Much like Bill Sienkiewicz’s Stray Toasters, David Mazzucchelli‘s Rubber Blanket and Dave McKean’s Cages, Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Big Numbers is a comic of almost epic proportions. The fact that the book was axed after only two issues, with a third one in the making, surely helped it acquire that status.
That fabled third issue now has surfaced thanks to Pádraig Ó Méalóid, who acquired the first two issues along with photocopied pages from the third one in an internet auction. As the (anonymous) seller put it :
“A number of years ago, I was a member of the CompuServe comic books forum, and I communicated with a number of professionals… One of those professionals was a friend of a friend of Alan Moore, and she had the photocopy of issue #3. She made copies for a few people, and I was lucky enough to be one.” He later said, “I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’d rather keep my source confidential… Anyway, the story I heard was that Al Columbia completed this issue, had it sent off for lettering and then went a little crazy and refused to release the art for publication … In any event, this art did exist long enough for it to be photocopied.”
Glycon scanned the pages, and has put the issue in its entirety online, with the following caveat :
“A few notes: Firstly, at least some of this art looks like Bill Sienkiewicz’s, but some of it doesn’t, which is presumably Al Columbia’s. A few of the pages are a bit askew, which is how I got them, but I’ve left them as they are, only trimming my scans up to where I felt the page images were, but otherwise leaving them as the were on the pages I have. It certainly looks as if these are not first-generation photocopies, so the images are not as crisp and sharp as they could be, but they’re probably the best we’re going to get to see, except for the unlettered art for some of these pages that was in SubMedia #1.”
As Alan Moore news goes, this is infinitely more interesting than the Watchmen crap that has been flooding the interwebs off late…
(tip of the hat to Gene Kannenberg)