Monday 28 September 2009

A while back I discussed the posting of the long lost issue three of Big Numbers online. Blogger Robert Stanley Martin has written an excellent review of it.
"The third chapter brings a fuller understanding of what was lost by the failure to complete more than a quarter of the book. The failure is beyond a disappointment; it’s about as close to an artistic tragedy as one can imagine. But even so, it does not overwhelm the pleasure of going over the 120 completed pages again and again. Even in truncated (and partially adulterated) form, they are dazzling in their wit, craft, and artistry. The knowledge that this beautifully realized and possibly very wise work will never see completion makes Big Numbers perhaps the most bittersweet effort comics will ever know."
Quite so.

And don't forget that my controversial* attempt to tell the sorry tale of how Big Numbers went south can be found in The Years Have Pants, which will be out around the end of October by current reckoning.

* see comments, have your say.



Blogger R. S. Martin said...

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the review.


Rob Martin

29 September 2009 at 19:05:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Michael Evans said...

And yet as the years go by, my initial admiration for "Big Numbers" is massively diminished by how stiff and heavily photo-refrenced it is. Looking back, I don't see an unfinished work but a stillborn one. The pictorial component is so sterile as to be lacking all the life and warmth that Moore's script invokes. However good Billy the Sink was/is, he was utterly the wrong artist for such a work. If it were at all possible, the original version would be an appendix to another edition where an artist who gave us the minutiae of life in all of its quiet agonising mystery instead.

29 September 2009 at 23:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Nick said...

Michael's comment reminds me that there's one panel in Big Numbers #1 - one of the early ones with the lad by the side of the rail line preparing to throw his bolt at the train - that has nagged me with an insufferable sense of deja vu since I first laid eyes on it.

I don't have a clue if it's actually taken from a photo I may have seen, or if I'm missing some artistic reference I really ought to get, or if I'm simply mistaken once again, but it's been tapping my skull since launch day and revisiting Big Numbers only encourages it.

Posts like this don't help.

30 September 2009 at 04:48:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Marc Arsenault said...

Sorry, but your attempt to tell the story of how Big Numbers went south completely missed the boat. It upset me quite a bit when it originally came out. I imagine there are many others who were actually there at the time who feel similarly.

30 September 2009 at 11:58:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...


It was so long ago I forgot I was skating on thin ice. Thanks for commenting.

30 September 2009 at 16:26:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

update. The marketing department in my head has just instructed me to change the post where it says 'highly regarded attempt' to say 'controversial attempt'.
anything that starts a fight is fine with me. But I must say I remain curious to know by how far I missed the boat. I was once on the quay at Boulogne and thought that I could jump it, except the water was churning up dangerously below me.
(that's in the book too, I add shamelessly)

30 September 2009 at 19:11:00 GMT-5  

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