As revealed in a few comments here and around the web, and confirmed by several insiders, the reason for yesterday’s ALL-STAR BATMAN #10 recall was language. Writer Frank Miller had requested all the issue’s profanity be lettered in,, and then covered with a black bar. However, although it looks fine in the proof stage, when it was printed, the black bars were transparent enough to read the offensive language. Funnybook Babylon has the scans:
In an email, Nat Gertler speculated on the production error:
“Just having looked at scans over the Internet, it looks to me like the lettering is printed using just black ink, while the bars were put on a different layer using “rich black”, which is a mixture of all four color inks. “Rich black” makes a darker, more vibrant black. On the computer screen, it would all just look black, but the difference will be visible on the printed page.”
Those who suggested the “goddam Batman” had done this or that were far closer than they knew to the truth.
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Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.