I have an old 80’s X-MEN comic. I can’t remember the issue number, but it’s the end of the first Brood saga. It appears to have been the subject of a printing error — the issue starts midway into the story and after about 5 pages, goes back about 3 pages and repeats itself. Is there an official term for comics of this type and are they worth anything?
— Akaash Yao (Dr_Miracle@comicfan.com)

An official term? Yes, when I was Production Director at DC Comics, we called it “a bindery screw-up.” A standard 32-page comic book is composed of a cover and the interior sections (two 16-page sections or four 8-pagers). These are printed separately, then put together via a conveyer belt system that drops each section in its place, followed by the cover, and then binds (staples) the book and trims the edges.
Each of the pockets (which hold the individual sections) of the binding machine are loaded by hand by human beings. Human beings sometime make mistakes… like picking up a pile of sections and putting them in the wrong pocket, resulting in two of the same section in a book. This is NOT a printing error; there is nothing wrong with the printing of the books. This is a binding error and it is far less cataclysmic since usually only a few copies are affected.
As to the worth of such copies, I’ve never heard of anyone looking for them, so I doubt they’re worth much. In fact, they’re not even good for reading, since pages of the story are invariably missing.

Which reminds me of a story from my DC days: A binding error occurred in a few copies of one of the books and, as luck would have it, those copies ended up being the ones the editor got. As this particular editor was prone to histrionics, his first stop with the copies was the office of DC Publisher Paul Levitz. While he carried on about recalling all the books and firing the printer, Paul called me in and, after showing other copies of the book that were okay and contacting various store owners in the area to have them check their copies, I was able to show that the problem was minor and limited to only the few the editor had.
However, I could not resist the chance to play a practical joke on said editor: A few weeks later, the advance copies of another of his books arrived. His assistant opened them and was shocked to discover that all the copies were bound backwards. She got the editor out of a meeting and he came charging into my office, demanding (again) that we fire the printer. I assured him that it was merely another aberration in the binding and handed him my as-yet-unopened package of the same book. “Go ahead and look at mine,” I told him. “I’m sure they don’t have the same problem.”
He tore open the package, pulled out a copy … and was horrified to see that my copies had been bound UPSIDE DOWN! Ah, the things you can do when you’re in charge of Production.


BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE was available for a boxtop from what cereal?
2. On what Hudson University structure did Robin confront Duela Dent?
3. BATMAN FAMILY features moved to another DC title; which one and why?
4. Robin kicked what in BobRo’s first published story?
5. Okay, where is Zeep, the Living Sponge employed?
6. What Batman villain teamed up with The Cavalier to battle Batgirl?
7. Robert Coleman used the name, but he didn’t shake Gotham down; what name was it?
8. One villain faced Elongated Man, Stretch, Hawkman, and Hotshot, among others; name him.
9. The staffers who worked on AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS were given a nickname; what was it?
10. Editing what gave BobRo the opportunity to become The Answer Man?
11. In “Brenda’s Story” (in ‘MAZING MAN #7) what decision did Brenda have to make?
12. The confrontation between the JSA and the Secret Society of Super-Villains was published where?

BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Monel metal is a non-rusting silvery-white alloy that is 67% nickel, 28% copper, and 5% other metals.
2. The Batman Oil Refinery in Turkey that was shown on a Turkish stamp issued in the 1960s.
3. Nick Rozakis (BobRo’s father) and Julie Schwartz attended the same New York City high school at the same time, but did not know one another.


FROM THE EMAILBOX:
Do you think the power levels of heroes are too widely spread, like Thor’s and Spider-Man’s?
— “Some Guy” (symondsbunch@aol.com)

I go to the gym four times a week. While most of the weights I use are in the 70 pound range, there are some people who are lifting only 10 pounds. And then there are guys who are lifting more than 250 lbs.
So my strength is (in theory anyway) seven times that of some people and less than a third of that of others. Give us all “super-strength” and there’d probably still be as wide a spread.

*****
I recently reread the complete run of FREEDOM FIGHTERS, which was a favorite of mine as a kid, and it holds up pretty well today. Uncle Sam has always been one of my favorite superheroes, but I’ve always been confused by his strength levels. I loved the idea that he was endowed with the power of “the spirit of America” and always thought he should have been one of DC’s heaviest-hitting powerhouses. Sometimes he seemed to have nearly Superman-level strength. Other times, he was easily clobbered. What was your take on his actual power?
— Grant Goggans (gmslegion@hotmail.com)

Like the “spirit of America,” I thought Sam had his ups and downs in the strength department. He’d get walloped every now and then, but it would just make him get up more determined than ever. And if there was a fight he truly believed in, there was no way anybody was going to beat him!

*****
Can you tell me anything about a Superman story in which Kal-El originally landed on a planet other than Earth, grew to adulthood there, fouled up the planet’s technological development in the process, and was then de-aged and sent back into space where he eventually landed on Earth? I’d love to track it down.
— Chris Galdieri (chrisgaldieri@journalism.org)

I think the story you’re referring to was titled something like “100 Years – Lost, Stolen, or Strayed.” A quick search through my collection (actually, nothing is quick when you have comics stored in bags inside boxes inside closets) did not turn it up where I thought it appeared, so I’m asking for some help from the readers. Can someone pinpoint the issue for us?

*****
Bob, could you give me all the info you have on the DC Implosion? And also, do you know anyone who has copies of CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE, as I would like to purchase copies of those covers and stories (not the originals, just copies of their Xeroxed sets)
— Shannon Link (fbtuflash@msn.com)

Someone told me that somewhere on this site there’s an article about your never-seen plans for Teen Titans, Secret Society of Super-Villains and Freedom Fighters. Where can I find these, as I loved your work on those features. I’m especially keen to learn whether you ever planned to reveal the story behind Star Sapphire II.
— Mart

The answers to your questions, Shannon and Mart, can be found by going to the column on the left, and digging into the “Past Columns” archive. My columns from May 1 through July 3 of last year feature an in-depth look at CCC and what would have happened in the features of mine that appeared there.
As for making Xerox copies of CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE, Shannon, such reproduction of copyrighted material is prohibited by law and the legal folks at DC Comics get highly upset when they find anyone selling same.

*****
I finally read Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” which increased my appetite for books (fiction or non-fiction) dealing with comics. I’ve heard good things about many books, including a book called “Superfolks,” but most books I’ve heard are out of print. Can you suggest some reading material for me?
— Ed Cunard (bodyartguy@yahoo.com)

Unfortunately, many of the books ARE out of print, but you can sometimes find copies. I’ve enjoyed “All in Color For a Dime” and “The Comic Book Book,” both by Don Thompson and Dick Lupoff, Jules Feiffer’s “The Great Comic Book Heroes,” and Steranko’s “History of Comics.” On the fiction side, there’s “Funny Papers” by Tom DeHaven, about the early days of newspaper comic strips.
There are probably lots more and I’ll pass along any recommendations I receive.

*****
Who was the naffest villain of the Elongated Man?
— David Moyes (kingkirby@talk21.com)

“Naffest”?

*****
What is your favorite comic book?
— Jamaal (crazyJay20@hotmail.com)

‘MAZING MAN. [Boy, I sure wish they’d bring it back.]

See you here again next week.


TRIVIA ANSWERS:
A little more than three years have passed since I left DC Comics. This week’s trivia involves just a few of the books and stories I worked on while I was there.
1. Cheerios
2. The Unispan
3. They moved to DETECTIVE COMICS so that DC wouldn’t have to cancel the title that gave it its name.
4. A football with a bomb in it.
5. Hero Hotline
6. Killer Moth
7. Quakemaster
8. The Calculator
9. The Junior Woodchucks
10. The Daily Planet
11. Whether or not to have an affair (she chose not to)
12. CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE

BobRo writes a new trivia question every day of the year and you can find them at Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.

 

Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


 

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