bignumbers3 BIG NUMBERS #3
BIG NUMBERS may just be the most checked out comic in the Library of Imaginary Books — a companion piece to FROM HELL and LOST GIRLS as one of the projects Alan Moore launched when he left DC in the late ’80s, two issues, with art by Bill Sienkiewicz, were published by Moore’s own Mad Love imprint (distributed by Tundra.). As opposed to his other, more period and fantasy-influenced tales, this would have been contemporary fiction in a slightly more traditional vein, if you consider Philip K. Dick traditional. The story was inspired by fractal numbers and chaos theory and was at one point called The Mandelbrot Set.

Sienkiewicz left the series after the second issue and Al Columbia took over as artist. What happened next depends on who you ask. What all agree on is that Columbia also withdrew from drawing the book, perhaps after destroying an entire issue’s worth of art.

Some Sienkiewicz art for #3 did exist at some point, however, and an LJ user aptly named Glycon has just posted them:

In any case, everything I know leads me to believe that this is a copy of the unpublished third issue of Big Numbers, and I genuinely didn’t believe it existed, and certainly never expected to actually see a copy, led alone own one. Even Alan Moore doesn’t have a copy, to the very best of my knowledge, which in this case is considerable, as I decided to specifically ask his permission before I posted this here. He is happy for it to be made available to the world, so here it is.

Get ‘em while their hot!



  1. Wasn’t all of the art printed in a design/comics magazine several years ago? It didn’t have any word balloons, but the interview attached had the tone of, “See? The art exists! I don’t know why people keep saying it was destroyed.”

  2. Synsidar says:

    According to the Wikipedia entry on BIG NUMBERS, ten pages of Sienkiewicz’s art for issue #3 were published in 1999, in the magazine Submedia.

  3. jacob lyon goddard says:

    this is the first spike of fanboy glee i’ve had in a long time

  4. OH.MY.WORD! This is awesome! I’m such a Sienkiewicz fan, and his computer stuff just doesn’t do any justice to his older work. Amazing! This guy is LUCKY! (and now, so am I!) Thanks!

  5. I have grayscale or color versions of maybe 75% of these pages, and had been working on a reconstruction of the issue here and there. This is a fantastic find!

    For the record it was the art for issue 4 that was destroyed by Columbia. Most of the pages for issue 3 were put up for sale a few years back.

  6. Wow.

  7. Wasn’t this originally supposed to be a twelve issue mini-series?



  8. Yes, 12 issues was the intention.

    Moore got as far as the script for issue 5 when the “Columbia Incident” went down.
    Somewhere out there is the script to issue 4 which I’d dearly love to see!

    There was an attempt to resurrect the project as a television series back around 2000 or so, but nothing ever came of it.

  9. JoeNFuture says:

    What happened next depends on who you ask. What all agree on is that Columbia also withdrew from drawing the book, perhaps after destroying an entire issue’s worth of art.


    The Black Swan did it.

  10. Peter Urkowitz says:

    “Fanboy glee” describes my feelings perfectly!

    That was so beautiful! With all its messy imperfections, nevertheless, this was like a gift!


    *wants finished BIG NUMBERS book*

    The literary critics would eat this up now, with a spoon.

  12. Suh-weet. Thank you Heidi!

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