The best place to start a long story is at the beginning.
After Beanworld Book Three: Remember Here When You Are There! I started to work on the next original graphic novel in the series: Something More!
Last summer, and all conventions since, I've been handing out free little fold-up mini-preview of Book Four. Readers of the preview find out that the next book has stuff in it about the mysterious Orbulators. The last page implies, well, something more.
Those that understand Heyoka-speak understand that her answer to Proffy's whispered "what?" is the exact opposite--in other words this.
The "Asylum Story" as it was known at the time was a bit of an oddity.
(As a minor historical aside--in addition to the explanations in the link above, I also had Marvel Comics' mid-decade bully tactics used after their acquisition of Hero's World distributors on my mind. )
Rob Liefeld's Maximum Press went away and the color Beanworld story was never reprinted except for a very low print run ashcan comic that was printed from photocopies of the original art. That black & white ashcan with the green cover was titled "While We Were Eating." I'd sell them off of my table over the years and they recently sold out at last. (As I was reworking the material I noticed for the first time that pages 10 & 11 are flipped in the ashcan!)
There was actually some question between close friends of the Beanworld whether or not the Asylum Story was "in continuity" or not.
Proof positive of this is on display in "Here There" page 50.
Yep, right above the dessicated remains of Der Kveen are the artifacts from the last page of "Eating."
So as I was moving along with Something More! I recognized that I had some explaining to do to the majority of contemporary Beanworld readers who had little to no idea of these previous, almost forgotten story points.
My idea was to reprint it as a black & white stand alone comic.
I pitched it to Dark Horse when I was up there last summer.
In that meeting, brainstorming between Beanworld editor, Diana Schutz; Dark Horse VP of Marketing, Micha Hershman; VP of New Business Development, Michael Martens; and Marketing Director, Jeremy Adkins turned my single comic idea into a Yokai-style color volume.
It totally makes sense.
It takes all the loose pieces of color work and puts them all together in one volume that can shelve with all the other hardcover books.
I would have never thought of that.
This volume takes all of the above material and through flashbacks twines it together into one new story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. There are 12 brand new new pages featuring just about everyone.
The "Asylum Story" has been revised and reworked and recolored.
Its new title is "While We Wuz Eatin'!" which is how Mr. Spook would have really said it.
It's a direct lead-in to Book Four.
Somewhere along the way, Diana started calling it "Book 3.5" and the name stuck.
More as I know more.