Sunday, May 25, 2008

The forgotten do-nut?

The other day, someone asked about "Around like a do-nut." And Mark Irons correctly commented that it not only was published in Giant Size Mini Comics #1 (a book I edited for Eclipse Comics) but that an earlier, bean-less rectangular version was also printed in an interview in Comics Journal #201.
And then there is the one above.
It was one flier of two, that I printed up to hand out at (possibly) Petuniacon and (certainly) Chicago Comicon in 1984.
At that point in time, almost no one in the industry had any idea who I might be, beyond being a persistent letter hack and the author of a weird little fanzine.
I'm almost positive when I made the claim "Tales of the Beanworld coming soon to a shop near you" it was a combination of bluffing and wishful thinking. Because I had not yet reached the status of having my own table, I'm pretty sure all I did with the flier was make a circuit of the dealers' room and give one to every retailer or comics seller on the premises. My intent was to make a statement that there is this really weird and totally different kind of comic book coming down the pipeline. And when it comes time to place an order, perhaps the retailer might remember this handbill in some small fashion. Did it work? Who can say?
There was another flier that was given out at the same time. I'll post that one next.


Anonymous said...

I was the one who asked - I must say it was a little over my head back then, but obviously memorable.

Very interesting to hear it was a pre-publication flier. Always assumed it was an original for GSMC.

I'd be interested in the origins of this. Ostensibly conceived at the top-level, then worked in low-level Beanworld/art concerns? The other way around? Hard to say? Did it start as a flier or just a Beanworld thing that worked its way into flier form?

Reminds me of how I used to wonder about the increased beaniness of the bean-shape from the earliest stuff onward.

I like the 'BUST OUT COMIC STRIP' bold-print subliminal 'ad' at the bottom.

Actually, this could be great to use in certain literature courses. Don't worry, I wouldn't without permission, but it could be a very cool homework reading or even an in-class surprise. Unusual to have an advertisement for a piece of art done by an artist who worked in advertising.

I guess I didn't see at the time how this piece "graded" from what I called top-level stuff to low (fairly low) level stuff. Fun now though.

Anonymous said...

Seeing your signature in the corner reminded me to let you know that yours is one of my favorite signatures in comics, along with John Byrne's, Brian Bolland's, and Walt Simonson's

Anonymous said...

Shades of Scott McCloud. Maybe this circular strip inspired him to write "Understanding Comics." Or at least contributed something to it.

Larry Marder said...

It's a nice sentiment, Carol, but I believe Scott was well on the road to "Understanding Comics" without me. "Do-nut" had an interesting origin, in a speak-easy in Amsterdam in 1972 that I talked about in Comics Journal #201. After I drew it, in one fell fever-brained swoop, I thought to myself, "I can do comics." It took a while though after that. Quite a while.