When the fall issue of Mome (Vol. 12) came out we were excited. At least until we opened it. It features a short story by Al Columbia for which we did the color separations. But something went horribly wrong between the time the files were handed off and when the book saw print. What follows is a heated and often contentious email exchange between Jon Adams and Al Columbia regarding this unfortunate event.
Jon Adams, Oct. 25, 2008, 9:36 AM
Hey, Al. I just picked up the issue of Mome I did your color separations for. It looks like something strange happened – maybe a printing problem or something – because did you see the cat's leg on the first page? It's white, not blue! There's no way I could have made such a mistake. Do you have any idea what happened?
Al Columbia, Oct. 27, 2008, 3:24 PM
Hi, John. Sorry about the mix up, but I made some revisions to the work you did, and I guess that one slipped past me. This is probably my fault. I just shouldn't have asked you to do it in the first place, because I ended up having to redo basically all your work. It's not that the color separations were awful, but there was definitely room for improvement. I guess I should have known better. Glad you liked the book, though. Please continue to support my work!
Jon Adams, Oct. 27, 2008, 3:36 PM
Wait, so you're saying you changed my art? Why would you do such a thing? How would you feel if somebody changed your art? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it was a mistake you regret. Please issue a public apology immediately, before the word spreads that I don't know how to do color separations correctly.
Al Columbia, Oct. 27, 2008, 3:37 PM
Hi, I'm away until November 6th and will not be checking email during that time. If you need immediate assistance with appearances, autographed photos or interview requests, please contact my secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace be with you.
Jon Adams, Nov. 6, 2008, 8:31 AM
Al, I called you several times today. You're supposed to be back by now. Where are you?!
Al Columbia, Nov. 6, 2008, 11:21 PM
Hey man, what's up? I went to Hawaii for a while. Check out this row boat I saw!
Jon Adams, Nov. 6, 2008, 11:24 PM
I don't care about Hawaii, and I don't care about any boats! (That is a pretty sweet row boat though.) All I care about is the huge problem of the coloring mistake in Mome. While you were away on vacation, anything could have happened. Somebody might start a thread about it on a message board! If that happens, it's all over for me. Also, the guy at the comic store wouldn't let me return the book, not even when I pointed out the cat's leg. He stared at it and was like, "so what," and then we got in this big argument. So instead I had to buy all the remaining issues, and now I'm mailing them to Fantagraphics. I think Fantagraphics is going to need to recall all of these and reprint them. It's the only solution I can think of, professionally and morally.
Bill, Nov. 10, 2008, 10:20 PM
Hi John, this is Al's assistant, Bill. Al's really swamped with work right now, so I'm handling his email for the next few months. What can I do for you?
Jon Adams, Nov. 10, 2008, 10:22 PM
Bill, there's a huge problem! Just open up the latest copy of Mome and you’ll see it. But there’s nothing you can do to fix it. This requires Al's direct attention. Please have him call me ASAP!
Bill, Nov. 10, 2008, 10:23 PM
Hi, I'm out of the office for the next two weeks or possibly longer. I'll return your email when I'm back. If you need immediate assistance, please call my cell.
Jon, Nov. 10, 2008, 10:24 PM
Bill, you forgot to include your cell number! What is it?
We're hoping ths unfortunate situation will soon be resolved. In the meantime we're asking that any of you who currently own the issue of Mome in question, please destroy it. Burn it, shoot it, eat it. Whatever it takes to do the right thing. There will of course be collectors who see the value in this, just like that upside-down airplane stamp, or a two-headed cat. But please, listen to your conscience and destroy this book.