Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday's Tantalizing Teaser and Looking Towards the Horizon.

What I'm holding in my hands here is an advance copy of Wahoolazuma the first in a series of hardcover books from Dark Horse Comics.

Ripping open the express package and holding this book in my hands was the greatest thrill Beanworld has given me since I opened the first box of TOTB #1.

The production values are pristine.
Some of the pages were rather tattered.
Some of the ink and PMTs were fading,
some of the patches had fallen off,
the zip-a-tone was yellowing.

Dark Horse's Matt Dryer performed digital magic turning my originals into bright, crisp, spot-on files for printing.
The pages look like I just drew them.
I couldn't be happier with the results.

And the book design itself!

Tina Alessi hit the ball right out of the park as far as I'm concerned. The book's trade dress perfectly reflects the spirit of the "most peculiar" story pages to be discovered between the covers.

Diana Schutz, Dave Marshall, and Brendan Wright did a remarkable job shepherding this project through the production pipeline at Dark Horse. I know Diana went to bat for me a time or three and the results are quite evident in the final book.

It's been an amazing journey the last 18 months since I returned to the helm of Beanworld. I truly believe that in the words of the great Al Jolson "Folks, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!" But regardless, this amazingly affordable hardcover book is indeed totally Wahoolazuma!

Today....The Real World Truly Turned.

As I wrote on Facebook today, "(I'm) inspired by Obama's vision of the Big-Big-Picture. Now, let's roll up our own sleeves and try to reinvent the business of comic books."

Collectively, we have a lot of work to do.
The challenges facing the business of our art form seem to become more daunting with every misstep and shift in the marketplace. Which puts us in the same boat as newspapers, magazines, toys, and books.

These are very tough days ahead of us.
It is going to be hard for the creators and publishers to stay balanced and focused.
Distribution is increasingly challenging as trade terms are adjusted and points-of-sale disappear. Fans' resources are stretched farther and thinner every day.

Simply put, for comics, just like everything else in our culture, the easy money has disappeared.

I don't know what is going to happen next.
No one does.

Gimmicks and stunts aren't going to meet the challenge.
It's very nice that people are standing in line for Obama-cover comic book reprints.
But in the past commemorative, variant, holographic, and chromium covers have been the industry equivalent of sub-prime mortgages.
We aren’t gonna scam or con our way out of the hole we are in this time.

Like I said before,
I don't know what is going to happen next.
No one does.
That's what is so cool about the future.

We are on the cusp of something significant.
But no one really knows what it is going to be.

I know what I'm going to do.
It is really the only thing I can do as comics experiences the rumbles and shakes of the shifting tectonic plates in the business of our art form.

I'm going to work as hard as I can
to produce new Beanworld stories
and I will do my damndest
to make those stories
worth the price of admission.

I say it all the time. I'm a firm believer of Marcel Duchamp's observation that it is the viewer that makes the painting.

And it is you,
the members of the Beanworld community,
that creates the real Beanworld
in your hearts and imaginations

Let's see where we can all go together.
Let's keep out eyes focused on the horizon.

With a Hoo-Hoo-HA & a Hoka-Hoka HEY!


Vernon_John said...

a thrilling time to be alive! a new generation of americans are rising up and with them the whole game will change. the future is uncertain, and incredibly exciting!

Monique R. said...


I am so excited. The book looks great and I'm psyched that it's hardcover!

Mark I. said...

Ooh, a printed cover, not a dust jacket. Very nice!

Also, it's fun to read the notes taped to your studio walls. I see I'm not the only person that has trouble remembering which beans belong to which moiety. :)

Change for the better, indeed.

Brian Jacoby from Secret Headquarters in Tallahassee Florida said...

Are the page sizes the same as the original? From the pictures it looks like it's a little smaller.

Larry Marder said...

Yes, it's slightly smaller. It's the pages are 6" x 9" which seems to be on its way to being a semi-standard size for graphic novels.
Because I letter so large anyway the dialogue in the balloons is still wayyyy bigger than you average comic book.

The OGN "Here There" is being drawn in the new size and I don't notice any difference at all in the feel of the process when I'm drawing.

bob said...

I always tend to think of the Boom'rs as female for some reason, even though I know that's wrong since the percussionist is referred to as "he" in the Gunk'l'dunk issue. Don't think there has been a gender reference to the other two, but from that note, I guess Bass and Lead Guitar are female?

The new book looks really good. Can't wait to see it live.

ZenMondo Wormser said...

Bob, According to the Beanworld Census that can be viewed at

This Link The Boomer band consists of One Brother and two Sisters.

Moondog said...

Congrats, Larry. I feel your excitement and pride in every word you posted.

Mr. Stratford said...

I miss zip-a-tone.