Sebadoh cover with Al Columbia’s Big Numbers art
In an interview on the Inkstuds podcast, artist Al Columbia reveals what happened to the artwork for Big Numbers # 4. Comic Book Resources transcribes the reveal:
I was roommates with all the guys in this band called Sebadoh, which were particularly large back in the day — Lou Barlow, Eric Gaffney, and Jason Loewenstein, they were all hanging out. And Eric Gaffney was gonna put out this single, this little split single with somebody, and he wanted artwork for it and he wanted me to do something. He was big into collages and stuff like that, and we got the idea that I would chop up all this Big Numbers artwork and make a collage out of it for his album cover. I don’t know how I got the idea, but I just hated [Big Numbers] — I didn’t want anything to do with it, I had already quit it or I was going to, I knew I wasn’t going to have anything to do with it. So we put every page on a chopping block, one of those big slicers, and I just chopped it up madly for about a half hour — just sliced the whole thing up with a chopper. And Marc Arsenault, who’s the Wow Cool guy — I don’t know if anyone knows who he is, the minizine guy — he was a good friend of mine, he came over and just looked horrified. He stood in the doorway and watched me chopping up all the artwork and just went “Oh my God!” I think he must have told somebody I’d done it, and that’s how that [story] got started. But I think even before that, there was something [going around] to that effect. That might have been what influenced me to do it: “Well, they’re saying I did this, I might as well.” I can’t remember, though. But it wasn’t like “Oh my God, I’m gonna flip out, I can’t stand this!” It wasn’t this breakdown. It was just like, “Oh, this’ll make a cool record cover.” That’s it. That’s all it was.
See here for some background on why this is a big deal.