Being semi-literate comic books fans as we are, G (the other guy that works at the same shop I do) and I have noticed a recent rash spate epidemic of instances of shoddy editing in comic books. He decided it would be a good idea if we scanned the mistakes and put them up on the internet, something I should have instantly recognized as corporate-speak for “you’re going to put them up on the internet.” (For future reference: whenever anyone you know that works in a corporate environment tells you that “we” need to do something, they really mean and fully intend for you to do something.)
That said, yes, I do want to call attention to these mistakes because, as IBM’s James Mathewson points out here, the value of editors in the literary world seems to be declining in the face of cost-cutting expenditures. This would be a bad idea. Having worked as an editor for a small publisher, I can honestly say that we need editors more than ever, to maintain cohesion and language as schools lose funding. I learned a lot of my vocabulary from books when I was growing up (and still mispronounce words that I’ve never actually heard anyone say yet); the value of books for extending the vocabulary and literacy of both children and adults has not lessened at all since I was a boy and dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The worst offender in the comics world? Far and away, it’s Marvel Comics. The House of (Bad) Ideas is swiftly becoming the House of Bad Editing, as seen in this example from Heralds #2:
And sddenly, Marvel editors forgot how to use spellcheck. I have to remember, though, that nobody’s perfect. . .
. . .not even with mutant editing powers.
Spellcheck, to be fair, can be a huge pain in the ass that slows down the entire publishing process by upwards of 6 minutes a day. So let’s hear it for those editors who, despite the enormous pressures they face, still use it!
The conversation continues as follows:
Dr. Strange: Our word?
HellStrom: Yes. They’re invading our word.
Dr. Strange: Our word?
HellStrom: To your mother. Yes.
Don’t worry, true believers; we’ll get through this together. . .
. . .or maybe not.
You know, perhaps we’re all just better off without. . .without. . .without something. . .I can’t remember what we’re better off without. Frank Castle, do you remember?
You heard the Punisher, kids: stay indoors! We’re better off without out!
I think I hear DC editors snickering in the back. . .why are you guys laughing? Look at these two mistakes from Justice League: Generation Lost #1:
Give the DC editors credit for at least using spellcheck, even if they didn’t bother to make sure that the words were the proper choices.
The award (at least for this episode) for Worst Editorial Mistake goes to, you guessed it, Marvel Comics, for this mistake on the cover of Marvel Zombies #5:
While I’m sure that Mr. van Lante was thrilled to finally see his name on the cover of a comic, I’m sure that Fred van Lente, who actually wrote the book, was less than amused. Hopefully they spelled his name right on the checks.
Till next time, Excelsifore!
VS – 8.2.10