Friday, July 31, 2009

"A Gift Comes" in Publishers Weekly!

Jacq Cohen @ Dark Horse PR wrote with the Great News that "A Gift Comes" got a really nifty review (with a red star even) in Publisher's Weekly.

You gotta scroll wayyyyy wayyyyy down to get to the comics section.

My favorite line?

"An extraordinary world-builder, Marder is also a bright-eyed comic storyteller who doesn't mind sprinkling a little magic and cuteness amid the good citizenship lessons."

More Comic-Con 2009!

Okay…well this is more than a bit late, but somehow the early part of the week was bundled up in just getting home and catching up on snooze time.

This was Comic-Con’s 40th anniversary and there was a lot of extra celebrating going on. The Convention published a deluxe hardcover history of the convention and also the usual soft cover free souvenir Con book. I filled out the questionnaire over the winter but on first flip of the books I didn’t see my responses in there so I thought I’d print my responses here. After all, that is what a blog is for, right?

So here we go:
Larry Marder’s Comic con Memories

1. What was the first year you attended Comic-Con?

2. How many years have you attended (did you attend)?

3. Did you first attend as an attendee, professional, exhibitor; volunteer or other (please specify "other")?
Pro. My first Comic-Con was the year that Tales of the Beanworld #1 launched.

4. What is your most memorable Comic-Con moment?
Jack Kirby's Surprise 70th birthday party.
I will never forget the moments before Jack and Roz entered the room.
I swear the room was surging with Kirby Krackle!

5. Who is the most memorable person you've met at Comic-Con?
Will Eisner.

6. Have you ever had a major project occur because of something that happened at Comic-Con? If so, how did that come about?
For Beanworld that depends on how one defines "major." That said both of my favorite licensing deals happened at Comic-Con with Planet Studios and Ready-Made Rubber. In my days with Eclipse, Moondogs, Image Comics, and McFarlane Toys--all sorts of deals and schemes were hatched at Comic-Con.

7. Optional personal note about Comic-Con.
Long ago, I recognized that Comic-Con is the equivalent of the Native American Sun Dance, a once a year event that was timed to be near the summer solstice.
A Sun Dance was a true gathering of the tribes, clans, rivalries, and factions.
And so is our Comic-Con. It's an unequaled yearly meeting of lots of people, who tend to be a little isolated and go it alone, and have an opportunity to come together in a huge gathering of people who are just like themselves.
Just like at a Sun Dance, friendships are made and renewed, news and gossip is traded, business is conducted, and people who have passed on are remembered and honored.
The last moments of the last day of Comic-Con always struck me as being exactly like a Sun Dance camp being struck. Everyone packed up, loaded their tipis and horses, and struck off for home renewed and invigorated.
Now that I look at it, I can see my answers were probably way too long and obtuse for the editors.
As for the Con itself, it was the first time I’ve set up independently since 1999 and even then I was doing far more Image Comics business than personal business out of the Beanworld space in the red carpeted Independent Publishers’ Pavilion.

It was the first time since 1993 that I was sitting down at an Artist’s Alley spot and promoting fresh, hot-off-the presses Beanworld stuff.

Book Two “A Gift Comes!” broke at Comic-Con and it feels incredibly satisfying to have the entire run of Tales of the Beanworld safely ensconced in the two beautiful Dark Horse Beanworld volumes.

Artist’s Alley was a real joy.
Somehow I was able to pack a whole lotta Beanworld into 4 feet of table space. It was split up into three zones. Facing the table from left to right it was Beanworld volumes, a notebook chock filled with original art work of the Beanworld Orphan variety, and on the far right was FREE Beanworld Action Figures. Behind the art notebook was a display case of Ashcans, Cute Collectible Trading Cards and Beanworld Holiday Special. Anybody that was looking for something was able to scratch their Beanworld itch. I sat next to Randy Emberlin, who I’d never met before, and we hit it off really well, so when things slowed down, we’d trade tall tales about our many years in the business.

This is most certainly the summer of the Zombies. It seems as if just about every major comics publisher has some sort of zombie horror book in its upper tier of sellers. DC just joined the fray with Blackest Night. They can call it whatever they want but the huge drawings facing CBLDFs booth area sure looked liked zombified versions of the JLA. I thought the stuff actually quite intriguing. I even read the Blackest Night #0 book and I liked the premise a lotOf course, eagle eyed Beanworld fans know I have a sweet tooth for the subject matter.. I can’t remember the last time I was intrigued by a mainstream superhero book.
Speaking of CBLDF, on Thursday, as I was trekking form the convention center to the Westgate Hotel I stumbled across The Zombie Walk.

At the time I didn’t know it was a Zombie Walk. I didn't know there was such a thing as a Zombie Walk. All I knew was I was just walking in one direction and a motely crew of Zombies (in full make up, garb and totally in character in character) was swhambling in the opposite direction.
The first cluster I passed was a dozen or so Zombies.
I thought...well, they are pretty interesting.

And then another dozen passed.
And I thought, wow, there are as many Zombies here as Klingons in the past.

And then there were more.
And I thought, wow there more Zombies here than a Storm Trooper forced march.

And more.
And more.
And more.
I passed hundreds of Zombies.
Even Zombie moms with li’l Zombies in strollers.
All never breaking character.

At one point I started to wonder.
Uh oh. Have I lost my mind?
And then, of course, I remembered, this is Comic-Con.
It was all stunt for the Zombieland movie.
It was well done.

Of course, I had Zombies on my mind because at the con, I broke out the new ZOMBIE model of FREE Beanworld Action Figures. They went as fast as I could mint them. VERY popular indeed.
I’m not at all sure what all this Zombie stuff says about our culture at this point in time (after all we even have the President of the United States talking about Zombie Banks) but it does mean SOMEthing.
Just don’t know what.
All I do know is we have passed the time of the zuvembie.

More to come still.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Well...Back from Comic-Con aka San Diego, SD09, CCI, Nerd Prom, and Nerdi Gras.
It was a first rate experience for me. I'm still scribbling my serious thoughts about Comic-Con but I thought I'd post the few pictures I actually managed to remember to snap. (I definitely gotta get better at that!)
Angela Takahara

The Takahara Crew: Camelia, Angela, and Adult Supervision

Above is the Takahara family. They bought a copy of "A Gift Comes!"one day at the con and apparently when they returned to their room Angela cracked the covers and started reading. The rest of the family dozed off for the night and Angela read the entire volume in one sitting before going off to slumberland. The entire family came by the next day and we all happily chatted up the Beanworld experience. Angela flipped through my notebook of original art and named and explained all the characters and what they do in the book. In the morning her dad asked her to explain Beanworld to him and she said "It's easier to read than explain." 9 times out of 10 that's about the best I can do myself and say the exact same thing.

Paula and her Beanworld Action Figure Walkman MP3 player

Paula and her Wahoolazuma Purse!
Paula came by with her pink Walkman Bean MP3 player that she asked me to transmute into a Beanworld Action Figure MP3 player. Which I happily did and in the process accidentally came up with the next model of FREE Beanworld Action Figure.
Speaking of FREE Beanworld Action Figures. ZOMBIES were a big, big hit. I couldn't keep 'em in stock. More on Zombies in the next post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FREE Beanworld Stuff in Artist's Alley GG 16!

World launch of the latest addition to the
FREE Beanworld Action Figure
line up of most peculiar
leguminous collectibles.

Almost ready to walk out the door
and motor-vate down south
and make the trans-dimensional shifteroo
into Comic-Con time and space.

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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beanworld Stuff On Sale In Artist's Alley GG 16

Comic-Con International in San Diego is almost here.
I'll be in Artist's Alley--GG 16.
Here is my schedule.

Below are some of the items that will be available at my table.

Look-See Library Series

Series One

Series Two
Color prints limited to a series of 10.
8 1/2" x 11" on natural card stock.
Numbered and signed by the Artist
Includes a Certificate of Legumination

Ashcan Comics

"Hungry" and "Professor Garbanzo's Joy Ride"
contain early pencil drafts of sequences
that turn up in "Remember Here When You Are There!"

Cute Collectible Cards

The name kinda sez it all.
Color prints of your favorite Beanworld characters on white card stock.
5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Beanworld Orphan Art
A crazy collection of Beanworld original art drawings
in a multitude of sizes, shapes, colors, papers, and prices.

Also back issues of the original Tales of the Beanworld comic books
will be available in limited quantities.

Commissioned Artwork?
It's always worth a conversation!

All product prices are reasonable and will be posted on site.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Here There" Look-See Preview At SD09!

A free 12 page "Look-See Preview" will break at SD09
next week at my table in Artist's Alley GG 16.

Here you see Olive assisting in the folding chores.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Official Larry Marder SD09 Schedule

Artist's Alley
GG 16

Artist's Alley is alllllllllll the way at the end to the left when you enter the room.
It's a hike!
But that is where I will be for almost all of the show.

The exception will be Thursday morning.
I won't arrive until lunchtime because I will be attending my first official Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Board meeting.

Other than that...I'll be rooted in Artist's Alley for the duration.
If you come looking for me--I'll be there!

Thursday, July 23
7:30 PM 'til 11-ish or when they toss us out onto the street.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Comic-Con Welcome Party
Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego.

CBLDF will have many
Beanworld Orphan sketches for adoption at this event. Plus, I’ll be sketching my heart out at the annual meeting of the Drink & Draw Social Club. I tend to be very prolific at these Drink and Draw parties, and some of my most oddball ideas come surging out of my pens in the heat of doing sketch after sketch. They can all be yours with all proceeds going directly to CBLDF.

Saturday, July 25
1:30-2:30 PM, Room 4
The One-Panel Panel.

A single image can hold an entire world in miniature.
ouglas Wolk (Reading Comics) will moderate with Charles Vess (Stardust), Hope Larson (Chiggers), Michael Allred (Madman) and Larry Marder (Beanworld), each showing and discussing one particularly meaningful panel from their own comics—how it came together, and where it led them.

I'm very excited about this panel. It was a hard assignment to drill down into such a narrow focus. But once the lightbulb went off over my head I found myself quite pleased with my decision. And I can't wait to see what my fellow artists came up with.

Saturday, July 25
Dark Horse Comics booth
Booth 2615
4:00 - 5:00


More details as they develop--like the stuff I'll have at the show!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Studio and the Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies!

BoingBoing pointed me to a site that just made me laugh out loud.
It's The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.
I laughed because I have used a majority of the gizmos and devices shown. Some I used every day for months, years, decades even.
And as you can see in the above pic I just snapped of my work station--some I still use because I just think better with them than with the computer gadgets that are hard wired into the programs I'm working on.
I never had any interest to learn how to use and air brush, so those supplies are alien to me but just about everything else was something I was very, very familiar with. I never wore one of those visors but I worked with a guy who put a visor and a smock on every day. He was a whiz with the old fashioned drafting tools and he was the guy who taught me all the little tricks to maintaining my rubber cement pot.
In addition to the type rules and proportion wheel seen above, I have a whole lot of other displayed tools squirreled away in drawers in my studio: technical pens, rubylith, loupe glass, kneaded erasers, rubber cement pick-up, PMS book, templates, non-repro blue pencils, Pro-White (yuck!), stainless steel T-square, and enough pens, pencils, inks, markers, and drafting tapes to supply a real bullpen for 6 months.
All I can say is....glad those days are over!
Give me my Wacom Cintiq and Photoshop any day of the week!