Al Columbia is an American cartoonist, illustrator, writer, photographer, musician, and filmmaker. He started his career in comics at the age of nineteen, when he was hired to assist Bill Sienkiewicz. Together, they created 'Big Numbers'. In 1992, however, the pressure of continuing this real-world, realistically painted comics series became too much for him. Al Columbia vanished, destroying the fourth issue of 'Big Numbers' he was working on, and nothing was heard from him until 1994. He then made 'The Biologic Show', published by Fantagraphics, in which he broke away from the realistic, Sienkiewicz-inspired style, developing a more grotesque, caricatural style of his own.
From 1995 on, Al Columbia experimented, contributing stories such as 'Pim and Francie' to the anthologies 'Zero Zero' and 'Blab!', introducing the character of frightened little Seymour Sunshine. In 2003 he wrote two issues of 'The Pogostick', an unfinished comic book series illustrated by Ethan Persoff that was nominated for a Harvey Award. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, the Seattle newspaper The Stranger and in magazines such as The Believer and Arthur. 'Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days', a book of Columbia's previously unpublished work, was released in 2009, and subsequently nominated for two Ignatz Awards. In recent years Columbia has created original paintings and prints, many of which have been sold to private collectors.