200809110236If you were wondering whether some retailers might just not destroy their copies of ALL-STAR BATMAN #10, but rather dip a toe into the eBay waters, well, you may look no further. There are, as of this writing, some 179 results for the book on eBay, with bidding over $100 on a few of them. Buy-it-now movement has been brisk, with copies typically going for $39.99 to $59.99.

While most of the copies probably came from stores (retailers in the East and Midwest got their copies from Diamond, while Western stores did not), some stores are selling them through personal accounts to avoid whatever steps DC or Diamond may take to shut down the sales.


  1. What will be the next AllStartSwearing title?
    Maybe rough edged Jonah Hex meets nasty ol’ Two-Face: entitled
    Jonah Hex & Two-Face: FaceOff or F#ckOff :)

    I see sales, I see profits, I see notoriety…

  2. I have a feeling DC is partly smiling over this. This is a perfect scenario for a conspiracy theorist. Did DC really know what would happen and all the coverage and talk generated about this book before it went to print, since after printing comics for such a long time, it’s amazing how they happened to have problems with these little black bars just now on a sinking title. With infrequent issue releases and each issue printing less and less, this was one way to jack the sales even with a second print run. The Babymen will be all out to scarf up a ‘cursing copy’ for their sets and satisfy their completists nature.

    The comic gods are happy today…

  3. So I don’t really know how this works. Would this be analogous to something like software piracy? Where instead of someone robbing a company of sales by selling their product for super cheap, these particular vendors are robbing DC by selling their book for exorbitant prices. Since DC’s not seeing any money for the sale, right? (Or are they? Do retailers have to return the defect books in order to get the safe copy?)

    Or should we just presume that the speculators buying the defect book are going to bag it immediately and then buy a legit copy for reading?

  4. This is funny. My shop is giving them out free to people who ask for them as long as they promise to buy the re-print off the shelf when it comes in.

  5. Now, I’m no DC Defender and while yes, this will create buzz around the book, the buzz won’t be enough to offset their manufacturing cost to reprint the entire run and anyone who seriously believes this was a conspiracy on DC’s part really sounds ignorant because they’re speaking without the knowledge of the unspeakably high costs of printing.

    As someone who comes from a magazine printing background, printing costs are astronomically high these days. The lower the print run, the higher the printing cost… and ASB&R doesn’t exactly register high on circulation. Compared to other ‘comics’, yes it is doing pretty well. But it is still considered a periodical and compared with other periodicals, the circulation is low so the printing costs are high.

    Additionally, the mistake is fairly common and something that happens ALL THE TIME. It appears that they used a 4c black to print the black bars which allows a certain amount of bleed through on the page as opposed to a solid black. The mistake could have been made when initially composing the page or when prepress processed the page. The look of the two blacks is so close that DC production might have missed it when reviewing their proofs before going to press. Using one black or the other ‘usually’ requires clicking a certain box on the page set up and frequently, people click the wrong one.

    But to seriously believe that DC would knowing incur such a significant cost to their manufacturing bottom line — to reprint an entire costly print run — just to create a little buzz is foolish.

    And for those who believe if it was a printing error, the printer absorbs the cost, uh no. It doesn’t work that way. At best, if it is determined to be a printers error, they will reimburse DC something (called PND, which is minimal, almost nothing) but the majority of the cost to reprint will fall on DC’s shoulders.

    And frankly, I’m surprised they’re doing it considering how much it costs. But since they are, it’s because either they are looking out for the best interests of retailers to avoid law suits or they really are committed to very high standards of excellence.

  6. The next time anyone says that DC planned this, I am closing the thread.

    They have nothing to gain from it, and such mistakes are costly and unprofitable. I have no idea how this mistake occurred — certainly the various theories about the two blacks sound plausible — but based on what I know, every step was taken to avoid just this very problem on DC’s part, and to think otherwise is just silly.

    I am all for questioning authority, but these DC conspiracy theories are totally asinine.

  7. A conspiracy therory seems to work best, since it would explain away the stupidity if this issue.

    “Additionally, the mistake is fairly common and something that happens ALL THE TIME. It appears that they used a 4c black to print the black bars …”

    This happens all the time>? Publishers everywhere spell out objectionable slang and cover it with black bars?? No … publishers target the books accordingly, avoid the language altogether, or use funny little symbols. Or draw black boxes with no text underneath.

    This sounds like an office joke (“Snicker! We know what’s REALLY under those black bars) that backfired.

    You’re right, it’s not a conspiracy. The people at DC are idiots. Hmm … yeah, that sounds right.

  8. Hey Scott —

    You don’t like my comments, don’t read them.


    Yes, this does happen ALL THE TIME, in mainstream magazine publishing like PEOPLE, DETAILS, GQ, EW Weekly, TIME and others, especially when printing ads.

    When an advertiser or page designer designs their page and it contains a black, most people do not want ‘see through’ on the page. Using a 4c black often results in (depending on the paper stock) images on the other side of the page to be seen through the black. It ruins the effect of the black on the image and especially advertisers, do NOT want another advertisers product to be seen on their ad.

    To most people, it would seem like something easy — click the correct box on the page set up for a solid black. But unless that designer has a working knowledge of production, the effect of ink on certain paper stocks, they just simply click the wrong box, 4 color — since everything else is prined in 4 color, why not the black too!

    Thing is, most people, designers included, do not have a working knowledge of production. That’s why production departments exist. And most people in production are not mind readers, they do not check the designers work to make sure they clicked the correct box for every single image a designer sets up.

    It’s human error though in this instance, a costly one.


    By pass this comment but also, feel free to make condescending comments of your own, of course without saying anything pertinent to the topic itself.

  9. from one designer to another,,,Brett,,,you’re right. Folks enjoy this while you can. This is a design/printer error. This may occur in the world of printing a lot, but rarely occurs in comics. Simply because the need for a technique such as this is rarely needed. But these things do happen. And in some circumstances can reward the collector nicely, but sometimes don’t (Marvel Two-“on”-One #1) Where you will find the value here is in the combination of the profanity and the messed up censor marks. Comics have been destroyed before for being too over the top offensive. Most namely the DC Elseworlds Annual where the baby was microwaved. That book only made it into circulation in England to my knowledge because the run was destroyed exactly like this. Get ’em while you can. I’m trying to find out how many actually made it into circulation. I’m not really sure at this point. But I’m still going to get mine. Good luck everybody.