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Off My Mind: Typos In Comics, Intentional Or Unintentional?

Should this still be happening?


We all know nobody's perfect, right? There has been times when I've caught my own typos after I've published an article. You would just think that when it comes to printed media, we shouldn't see typos. The question is, are these typos intentional or unintentional?
 
Take the recent Teen Titans #83. After a busy day leading the Teen Titans, Wonder Girl goes to Superboy's room to talk. She's feeling a lot of pressure with the current events and the talking leads to other things. When Conner asks her if a kiss made "it better," her response is "No...make it harder." When the doctor tending to Miss Martian's condition walks in, she seems rather surprised. 
 
What is the age rating on this comic?
 == TEASER ==
Clearly that wasn't what was meant to be printed. We can assume that she probably meant something more like, "No...it makes things harder." I am by no means trying to place blame. I don't know if this was an editorial slip, if the letterer was trying to squeeze this by or if I'm just reading too much into a "tender" moment. I can just imagine what that outraged family would think of this after they were upset over Batman Confidential #18 (with Batgirl and Catwoman's tussle in the buff).
 
There's also the infamous All-Star Batman and Robin #10 that featured quite a bit of foul language. Due to a printing error, the potty-words could still easily be read despite the censor bars (seen to the right here). Maybe this wasn't necessarily a typo but it's still something that somehow slipped out. DC recalled the issue after it had shipped.
 
And let's not forget about that 1998's Wolverine #131 also faced a recall due to a typo which came out as a anti-Semetic racial slur. 

 Clearly Sabretooth was meant to be called a "killer" but that's not what made it to the printer.
 
I'm curious how and why this happens. There are so many people that look over a comic before it goes to the printer. Again, I don't want to place blame on any one position because it could happen at any stage. Part of me wonders if someone with access to the a computer scan before it goes to the printer is able to tweak things in an attempt to be funny, sort of like how some animators try inserting naughty bits into cartoons. You don't usually see typos that are gibberish. With All-Star Batman, I wonder why the "bad" words were actually lettered when a space could have just been left blank for the black bar to fill it in. Do you think these slip ups are intentional or truly are coincidental accidents? Have you come across any others?
38 Comments
Posted by The_Warlord

LOLOLOLOL

Posted by SoA

wow  just wow. i came across a few typos here and their not as bad as the ones mentioned in the article , so i really just overlook them

Posted by Namor1987

cool

Posted by G-Man

And that Batgirl page might be easier to see here:



Staff
Posted by Krakoa

Great article G-man. I think it's a mixture of typos and pranks. My favorite story is about 2001's Universe X Spidey in which Al Milgrom hid nasty comments about Bob Harras. 

Posted by Theodore

wow Sabretooth the kike... racist bastards.
 

 Superman: Secret Origins #4 (I think)

pubisher.
Posted by PatriceHarvey

Juste one scary word : sue. 

Edited by ComicMan24

Mistakes happen. It doesn't matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility of a mistake. Now,if they were intentional or not, it wouldn't surprise me if they were.
Posted by xerox_kitty

DC shouldn't blank out swear words.  While it reminds me of the Futurama black bar generator, they should just substitute them for *!&^ other characters.  We'll still know what's being said, but then they wont have to worry about visible swearing... 
 
But the 'harder' caption looks intentional.

Moderator
Posted by JD907

Ultimates 2 #3:

 
Edited by EdwardWindsor

Typos happen to the best of us , i for one am one of the sites worst for it althought iam trying to narrow it down. I think the whole swearing  issue will be best dealt with the way kitty mentioned above its simple and it doesnt take the language away really its an effective form of censorship.

Edited by SUPER-MAN 23

Sure I have seen mistakes like that in the re printed version of All Star Batman And Robin Boy Wonder. in the re print version of issue 8. It has the editors note:

Posted by Joey Ravn

I don't think the Teen Titans #83 thing is a "typo" or a "mistake" at all. It's just plain bad writing. I feel bad saying it, but Felicia Henderson is not a good writer. At least, her tenure in TT has been, how can I put it? Terrible. Dreadful. And mind you, it's not something *I* say, it's general consensus, at least in the DC Boards. 
 
Anyway, great article, G-Man. I think I saw a little, littlest typo in one of last weeks issues. Yes, it was in Outsiders #30. Alfred Pennyworth says: "Godspeed, gentlmen. Be safe". You know what's the most funny thing about this? That this arc is written by no other than Dan DiDio, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of DC Comics. I'm not saying it's HIS fault, but, come on... If you are lettering the Boss's issue, try at least to spellcheck what you've written.  
 
I don't think that the "censoring" in ASB&R was to be taken seriously. I mean, the whole book is not to be taken seriously. It's so over-the-top in everything (violence, sexuality, etc.) that censoring those words is completely unnecesary. It'd look silly if it was serious.
 
To be honest, I know we all make mistakes, but typos like that one are completely intolerable. It's not that comic books are REALLY text heavy. I assume that with one proof-reading should be more than enough to spot these silly mistakes.

Posted by ComicMan24

If they don't want foul words to be seen, they shouldn't use them then.
Posted by logan48227

Typos are just mistakes, which happen to everyone. Even spellcheck & the brightest editors can't catch every single mistake. Collaborative efforts like publishing a monthly comic have an even greater margin for error because there are so many people involved. 

Posted by jamdown

LOL :)

Posted by aztek_the_lost

I spot a typo almost once a week I feel but I've learned to glance over them, I think yesterday it was in Sandman Mystery Theatre (I forget the exact issue but it was The Blackhawk arc so #45-48) and in the trade it said "ta s"...where the b went I have no idea. 
 
Though I think the black-barring thing is another topic altogether, I hated that in The Invisibles, you could tell all those black-bar comments were meant to be very specific but they were all censored...very annoying.

Moderator
Posted by Nova`Prime`

Typos are a fact of life for the most part the misspellings are entirely different words, which no spell check can pick up its going to happen. I usually pick up one or two a week, and considering how much writing, editing, and rewriting goes on for an issue its understandable that sometimes little mistakes get through.

Posted by LazarusFL

Wasn't it Marvel that had the infamous "No-Prize" for fans that caught typos and other inconsistencies years and years ago?  Seems like this is just something that is the ghost in the machine for comics and isn't going to change. 
Posted by goldenkey

Sabretooth is Jewish? 

Posted by longbowhunter

I can overlook typos in comics, but not in TPBs. Certainly not a 2nd or 3rd printing. I've been buying James Robinson's Starman in hardback and he keeps refering to Ralph "Digby" as a great detective. Come on after like 15 years someone should have caught and fixed this!
Posted by leokearon
@LazarusFL:
They still have no-prizes, I got one a while back, but it generally isn't for typos.
Edited by ArtisticNeedham

I always read it as intentional, I can't remember if I had come across anything that big and obvious, but when the word is blurred or missing or something.
I am dyslexic so typos really are hard, if its something like the Connor thing, I assume its intentional.  Like Writing someone with an accent or something.

Posted by Silkcuts

The little errors I think are just because they are rushing the product.  But things like Batman and Robin #10, I think its for the publicity.  Heck that comic is one of the more valuable DC comics in years.  I sold my spare for $25 a few months ago.
 
Wolverine being racist, that maybe as well publicity.  I don't think kiki was suppose to be killer.  That seems to off for me.
 
As for Teen Titans 
"No...it makes things harder." and  "No...make it harder."  I can understand being an error.
 
I think it depends.

Posted by Mooned Knight
@Theodore: I think that mistake is intentional...they're simulating having a cigar in Perry's mouth. But then he would also say "weave woo-thor oudda our papa"
Posted by Gothic Storm

I pick up my local paper and read typos every day. My own boss sends out emails where he will state, "You can use the  hole bay if needed to ship out  there items." Mistakes happen and are easy to correct... Bad writing, on the other hand, is not nearly as easy to correct. When I first read the TT captions, I was thinking she meant make the kiss harder. *shrug* I really don't see the harm in her saying that. Young teens (12-14) are doing far worse things than just making out these days... Don't act so shocked, people. Perhaps my mind is not as dirty as I thought it was, but maybe the writer should have known better. After all, most of those reading the stories are harmone-raging teens with one-track minds.

Posted by War Killer

This reminds me of the mishap Marvel had over Captain America #602 a few months back where Bucky and Falcon were watching a riot and one of the protesters sighs said the 
Inappropriate statement...

I think CV even posted an article about it as well, Marvel quickly claimed the statement to be an accident, which I don't deny it was, but you would think they'd have someone read one of final versions of the comics and check them before they ship 'em out to the general public, wouldn't you?
Posted by karrob

Lmao

Posted by SlightConfuse

Anyone remember when DC recalled Action comics because it had clark kent drinking beer with his father. that going a little over board i think.

Posted by G-Man
Staff
Posted by ComicMan24

Drinking some beer is so bad? We see things that are a lot worse in comics than this, blood, deaths etc. That is hypocrisy and pseudo-conservatism.
Edited by Comiclove5

I love DC and their non-rating system. 
Don't forget that same issue Conner was telling Bart about how him and Wonder Girl haven't had sex since his return.
Posted by Harlekin

 Generation Lost #1 "What are doing here!?"
Posted by Big

I dnot konw why ppoele get all hnug up on tpyos and waht not. I thnik as lnog as the gsit is udnreotsod tehn it's all good. Aslo, I dnot thnik the worods bweteen Surpeoby and Spureirgl is a tpyo. I tnhk taht she menat to say taht to Speruoby wsan't hlepnig to mkae her fogert. She nedeed a SeparMUN to kiss her the way she lkies. As in, "Mkae the kiss hrader so I cna feel beettr." Ah hcek, fcuk tihs, lte's see smoe mroe nilepps in cmocis and relaly srtat an uropar!
Posted by Krakoa

I don't understand the concept of obscenities at all. I can say DISMEMBER, KILL, DISEMBOWEL, EVISCERATE, and INFANTICIDE which depict some pretty nasty and brutal things, but if I want to refer to intercourse with a word that begins with f, I'd better use F%#K, because someone's distorted sense of morality might be infringed upon. 

Posted by G Bird

I've noticed typos quite a bit in comics actually. They even had one on the mini poster for Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game. It said Heros instead of Heroes.

Posted by jessej07

When Conner asks her "that make it better?" it makes PERFECT sense for her to say "No... make it harder."  You are misinterpreting what she is saying.  She is saying: "No, that didn't make it better.  Now let's do it again and this time make it harder."  You see?   
 
At least, that's what I took from it.  I didn't read the comic, just those two panels.
 
Anyway, yeah, typos are inevitable... I'm just not sure you picked the best recent one to cite.

Posted by xerox_kitty
@jessej07 said:
"When Conner asks her "that make it better?" it makes PERFECT sense for her to say "No... make it harder."  You are misinterpreting what she is saying.  She is saying: "No, that didn't make it better.  Now let's do it again and this time make it harder."  You see?    At least, that's what I took from it.  I didn't read the comic, just those two panels. Anyway, yeah, typos are inevitable... I'm just not sure you picked the best recent one to cite. "
That's why editors are meant to read & spot these things, to avoid any double entendre.  The fact that the majority of people read it as a sexual connotation tends to suggest that the editor would be aware of it's obvious meaning.  Given the target audience for the title, it's not exactly appropriate.
Moderator