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INTERVIEW
Deborah Palacia

This New Jersey native and resident has been collecting Pac-Man
related items since the early eighties. She recently published
the book
'Pac-Man Collectables',
the ultimate resource for Pac-Man fanatics!

MT> Obviously you are quite a Pac-Man fanatic. How did the fad start for you?
DP> I began collecting Pac-Man items in 1980 without even knowing that I was a "budding" Pac-Man fanatic. It was 1980 and I walked into a local arcade and I spotted this bright yellow game that I had never seen there before. Upon inspection of the game it appeared to be "cute" and the maze concept was new. I had never seen anything like it before. So, I reached in my pocket and pulled out a quarter. I inserted it into the machine and the rest is history...

MT> Pac-Man fans come from all angles of life. Your career in the criminal justice system serves as another confirmation. Over the years acquiring Pac-Man collectables, what other diverse individuals with colorful backgrounds and careers have you encountered?
DP> As you can imagine, I have seen a cast of colorful characters over the years in my criminal justice career and my collecting. It is amazing to see how so many people from such diverse backgrounds have all been taken in by this little yellow dot. In my years of collecting I have come across Pac-Man fans who are students, computer programers, video game enthusiasts, retirees, writers, fire fighters, and stay-at-home moms to mention a few. The colorful characters can best be described by the many people who I have met with red, green, blue, and purple hair. I have yet to meet any with Pac-Man yellow, though.

MT> When did the idea to bring your hobby to print begin?
DP> It was approximately three years ago. I have been collecting since 1980 and was always checking out the collectibles book section at the local Barnes & Nobles books store. With all the thousands of collectible books on the market, I could never find one specifically on Pac-Man. I was disappointed and thought; "Hey, wouldn't it be great if Pac-Man had his own book?" Now he does.


MT> Explain the procedures, challenges, and demands required to create Pac-Man Collectibles
DP> I never really thought about the procedure before, but it all started with the contract. The publisher was nice enough to give me a two year contract. I new when I signed it that I had enough items to fill the pages, but the text, lay out, photos, and other items were mind boggling. My first thought after I signed it was "I am not an author, I hope I can pull this off." Meeting my deadline was a challenge. It seemed like the two years flew by and before I knew it, my editor was calling to tell me that he needed the material earlier than the actual deadline date on the contract. As always, nothing goes according to plan. I really had to put my nose to the grind stone. I wrote all the text myself and was given a guide on how to make it readible for the typesetters. This took me forever! I became bleary eyed and was hoping that this would all be worth it in the end. The biggest demand was the time and my insistance on professional photographs. After all, who wants to buy a collectibles book to see a collection with photos that are not perfect. Not any Pac-Man collector I know. I think if you asked my editor what my biggest concern was, he would tell you the photos. I called him several times about colors on particular items that I did not think were up to par and of course the cropping. I did the most complaining about the red on the cover. Thankfully, they got the color exactly as I imagined it to be.

MT> Shouldn't your feline companion be named "Sour Puss" in reference to Pac-Man's cat in the classic Saturday morning cartoon The Pac-Man Show, as opposed to Praline? Shame on you!
DP> I can explain my way out of this one. My Birman cat, Praline, does not have the personality of the original and one and only Pac-Cat. Sour Puss is exactly that a sour puss. But how would you act if you had a Chomp Chomp for a roommate. Besides, one of my favorite ice cream flavors is "Pralines 'N Cream."

MT> Of the dozens of released Pac-Man games, which is your personal favorite Pac-Man game, and why?
DP> My absolute favorite is Ms. Pac-Man. I believe that she is the original Diva of the 80's. The game itself was a lot more challenging than Pac-Man. I especially liked the little "skits" between the changing mazes with Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man and the Baby-Pac. I also think that this game can be attributed for women becoming involved in the video game industry.

MT> Even the biggest classic gaming fans are surprised to learn about the existance of the 'Professor Pac-Man' coin-op. The game simply slipped into obscurity. Why do you think that this particular Pac-Man title is often forgotten?
DP> Since there were only a few game manufactured, I don't beleive that many Pac-Man fans ever got to see, hear, or play the actual game. This particular game was IQ-based rather that action based and I think that Pac-Fans wanted their adventure at the end of a day and not a quiz.

MT> Have you ever solved the Pac-Man Rubik's Cube?
DP> No. The one that I own, which is pictured in the book, was already solved when I purchased it. I never dared to try to solve it myself!

MT> What Pac-Man related items have you aquired after the book went to the press that you really wish could have been included?
DP> I have acquired some interesting items from the Pac-Man Cartoon. One of my favorites is an actual script which I received from the editor of the Pac-Man cartoon, Jeffrey Scott. It was printed on his daisy wheel printer in the 80's. He even personalized and authographed the item. Let's see, a few Pac-Man comic books from Canada which are all in french. A can of Chef Boy R Dee pasta in creamy alfredo sauce. Oh, I could go on and on.

MT> While we recognize that you are a devoted Pac fanatic, certainly you enjoy other classic games. What other coin-op games have captured your quarters, and do you have any memorabilia based on those titles?
DP> You can still find me pumping my quarters into Centipede and Frogger. I thinks these are the only other two games that I really like. Yes, I do have some Frogger memorbilia like an ad flyer and a board game. Oh, lets ot forget the Atari 2600 cartridges. I have also managed to aquire collectibles for other classic games such as animation cels for Donkey Kong and Mario Brothers. And a collection would not be complete with out Topps trading cards with 20 year old gum from Donkey Kong and of course PAC-MAN!

MT> Great, now how can one go about purchasing this fine resource material and stroll down memory lane?
DP> Books may be purchased online at many fine booksellers, or even better, they can be ordered directly from myself via e-mail at mspacman@nac.net. These books will be personalized and autographed at the purchaser's request. The price is $29.95 which includes shipping and handling.

MT> Thanks!


... and be sure to visit
the
Pac-Man Collectables
homepage!


Good Deal Games wishes to salute Deborah for doing what others wouldn't.
It is nice to see those that love our hobby to take their fascination
and form it into something that we can all enjoy!

 


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