Fans of Gail Simone's "You'll All Be Sorry" column that ran here at CBR are aware of her first creator-owned project with artist Lea Hernandez, "Killer Princesses," a humor book from Oni Press that follows the three most popular girls on campus who may lack in the brains department, but are also the most skilled assassins in the world. This three-issue mini-series will be in stores on December 12th, but what you'll see isn't the entire book. "Killer Princesses #1" is missing a page.
"What happened is that somehow, when the book was laid out digitally, page 5 was duplicated and page 6 dropped," Oni Press Editor-In-Chief Jamie S. Rich told CBR News Monday. "So, when you read it, the book goes page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7. It creates a hiccup in the story, but it doesn't have an effect on reading and understanding what is going on. It's disheartening, though, since it was a pretty funny page."
The error creates problems for Oni on multiple levels, causing confusion for readers and the question of what to do about the error.
"The thing that bothers us is it made it through the proofing stage without anyone noticing," said Rich. "It's hard to explain why no one noticed, because I really don't understand how we could not have. It's a rather embarrassing error to have made. At this point, the book is already on its way to stores, and as you know from previous recalls, getting all the copies back before they reach the hands of the consumer can be difficult. It's also costly."
So, the decision has been made to leave the issue as it is and to make available the missing page on the Oni Press Web site as a printable PDF file and high quality JPG, and it will be included in the back of issue #2. Oni is also talking to Diamond Comics Distributors about informing retailers of the situation so they know how to answer customer questions regarding this mix-up.
Oni has been fortunate, though, in that this is the first time something like this has happened in one of their comics.
"...it's never really happened to us before. We've had one comic where two pages were out of order early on, and like most companies, we let it ride and explained it later," continued Rich. "It's really a fluke, and every editor's nightmare. If it happened in a TPB, we'd probably have to assess it a bit differently, based on the price of the book and the perceived permanence, as well as its traveling to the general, non-comics public. In many ways, though, it's like apples and oranges, as putting together a TPB is vastly different than putting together a comic, both in terms of construction and checking.
"As the editor in chief at Oni, I deeply regret that we fumbled the ball. It's the sort of thing you pray never happens. And as you can see, when it does, it just feels like such a phenomenal turn of events, it's almost mind-blowing. I just hope people realize that this is not the status quo, that we aren't in the business of putting out inferior products. The editor of the book, James Lucas Jones, and myself are retracing our steps to look at how this could have slipped by the radar in order to ensure that it never happens again."
Look for "Killer Princess #1" from Simone and Hernandez in stores December 12th.
For more with Rich read our feature interview from November 29th.