Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday's Tantalizing Teaser???

"Mixa Spoog, what am these?"

Not quite sure if this qualifies as a genuine teaser or not. It's the splash page for a story intended for the Beanworld Holiday Special, but a day or so into writing it, I got a more appropriate idea that turned into the story "Every Cutie Deserves A Toy!"
The first story had a lot of potential too, so I'm certain it will nudge its way back into the Beanworld continuity when we least expect it.
The drawing itself is a "real" pencil sketch on Bienfang 360 layout paper.

Don't forget--I'll be at SPX this weekend!

Saturday, September 27, 2008



Saturday October 4th and Sunday October 5th!

Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center across from the White Flint Metro Station

Show Hours: Saturday 11:00am - 7:00 pm
Sunday noon - 6:00pm

One Day Admission $8.00
Weekend Admission $15.00

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make this trip or not until the last minute. I'm not an official guest--you won't find me in any of the convention hype or included in any of their announcements. I don't even have a table to set up at...BUT...I am going to be at the show and I will to be doing a signing or two at CBLDF's booth. I'm looking forward to meeting and have an opportunity to work with CBLDF's new folks, Mike Scigliano - Deputy Director and Jill Friedman - Fundraising Manager.

More details as this story develops!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wrigley's Mother Goose!

As I've written many times before, one of my favorite blogs is BibliOdyssey. Yet again, here is a really good example of why I am so fond of Pecay's site.

The illo above is the back cover to an amazing little pop culture artifact titled "Wrigley's Mother Goose introducing the Sprightly Spearmen."

All 24 pages plus the covers are on the Iowa Digital Library site and it is quite a happy, fun-filled read. According to the indicia date on the cover it was published in 1915.

William Wrigley hardly invented chewing gum, but he really perfected the marketing of it. After stubbing his toe with his first two flavors "Lotta" and"Vassar" he hit the mother lode with "Juicy Fruit" in 1893 and "Spearmint" in 1894. "Doublemint" was launched in 1914. Wrigley had the vision to understand that the future of consumer good was in "branded products. "

He strongly believed in the power of advertising. He promoted his gum through the use of advertisements that emphasized the benefits of chewing Wrigley's gums. He touted its freshness, that it was packaged in a sanitary package, that it stimulated the appetite, aided digestion, and just generally gave you pep. His advertisng credo was "Tell 'em quick and tell 'em often."

Wrigley's Mother Goose booklets were so popular, that the theme was continued for over a decade, migrating into magazine ads during the '20s.

If anyone thinks that manufacturers advertising their products directly into the paths of children's consciousness is some sort of contemporary phenomenon--think again. This is a tried and true formula and it has never really gone away. It just ebbs and flows.

The Sprightly Spearmen are my kind of advertising critters!

Also don't forget to make sure that your favorite Dark Horse Comics retailer orders plenty of:

Larry Marder's Beanworld: Wahoolazuma!

Beanworld Holiday Special

"Tell 'em quick and tell 'em often!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Tantalizing Teaser

This "blue pencil" layout sketch is a detail of what currently is page 38 of next year's all new graphic novel "Remember Here When You Are There."

This will be a black and white companion to the two hardcover reboot volumes--the first being "Wahoolazuma!"

As you will see in the color Beanworld Holiday Special, the Pod'l'pool Cuties are growing up fast, and they will experience quite a maturity spurt within the story arc of the new graphic novel.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Moore Memories

It's linked in every entertainment blog by now, but I first read it in today's LA TIMES while drinking my first cup of java. It's a smoking piece about Alan Moore by Geoff Boucher.

Spurge has a really great critique of the piece and Alan's positions stated in it.
I really can't add much more to that, but, having spent time on both sides of the fence over the years, I agree that Alan's opinions really are well worth considering.

I do look forward to viewing The Mindscape of Alan Moore when I have opportunity to do so.

I only met Alan once, when he came to Comic Con in 1985 in the midst of the Miracleman launch brouhaha--the details of which I'd long forgotten but this article refreshed my memory. It was my first Comic-Con. I was a bit overwhelmed by it's size and pace (which is quite funny in hindsight, considering how incredibly small it was then compared to now!)

But I met Alan Moore right before, during, or after he signed the certificates. He knew that I'd created the Miracleman ads for Eclipse and he complimented me on them. Then he blew me away, by saying some amazingly kind and incredibly insightful words about Beanworld.

He even offered to write a back-up story for me which, really quite honestly, left me speechless. I'll be frank, I never would have taken him up on the offer. Hell, I only had two issues of TOTB under my belt at that point and I was scared to death he might see something in Beanworld that I'd totally overlooked and freak me out into a state of absolute paralysis.

My other conversations with Alan were on the phone. In 1993, at the tail end of my tenure at Moondog's, I did a bunch of freelance ad work for Jim Valentino's studio, Shadowline, for the marketing of 1963. I remember that I had a lot of fun writing and designing these ads. I'm sure others had input in them, I don't really remember the details. (Jimmy V and I have been best pals for almost 25 years--but when it comes to remembering who did what in almost anything we collaborated on--we both tend to remember that me, not the other guy, did most of it. I kid you not. At this point, I think we both find it funny, and in most cases, beyond confirmation anyway.)

These ads definitely were links in the chain of events that eventually landed me in the Executive Director position at Image Comics. After I arrived at Image, I talked sporadically to Alan on the phone about various things he was working on in the Image pipeline. He worked on books for Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and Jim Lee and I think I got into various bits of the marketing that I needed his point of view on--something like that.

But the best thing was something indirect--I will never forget listening to his verbal synopsis of his graphic novel WarChild he created for Rob Liefeld. It was a dystopian retelling of the Arthurian mythos done in a crazed version of LA. When he got to the center of the mythos, which was that "Arthur puts the sword back into the stone" I swear my hair stood on end, it was such an engrossing tale.

The first script was amazing. Every artist that tried pencilling it choked. As far as I can tell, it was never produced and I haven't a clue as to what happened to it or who owns it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visions of the Mongolian Death Worm

Until today, I was unaware of the Mongolian Death Worm. I'm not sure how this critter evaded my attention all these years.

Seriously, shades of Shai-Hulud and Graboids, y'know?

Apparently inhabiting the same reality vs myth space as Yeti and Loch Ness Monster. the Mongolian Death Worm is often sighted but never actually documented.

Even more intriguing is the notation that "the Mongolian Death Worm was first referred to by American paleontologist Professor Roy Chapman Andrews (apparently the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character) in his book On the Trail of Ancient Man, in 1926."

What makes this all even more bizarre, to anyway, is that I stumbled across the oddity above this morning in the Beanworld Archives about a half hour before I read about the Death Worm on Digg.

The drawing is mounted on an 8 1/2 " x 13 .5" black mounting board. Rendered with markets on 360 Bienfang paper. No date on it but based on subject matter (peas and corn) and the materials, it possibly dates from the late '70s but more likely the early '80s. This is the sort of thing I did at work in advertising, while working on pest control ads and waiting for galleys to come from the typographers or PMTs to come back from the stat house. There was a lot of down time in those days!

Kinda weird that it echoes the description of the Death Worm -- “Every eyewitness account...describes exactly the same thing: a red-brown worm-like snake, approximately two feet long and two inches thick with no discernible head or back (tail).”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday's Tantalizing Teaser!

A little sequence from:

Larry Marder (W/A)
FC, 24pg, One-shot, $3.50
On sale Dec 17
Beanworld Buzz Abounds!
There is starting to be some buzz about the return of Beanworld in the blogosphere.
Folks are starting to notice that Beanworld really is here again!
Thanks to everyone for spreading the word!

Monday, September 15, 2008

What difference a year makes!

In what feels like a neat little twist of personal synchronicity, today is the day I turned in Beanworld Holiday Special to Diana Schutz, my long-time friend and my new-time editor, at Dark Horse Comics
It's a brand new Beanworld story, in spiffy four color. It's called "Every Cutie Deserves A Toy." It highlights the adventures of the Pod'l'pool Cuties, Boom'r Band, Beanish, and Dreamishness.
Yes, Professor Garbanzo, Mr. Spook, Chow Sol'jers and Hoi-Polloi are in it too, but it really is an off-beat tale that shows the origin of the "Beanworld Action Effigies" first spotted in TOTB #21. (Shown at left)
So what is the twist of synchronicity?
Well, today is also the exact one year anniversary of the day I parted company with the McFarlane empire.
I really didn't know what was going to happen next, but I was quite sure of one thing, after a decade and a half of managing the business of other artists , my focus was now going to revolve around my own creativity. It was time to get back to the the thing I was born to do.

Beanworld has found a happy home at Dark Horse.
They "get" Beanworld there and are excited to be bringing Beanworld to the 21st century comic book reading audience.
We all think the world is ready for Beanworld in a way that it wasn't in the '80s, when it was considered to be a bit ahead of its time.
I'm ready.
Dark Horse is ready.
I know the dedicated, loyal fans who make up the "Beanworld community " have been ready for a long, long time.
So let's all shout a hearty "Hoo-Hoo HA & a Hoka-Hoka HEY!" and see if we can get the world totally "leguminized" and persuade them to visit us in the "weird fantasy dimension operating under its own rules and laws!"

And here is how it can start.
The solicitations for two Beanworld projects now in the pipeline.

Bug your friendly neighborhood comic book retailer to order these projects and make sure you ask for them at your favorite bookstore.

Larry Marder (W/A)
FC, 24pg, One-shot, $3.50
On sale Dec 17

The first new Beanworld story in print in over a decade, the Beanworld Holiday Special is the perfect introduction to Larry Marder’s inimitable creation!
As enjoyable for children as it is enlightening for adults, Beanworld is a grand adventure that explores social dynamics, culture creation, and ecological networks—all in great fun! Take a tour of this magical world, from Proffy’s Fix-It Shop to a Fabulous Look-See Show, in this issue that introduces toys to the baby Cuties and plunges readers into one of the most original and brilliant comic-book universes ever created!

You’ve never seen anything like it—unless you’re a longtime fan of Marder’s, in which case you’ll be thrilled by the return of this wonderful and peculiar comic-book experience!
“Larry Marder’s Beanworld is a vegetarian update on Krazy Kat with a world and lingo unto itself.” — Smithsonian Studies of American Art

“One doesn’t read Beanworld at all, one lives it. Beanworld draws you into its world and plays out in your mind. This is a rare feat in any medium, and a treasure in comics.” — Feature Magazine

Larry Marder (W/A)
b&w, 272pg, HC, 6” x 9”, $19.95
On sale Feb 4 ‘09,

Beanworld is a peculiar fantasy that operates under its own rules and laws. Series creator Larry Marder says, “Beanworld is about the affinity of life. It’s like A Bug’s Life meets Mutts, as told by Dr. Seuss and Joseph Campbell.” Meet Mr. Spook, Professor Garbanzo, Beanish, and the Chow Sol’jer Army as they experience adventures that prove, whether friends or adversaries, we all ultimately depend on each other for survival. Beanworld reflects deep truths about our world, including themes of ecology, advertising, culture, and art, making the experiences of these fanciful creatures feel as true, funny, moving, and relatable as anything in our own reality.

Rescanned from the original artwork, this deluxe hardcover collects the long-out-of-print first nine issues of the original acclaimed comic-book series in an affordable single volume for the first time!

Suggested for readers aged seven to adult.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser

I'm facing what was once commonly referred to as The Dreaded Deadline Doom.
But on the other hand, I sure am having fun.
And I better get back to it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hoo-Hoo-HAs & a Hoka-Hoka HEY!

Once upon a time, long long ago there was a comic book called Tales of the Beanworld. And at the end of every issue there were several pages of this archaic thing called a letter column. It was titled "Hoo-Hoo-HAs & a Hoka-Hoka HEY!" and instead of having you all poke through various treads, I thought I'd run some correspondence under the old flag.

Mark I said:
It's up! Our long Beanworld drought is over!
Congratulations, Larry.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
I owe a lot of thanks to Mark Irons, the curator of the Beanweb.
During my long years wandering in the wilderness, he never gave up the faith that someday I might return to the Beanworld. He, and my wife Cory, had an email correspondence that kept the flame alive.
I refer to the amazing compilation of information on his site almost daily.

He's a really good guy.

Bob said:
What's that word again? Oh yeah...Wahoolazuma!!!

And the same goes for Bob Heer, who I've never met, but has done an astounding job of you folks in the Beanworld community linked together and well informed at Gunk'l'dunk.

And don't forget, that word, "Wahoolazuma!" is also the sub-title of the first new hardcover volume of Larry Marder's Beanworld.

Anonymous said:
great story! i remember years ago the topic of recycling came up in TOTB lettercols and it's exciting to see the idea come up organically in the story. I am so excited to see more! What an amazing pleasure to finally read a new Beanworld story again after so long!

The nature of the Four Realities has been on my mind now for decades. I have a lot to explore in that area and this story was just a taste of what is to come.

JJA said:
Poor Proffy! Acetone hasn't been invented yet. Perhaps the Boomers can change their tune a bit...Also, what happens to the spears that the Beans leave behind in the Hoi-Polloi? Once they are pulled out and discarded, do they wind up in Der Stinkle?
The Fix-It Shop appears to be growing. It now has a curl on top like the Cuties. I don't know if this counts as a clue.
A question of continuity - Does this episode come before or after "While We Were Eating?"

JJA, you never cease to amaze me.
Your observations are always right on the money!
As far as continuity goes, "? and !" and "Every Cutie Deserves a Toy!" both take place between issues #19 and #21 of TOTB.

"While We Were Eating?" takes place after TOTB #21 and before "Remember Here When You Are There!"

Carol said:
My favorite sequence is Proffy's pondering leading to revelation leading to the realization that their were holes in her reasoning.

Speaking of where things end up, what does Beanish do with all his old Look-See shows?

In your mind, were the beans always that color scheme (Blue for he wee and red for she wee) even though the comic was originally in black-and-white?

I notice there are several chow sol'jers and a Boomer bean missing from this comic.
Great story! Keep 'em coming.

I will, Carol.
Look-See Shows are accumulating in an area that seems to be called the Look-See Library.

I can't say I had the color scheme in mind since the get-go--'cuz I didn't use it in the early days of TOTB when I had some colored illos on the back covers.

At some point I decided on the color differences. I certainly had adopted it by the time I designed the Graphitti Designs t-shirt in the late '90s because I incorporated into the shirt coloring.
Yeah, there were a whole bunch of Beans missing in that story. In the first draft, they were all there but their sequences got edited out along the line.
Here is what they were doing.
There are 5 Sol'jers dancing with the Cuties.
The others were playing volleyball.

The other Boom'r was doing a Blank Tank gig for a Sol'jer who had a case of Krink'l Arm.

If you take a census, you'll see everyone was present and accounted for. Their stories just didn't fit into 8 pages. The first outline I wrote could have easily filled an entire issue of TOTB. I had to do a serious snipping but that draft resulted in pages and pages of good story material that will find a home when it's time to re-examine the ideas in the MDHP short story.
Also, some kind of production mishap occurred somewhere in the pipeline. There is a blot of a shape in panel 2 of page 3. Below is the correct panel. At least the blot didn't step on the joke!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"? and !" is online. Become a Beanworld MySpace friend!


The little 8 page romp through the Beanworld is up online as part of MDHP Issue 14.

The story "? and !" is a bit of a teaser as it lays down a more than a few few hints and clues to trends that will become increasingly important in the unfolding continuity of future Beanworld stories.

Some of it directly leads into the Beanworld Color Holiday Special (that at the moment seems to be titled "Every Cutie Deserves a Toy.")

Other notions will unfold in next years 250 page original black and white graphic novel "Remember Here When You Are There." And even a couple more seeds that will sprout in the following graphic novel.

The Beanworld MySpace page is up and running!

Last Friday, I woke up from sleep and slapped my forehead and said " (Expletive deleted)! The Beanworld MDHP story is going up next week. I need a MySpace page FAST!"

To my rescue came my pal, Jeff "JahFurry" Newelt, and his able designer, Maja. I think they made a totally wahoolazuma effort getting it together on incredibly short notice. We will be tinkering with it constantly in the days and weeks to come but I encourage all leguminous fans to become Beanworld's friend over at MySpace today!

I gotta back to the the drawing board...well the electronic tablet...well I gotta get back to BEANWORLD!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's Tuesday, so it's time for some tantalizing teasing!

Beanworld, makes it web comic debut tomorrow on MDHP Issue 14 in the first original story published in any format in a decade .

Hey, I'M excited!