After the publication of the first issue of Tales of the Beanworld in early 1985, I went out onto the convention circuit. I set up at Chicago ComiCon (I had attended every convention since its premiere in 1976) and all the monthly Chicago mini-cons.
If I remember this correctly, at roughly the same time, Mike Friedrich's StarReach Productions was hosting a series of regional trade shows. These shows were for retailers only--theoretically no fans were allowed. Eclipse publisher, Dean Mullaney, and probably Beau Smith, were setting up at the Chicago stop of the trade show tour. I was invited to sit in and attempt to raise visibility of Beanworld to comic book retailers that weren't ordering my book.
A excellent suggestion I thought.
And I knew immediately what I was going to do.
I was going to make that cut-out magazine photo of the spoonful-of-beans-with-eyes picture become a real thing.
I went to the supermarket and surveyed the various bags of dried legumes. I decided that I liked the size and color of Great Northern lima beans the best and took a bag home. With my trusty Faber-Castell technical pens, I dotted some eyes on the beans exactly as I had a dozen years before with the magazine photo.
I went to the trade show and set up. I put the newly "eyed" lima beans in a little translucent plastic Tupperware hamburger dish with a sign that said something like:
FOR THINKING ABOUT--NOT EATING!
Retailers would look into the dish, pick up a bean and ask me what the deal was.
That allowed me to try to get them to "think" about Beanworld.
The first attempts looked like this--black ink on beans!