The Big Book Of was a series of comic book anthologies published by DC Comics' Paradox Press imprint between 1994 and 2000. Ten of the seventeen were written by a single author and a variety of artists, authors including Doug Moench John Wagner and Jonathan Vankin. Artists among the hundreds included the first American work for Frank Quitely, Rick Geary in all seventeen volumes, E.C. creators Joe Orlando, George Evans and Marie Severin, as well as Russ Heath and Gray Morrow, the final works of Tom Sutton and Pat Boyette as well as regulars Bob Fingerman, Eric Shanower, Lennie Mace, Randy DuBurke, James Romberger, Salgood Sam, Steve Leialoha, Joe Sacco, Roger Langridge, and Alec Stevens.
Scheduled for 2001, Paradox had planned to publish the 18th book in the series, The Big Book of Wild Women, edited by Heidi MacDonald. Written by Susan Barrows in her Subgenius radio host persona Susie the Floozie, it was the only one of the Big Books comics to be written by a woman, and it was to profile notable women throughout history who had made an impact on American culture while pushing the envelope of unconventional behaviour. Artists on the book included Mary Fleener, Lea Hernandez, Max Douglas, Jimmy Palmiotti, Colleen Doran, Amanda Connor, Gregory Benton, Eric Shanower, Steve Lieber, Pia Guera, David Roach, Seth Fisher, Philip Bond, Richard Piers Rayner, Steve Harris and Minnie Moore. Subjects included nightclub singer-comic Rusty Warren, gangster Virginia Hill, 17th-century playwright Aphra Behn, secretary to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North Fawn Hill, B-movie star Tura Satana, presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, 19th-century sex star Lola Montes, Egyptian queen Cleopatra, writer Anaïs Nin, and pin-up icon Bettie Page.
That last story with Bettie Page was drawn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. The Big Book of Wild Women was cancelled because it would have shipped one week late and would have been made returnable by Diamond Comic Distributors unless it was resolicited. Which it wasn't. Completely finished and produced, it was never resolicited, the only one of the Big Books line not to be published.
But now over twenty years after it was due to be published, it will be published in the upcoming Hot & Messy: The Art Of Amanda Conner currently on Kickstarter and previewed on Bleeding Cool. Jimmy Palmiotti tells me "We got permission from DC comics and Susie the Floozie – the writer – to run it and are including it in the book. It's been sitting in the dark for a long long time. I inked it, that's how long. "
"We're putting together some fabulous content for the book, some great tier options for backing along with, you've asked for it, some great remarque options within the book. That's right, you'll see content never shown before, some great images with commentary on the work Amanda has done along with an incredible roster of people providing some memorable quotes and thoughts for AMANDA. You can see some of the fabulous tiers and interior images below! Sign up using the button below to be notified immediately on launch! Nudity and violence make this an ADULTS ONLY content project…We can't stress enough how gorgeous and beautiful the content that both AMANDA and JOHN worked to put into this collection. Amanda maticulously went through her library of images and selected some great pieces and had a chance to talk about them. This is going to be really special!"
But what of the rest of The Big Book Of Wild Women? Not a lot. Richard Piers Rayer is soliciting all four pages of his story on gangster Virginia Hill on eBay.
There are also pages from the story of Fawn Hill by Steven Harris.
And one page from Aphra Behn by John Green.
Does anyone else have any pages they'd like to share? So if we can Frankenstein it all together? Maybe, but for now you can get five pages, the Bettie Page story, by backing the Kickstarter for Hot & Messy: The Art Of Amanda Conner.