Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hey Kids It's Time For Today's Tuesday Tantalizing Teaser!

This drawing isn't from the next Beanworld story.
It's a snippet of a frame from the piece I mentioned yesterday.
(In the finished piece it's only about an inch tall)
However, this drawing sorta describes my current state of mind.
Today I'm sorting through eight years of memories and possessions.
What to keep?
What to discard?
Decisions, decisions!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mama Don't 'Low!

I'm in Phoenix, AZ packing up stuff to get back to CA asap including my big art table which has always been my preferred surface to work upon. Plus, I'm on a bit of a tight deadline (details later) and I'm flipping today between packing and drawing. To keep my motor running, I've been playing this vintage clip from Roy Acuff's Open House over and over again.
I love jug band music and "Mama Don't 'Low" may be my favorite jug band song--that's probably because when I was a guitar player in a jug band (gulp!) 40 years ago...this was the song we opened with and it is guaranteed to get a crowd revved up.
What a great little spot this is.
Robert Lunn on washboard and Bashful Brother Oswald plays a humorous jug.
I'm a sucker for harmonica quartets.
The entire concept of a bass harmonica has always cracked me up.
Jimmy Riddle's "eeeeph" singing at the end is a great example of a form of country scat singing.
Enjoy...I gotta get back to packing and drawing!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bob Wills--Goodbye Liza Jane

One minute and forty seconds of vintage western swing.
I can never get enough Bob Wills and his Texas playboys!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anacin Offers Fast! Fast! Fast! Relief!

I think it was mostly because I found the animation inside the three little boxes so seductive.
Or more likely, I found the parodies of the three little boxes in places like Mad magazine so incredibly funny.

Rosser Reeves of the Ted Bates ad agency was responsible for this campaign. It followed his theories about how to create effective advertising. Reeves called it USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and it was very a very effective sales method in post-WWII America.
USP roughly translated into:
"Hey! Buy my product and you will get this whiz-bang benefit from it!"

USP had three basic rules:
1. All advertisements must make a single pitch to the consumer.
2. This pitch has to be one that the competition doesn't make, or even better, can't make.
3. The pitch has to be so overwhelmingly powerful and convincing that it persuades millions of potential consumers that this pitch is absolutely true.

In the case of Anacin, USP was simple: "Fast relief from headaches, neuralgia, and neuritis."
Now I am not too sure how many people in post-war America were actually diagnosed with neuralgia or neuritis, but if they were frightened that they might be, they knew what the sure-fire cure was: Anacin!

When the commercial begins, watch the photos in the background as official-type buildings fleetingly flicker on and off screen.
And the claim that "Three out of four doctors recommend the ingredients in Anacin" was a dodgy way of saying "Three out of four doctors recommend aspirin."

This commercial is pretty straightforward, with the narrator sounding imperious and looking straight at the camera.
We aren't really quite sure who this guy is but he seems to be an important sorta guy.
I'm so amused when he points at something that looks amazingly like a doctor's prescription pad and says "Anacin is like a doctor's prescription. A combination of ingredients."
As it turns out the most prominent ingredient in Anacin after aspirin was about as much caffeine as in a cup of coffee.

Many other Anacin commercials had little psycho-dramas as a lead in...stuff like noisy kids playing loud and making mom mad until she yells at the tykes and then is filled with shame and remorse.
"Don't worry Mom! Anacin will fix that right up! Three out of four doctors say so!"

At the time, most American consumers polled stated that they intensely disliked the Anacin television ads, however, sales shot up after the campaign was introduced. Versions of these ads played over the media for a long, long time.

Reeves' USP principle was also behind other memorable slogans such as:
Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies in eight ways.
M&M's melt in your mouth, not in your hands.
Colgate cleans your breath while it cleans your teeth.
How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S.

I've been affiliated with the creation of several USP driven campaigns over the last thirty years; particularly when I was active in veterinary pharmaceutical advertising.
I've never really been a devotee of the Rosser Reeves school of thought.
I am an advocate of the Chicago school of advertising as it was developed by Leo Burnett.
I'll be writing a piece about him and his theory of the Big Black Pencil sometime soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sara and Maybelle Rock The Cannonball Blues!

A strange bit of synchronicity occurred last night. I finished reading the excellent Carter Family biography "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone" only to discover that yesterday happened to be the 29th anniversary of Maybelle Carter's passing.
I don't think it is much of a secret to regular readers of this blog that I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the Original Carter Family in general and Maybelle Carter in particular.

It's probably from 1966, the year that Johnny Cash, Maybelle's son-in-law, convinced his record company to record a Sara and Maybelle record called "Historic Reunion." They spent the summer touring and even performed at the Newport Folk Festival, allowing them to reclaim their rightful place in the history of folk music after having been absorbed into country music since the early '50s.
It's an amazing clip. The song itself, is generally attributed to AP Carter and Lesley "Esley" Riddle. It seems to have been one of the songs they found on their legendary song collecting expeditions through the rural south.
Even though the sound quality is a bit off, you can hear Maybelle's guitar picking in the style that became known as the "Carter Scratch"--making the guitar the lead instrument by playing rhythm and melody at the same time. Previously in mountain music, the lead melodies were generally carried by by fiddles. The best fiddlers were the kings southern mountain music. Maybelle's picking on Carter Family recordings were perceived as something new and extraordinary. In her humble way, she just called it "the old thumb and finger style."
In the clip, Sara thumps along on her autoharp and as in the old days sings the lead. It's impossible for me to not tap my foot and bob my head listening to this minute and half of historic music.

When you hear a highly rhythmic song like this one--it doesn't take a lot of imagination to think about how some of the kids who's parents bought their records or listened to them on the radio during the Depression and War years grew up to invent Rock and Roll.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey Kids! It's Time For Tuesday's Tantalizing Teaser!

Nope. That isn't succotash in my hand.
And it's not Halloween candy either.
The stylized beans and corn in my palm are hand-crafted out of polymer clay.

Why am I making beans and corn out of polymer clay?

Well....to make art objects like this out of stuff like that.
What am I going to DO with these things?
Well...that's the tease, isn't it?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The BibliOdyssey Book!

Larry Marder's "Lizard Brain" is shrieking today. I just read about the publication of "BibliOdyssey Book" by Fuel.

Larry must have this book.
Larry must have it immediately!

BibliOdyssey is consistently one of my favorite sites as I've written on several occasions. The brainchild of a brilliant Australian curator/researcher named PK (aka peacay) BibliOdyssey is described like this on Amazon:

"BibliOdyssey's mission over the past two years has been to diligently trawl the dustier corners of the Internet and retrieve these materials for our attention. Thanks to the daily efforts of this singular blog, a myriad of long-forgotten imagery has now re-surfaced, from eighteenth-century anatomical and architectural drawing to occult and alchemical engravings and proto-Surrealist depictions of the horrors of industrialization."

The blog is highly recommended and I'm pretty darn certain the book will merit the same!

On Criticism?

It's an eerie day here in Orange County, CA. The atmosphere is smoky and dark.
Small, gritty ashes are falling from the not-so-friendly skies--but they are ashes, not burning embers.
The closest fire is in Irvine, which is alarmingly close to where we dwell.
But so far (knock on wood!) we are okay.
But, yes, we are packed and ready to run if so instructed.
Found this today while looking through the archives for things to take in an emergency.
I think it was for my first entry in "The Frying Pan" which was a professional apazine organized by Scott McCloud in the '80s.
Apazine....sounds so quaint and archaic in today's interconnected world, doesn't it?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Roy and Trigger were born to BOOM!

Happy trails to you!
Proof positive that one can find virtually anything on YouTube these days.
Roy and Trigger were born to BOOM!
Notice that Trigger almost tramples the lady on the left (Dale Evans?) as he prances into the hallway.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

From Out Of The Beanworld Archives...

I kinda like this drawing. It's undated...but it looks to me to be from the early to mid 80s while I was still in the advertising business.
A lot of the letters I was writing to comic book lettercols during that period looked a lot like this piece.
It's a peculiar amalgamation of influences--Crumb, Wolverton, and Native American motifs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Carter Family--Sweet Talkin' Man

From left to right--Mother Maybelle on guitar, June dressed in white, Anita, Helen on accordion, with the amazing Chet Atkins popping in for a sweet solo on the Grand Ol' Opry in what appears to be the early 1950's.
Watch how June, always the family jester, tries to distract her sisters towards the end of the song.
This number rocks!

Oppps! I missed Tuesday's Tantalizing Teaser.

Well, yesterday I was in transit flying home from SPX.
What a great show--I had a terrific time.
In fact, I had such a fun time, I generally forgot to take pictures.
(I particularly regret that I was convulsing with shock-and-awe laughter during the Nick Gurewitch and the Ape Ignatz acceptance speech and failed to document it.
As you can see from the picture in the link to Heidi's blog--I was right up front and as close an eye witness as one could have been to this incredible moment of comic book history--the bald head in the lower right hand corner of the pic is me--the guy on the right is Nick Abadzis, creator of Laika.)
As far as this week's Tantalizing Teaser goes....check out the picture of Charles Brownstein of the CBLDF up above.
See that he is reading something?
Well, what he is reading is the current draft of the next Beanworld story.
And that is how I'm gonna tease you all this week--Charles knows what happens!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Beanworld Orphans Find Happy Homes @ SPX!

Have you adopted a Beanworld Orphan and given it a happy home?
If so, send a picture of it and you to larrymarder@gmail.com and we will happily post it here.
More on all the fun we had at SPX as soon as we decompress and stop talking in the third person!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

See You At SPX!

I'll be hovering around the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth!
And I'll have a full report as soon as I can on all my adventures there!
Also...check out my interview with Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter!

Margaret Brown--Rest In Peace

Cory's mom, Margaret Brown, passed away peacefully.
She went exactly the way she had always wanted.
She was one of the feistiest, most determined human beings
I’ve ever known. (And I’ve known a lot!)
Margaret made her entire career working in the state of Pennsylvania’s state health system. Most of her career was on the night shift at Pennhurst State School and Hospital—the kind of institution in the 40s, 50s, and 60s where kids with Down Syndrome were abandoned, long term schizophrenics locked up, and hopelessly disabled people were warehoused.
Margaret was in the children’s ward and she really cared about those lost little souls in her care.
She was deeply loved and she will be missed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hey Kids! It's Tuesday So It Must Be Time For This Week's Tantalizing Teaser!

Proffy has wandered off with Beanish
and is behind on an over-due order of Spears!
Wonder what those two are doing!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Larry Marder Has Gone Green!

Green Beans that is!
Guess what?
I'm no longer in the Todd McFarlane business.
I wish Mr. McFarlane well in all his future endeavors.
For the first time in over 15 years,
I'm back in the Larry Marder business...
and it sure feels good!
I can't wait to see everyone this weekend at SPX
and discuss with my friends, colleagues, and fans
the future of the Beanworld!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Unbelievable! Yet Two More Beanworld Orphans Will Be Seeking Happy Homes!

Larry Marder, these drawings, and other Beanworld stuff
will be @ CBLDF set-up at SPX--October 11 &12.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Here is clip of the silly little novelty number "Truckin'" by Ina Ray Hutton and her Melodears that I haven't been able to get out of my head for two days. Sometimes it's easy to forget that "Truckin' was a real dance craze and not something R. Crumb made up in the late '60s or the Greatful Dead in the '70s.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mr. Spook Getting Bad News While Doing Some Masonry Work

Okay...this is a weird one from the Beanworld Archives. It's not dated but judging by the content it was drawn around 1978-79.

Here are the clues contained in my sleuthing.

Mr Spook is more or less the character that he is today--except for his feet.
The other Bean, however, has a design that was later abandoned and greatly simplified.

Mr. Spook is reading a newspaper.
That points to the earlier plot fragments as shown on page 128 of Larry Marder's Beanworld Volume 1.

The mosaic-type decorative design that Mr. Spook is making on the wall, looks like the sort of asymmetrical, abstract designy stuff I was putting on my own walls during that period of time.

This is clearly "pre-Beanish" but "post-Jik & Zik."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Two More Beanworld Orphans Seeking Good Homes!

Crash Landing On The Planet Of The Mighty Giants!

Honestly, I don't quite know what to make of this Green Giant interactive game site.
On one level it is sort of cute.
But on another it's a bit too saccharine for my tastes.

Do I think that this game make kids want to eat their veggies?

I liked it better when there was only one Giant and his commercials had a very concise message--like this one for Niblets Corn . This little 30 seconds drama effectively (and entertainingly) demonstrated how much less water was in each can of Green Giant corn.
Kids were entertained and adults were pitched on the idea that water in the can of Green Giant's competitors had a negative connotation.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Ladies and Gentlemen, due to technical difficulties beyond our control, we the management of reluctantly announce that Larry Marder's Beanworld" must go off the air--possibly for a day or three.

We apologize for the delay that this might cause for this week's installment of "Tantalizing Teaser Tuesday."

All regular programming will resume upon our return.

Thank you,
The Management

Two More Beanworld Orphans Found!

Here is a sneak-peak at two more Beanworld Orphans that will be seeking new homes @ SPX under the auspices of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

"You tend to get the feeling that you are somewhere else!"

Vast underwater forests have been discovered under kelp beds in the ocean!

These unique eco-systems in southern waters seem to have been unknown or ignored by marine scientists. Now we hear that a team of American marine biologists have located a virtual undersea forest underneath floating kelp beds near the Galapagos Islands, off of the coast of Ecuador.

Turtles, fish, iguanas, gigantic sunfish, and sharks were found taking refuge in the calm of the kelp forest.

As one scientist commented that this is the sort of discovery that leads to textbooks needing to be rewritten.

It is well worth listening to the entire report as it was broadcast on NPR.