to Tom Galloway. He has led the Purple Pros every year the Pro/Fan Trivia Challenge has been held. You can find his blog at WeinWords.

PP team record for his years: 6-8

Marv Wolfman, pro (1999–2000, 2005)

Marv Wolfman is a long-time friend of Len Wein and the two often collaborated early in his career. One of Wolfman's early, successful assignments was a long run on Tomb of Dracula for Marvel. He also served as head editor of Marvel (before the position became known as "Editor-in-Chief") from 1975 to 1976. He truly became a household name (at least to comic book fans), however, in the mid-1980s during his long run writing New Teen Titans with George Perez as penciller. He later went on to write the universe-changing mini-series Crisis on Infinte Earths for DC.

Wolfman moved on to other mediums in the '90s. After the success of the 1998 movie Blade, Wolfman sued Marvel for ownership of the character, as he created it for Tomb of Dracula and insisted it was not a clear-cut case of work-for-hire. Ultimately, Wolfman lost the case.

You can find Wolfman's web site at www.marvwolfman.com.

PP team record for his years: 2-1

John Wells, question writer (2003–2005, 2010)

John Wells is a well-known fan expert on DC continuity. Kurt Busiek credited him for research for Power Company and named the Wells & Schaum research firm in the comic after him in part.


Statistics

YearsBIIPP
14Tom GallowayLen Wein
11Kurt Busiek
8Mark Waid
6David Goldfarb
David Oakes
5John Sardegna
4Jim Drew
Jim Murdoch
Roger Stern
3Hal ShipmanTom Brevoort
Marv Wolfman
2Terence Chua
Michael Grabois
Tim Lynch
Paul Levitz
Elliot S! Maggin
Peter Svensson (pro)
1Pete Bickford
Stephen Brumbaugh
Alfred Day
Rich Morrissey
Greg "Elmo" Morrow
Eric Sturgeon
Peter Svensson (fan)
Sidne Ward
Ted Elliott
Jason Luna
Martin Pasko
Robert Skir
Win/Loss RatioBIIPP
3:0Tom Brevoort
2:0Terence Chua
1:0Pete Bickford
Eric Sturgeon
Peter Svensson (fan)
Sidne Ward
5:1David Oakes
2:1Hal Shipman Marv Wolfman
5:3Mark Waid
6:5Kurt Busiek
4:3Tom Galloway
3:2John Sardegna
1:1Jim Drew
Michael Grabois
Tim Lynch
Roger Stern
3:4Len Wein
1:2David Goldfarb
1:3Jim Murdoch
0:1Stephen Brumbaugh
Alfred Day
Rich Morrissey
Greg "Elmo" Morrow
Ted Elliott
Jason Luna
Martin Pasko
Robert Skir
0:2 Paul Levitz
Elliot S! Maggin
Peter Svensson (pro)

Streaks

The Black Ink Irregulars have the longest winning streak with five matches in a row. They did it from 2005 to 2013. (No matches were held in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2012.) The Purple Pros had a streak of four wins from 1998 to 2001.