Heritage Auctions is continuing to run on-line auctions of major original pieces of comic book artwork, and is always worth checking in with their latest listings. This includes plenty of Bill Sienkiewicz, including a piece of unrevealed history. This would have been the cover to an unpublished issue of Big Numbers by Alan Moore and Sienkiewicz. The third issue of the unpublished comic book has been put together, lettered and recreated from photocopies but until now it did not have a cover. That state of events may now have been repaired. The current bid is for $725 but I would expect that to go to four figures shortly after this article runs on Bleeding Cool.
Big Numbers is an unfinished 500-page graphic novel, two issues of which were published by Alan Moore’s own publisher Mad Love. It was planned to serialised one chapter at a time over twelve issues, printed on high-quality paper in a square format using a twelve panel grid. The series was then picked up by Kevin Eastman‘s publisher Tundra but the completed third issue was never published. A fourth issue, drawn by Al Columbia, was then destroyed by the artist. Moore is believed to have finished writing five issues. An attempt was later made to turn it into a TV series by Picture Palace Productions, but that was abandoned.
What was Big Numbers by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz?
Big Numbers was a big move by Moore away from genre fiction. It was a story that wove mathematics into the lives of the inhabitants of a British town Hampton, based on Moore’s own home Northampton, as a major American conglomerate is planning to build a shopping mall in the town. While incomplete, it proved popular and influential, most recently seen as a major influence on Tom King and Mitch Gerad‘s Mister Miracle series, thirty years later. It also marked the moment Moore concentrated on telling stories about his Northampton, followed by Voice Of The Fire, Dodgem Logic, Show Pieces, Jerusalem and The Show.
Other pages listed by Heritage from Sienkiewicz include a Conan Calender pin-up from 1983, a Fantastic Four cover from 1980, a splash page from his Stray Toasters project, two pages from his classic Moon Knight run, a page from the Dune movie adaptation, promotional art from the 1992 Olympic Speed Skating team, preliminary art from Detective Comics #1000 cover, and a signed Transformers #1.