November 16th, 2010
OR: Alec – How to be an Artist, and why some stories are just too fucking massive not to be told
Another thing I remembered, and I don’t think I ever mentioned it to Alan, but I always felt a certain resentment that Billy the Sink got Big Numbers and blew it while i was stuck drawing Jack the bloody Ripper for ten years (I once described it as a penny dreadful that costs thirty five bucks). I stand by my opinion that Big Numbers was the superior idea and would have been Alan’s masterpiece. Of course it is also true that Sienkiewicz is a world class illustrator and there’s no way I could have done a job that complicated in 1992. I could have taken a crack at it later (post-Birth Caul/Snakes and Ladders), and offered, but Alan wasn’t up for that. I love the ease with which Bill shifts from photographic mode to outright loony tunes. The separated Gathercoles remembering their courtship and early marriage is a masterstroke (pages 19-21). That’s an odd note at the bottom of page 29 where he slips back into his Moon Knight style.
(Eddie Campbell on Alan Moore and Bill Sinkiewicz’s Big Numbers)
The first time you read Eddie Campbell’s Alec – How to be an Artist, you might find yourself wondering why Campbell spends so much time on the story of how Alan Moore and Bill Sinkiewicz’s proposed masterpiece, Big Numbers, never added up to much in the end.
I mean sure, it’s a good story – the fact that a project so well conceived with so much talent behind it could not come together for more than three issues (only two of which were published!) is just plain baffling. More than that, it’s good gossip!