10'x10' Toons - Typos of Doom!

I was first introduced to the concept of “Typos of Doom” by Miranda Horner, a terrific editor whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with for nearly 20 years. (Holy cats!) She kept a running list of Typos of Doom on the wall in her office, and enthusiastically shared them with anyone who came to visit.

Several years later, Julia Martin (another amazing editor I’ve been lucky enough to work with on many occasions) was looking for some April Fool’s Day content for the D&D website, and asked me if I’d be willing to illustrate some of the entries from Miranda’s List. I did, and it was popular enough that I was asked to do so again two more times. There were collections of Typos of Doom comics featured in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Now, there’s more to a Typo of Doom than just a slip of the typing finger. In order to qualify, the typo:

• Must create a new, unintended meaning in the sentence. It’s not just enough to accidentally type one word incorrectly . . . you have to accidentally type a different word correctly! (No doubt, auto-correct helps greatly in this achievement.)

• Must have been caught before publication. The writer can catch it him- or herself, or an editor or proofreader can catch it at any point in the editorial/layout/pre-production process. But the typo cannot have made it out into the world at large. These are examples of the editorial process working well, not pokes at human error.

• Must be funny. Yeah, this is pretty subjective, but in order to make it onto the list, the mistake has to be humorous enough to inspire a related picture (and, in most cases, a follow-up gag).

Unfortunately, I was never been asked to do any more of these cartoons for Wizards (or any other publisher—though I did do a trio of “Ptypos of Doom” for Malhavoc Press, based on typos caught in the production of their magnum opus, Ptolus, those pages are no longer archived online). Still, I kept the list, just in case. What’s more, over the years I’ve added to it—sometimes with typos from my own work, or that of my partners in Super Genius Games . . . sometimes with typos other editors  send me (because they enjoyed the original comics so much).

After all this time, I’ve decided that since no one else is going to ask me to make these comics, I’m going to make them for myself. So now “Typos of Doom” is officially a sub-category of the 10’x10′ Toon! I won’t let them dominate the strip, but you’ll see them fairly regularly. I’ve build up quite a war chest of them!

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