Ray Alma and the DC Production Dept., 1986

Images © DC Comics.

Recently on Facebook this group caricature surfaced. It’s from DC RELEASES, a promotional flyer put out by the company, the August 1986 issue, and the caricature is by Ray Alma. I’m in there at the far right, though I had completely forgotten about the image. Artist Ray Alma was contacted, and he kindly gave me more information about this picture and others he did for the flyer. Ray wrote,

“Joe Orlando was my teacher at the School of Visual Arts and initially set me up with this (my very first professional gig). I was still in SVA, only in my third year, and it went a long way toward infusing me with confidence to keep at it and pursue my dream. I did illustrations for maybe ten or so of these DC RELEASES.

“In regard to getting the gig, Joe had set up a meeting to show Dick Giordano and Linda Robak my portfolio so they could make the final call on using me or not. So Joe tells me to bring my portfolio (to the DC offices) at 666 5th Avenue and we’ll all have lunch and discuss it. I was still a student, had never had an interview before, so I assumed that I was supposed to buy lunch for everyone. My plan was to take us to a nearby diner. It was all I could afford

“I get there, and Joe says he’s made reservations for us at the “Top of the Sixes,” (the posh restaurant at the building’s top floor). I almost fainted! I was a mess all through lunch. I had the cheapest thing on the menu. It wasn’t until Joe took out his corporate credit card at the end of the meal that I could relax. And then I was like, ‘Damn — I could’a had a GREAT meal if I’d known!’ I loved Joe, he was such a great teacher.

“For my caricature reference, I remember everyone being really nice as I came in to take polaroids. I tried looking for my polaroid reference shots from that time, but I don’t think I have them anymore.”

Thanks for the insight and great stories, Ray! Ray Alma has gone on to a long and successful career as an artist. You can read about him and see lots of his work on his website.


Back to that Production group shot, here it is hand colored by Production man Bob LeRose, a copy he gave to Production Manager Bob Rozakis. A larger version is HERE.

From left to right are John Holiwski, Steven Bové, Bob LeRose, Muffy Greenough (right below Bob), Shelley Eiber, Al Aiola, Bob Rozakis large in front, Helen Vesik, Julia (Schick) Sabbagh, Albert DeGuzman, Kathy Edwards, Helen Ramirez and myself, the staff present on the day Ray Alma came to photograph us. I have to admit, I don’t remember that or meeting him, but it’s a fine drawing that brings back lots of good memories. Thanks to Bob Rozakis for sharing his colored copy, and to Ray for his memories! Here’s the article from that issue of DC RELEASES about the Production Department written by Rozakis, a little hard to read perhaps, but the best I can do here. Both DC RELEASES images are courtesy of Ray Alma.

Description of the people in the art.

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