It got weirder.
Months later, when I asked Mark about it, he said the story had been killed. The script was hilarious, as you'd expect from the creator of Sam and Max, but DC felt that it was undignified for Batman and Robin to be referred to as "a couple of costumed pansies" and other humorous bits that were less than reverential.
So the pencilled, lettered pages were put on a shelf. They eventually made their way out the door when an editor sent them to an inker in Canada so that he could "practice" on them. Yowza.
Flash forward several years. Mike's talking with a new editor at DC and suggests tracking down those boards so the story can finally be published. A few calls are made and the art is returned to DC, un-inked but slightly water damaged in places.
Mike considers inking it himself but changes his mind when he looks over the pencils and says, "I don't even know the guy who pencilled this!"
So he asks me if I want to take a crack at it and of course I agree.
Years earlier, Mike had been disappointed with my inks on an Alien book we did because he was hoping I'd really go to town with the rendering and shadows. He thought I'd inked it straight, which really wasn't what he was looking for. I assured him that I'd try to "fix" things if I could find anything that really needed it.
Fast forward again, a few months later. The pages are once again at DC, but this time they're inked and the objecting editor has moved on, so it's finally going to get published, right? No, not yet... they don't know where to put it since Secret Origins has been cancelled and it's too short for a book by itself. How about putting it together with the Ron Marz, Berni Wrightson Batman vs Solomon Grundy story I inked? The editor's eyes lit up... "Yeah! Let's do it!"
Well no, that would make too much sense for a project as cursed as this one.
It finally saw print years later. Some of you may have seen it, buried in a Batman villains issue of Secret Files, but it was easy to miss. If you can find a copy, check out the dialog. It's laugh-out-loud funny and whole chunks of it were taken from the original Clayface story published back in the '40's.