Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Do What I Do.

The above picture, to me, is worth the proverbial one thousand words.

One of the reasons I loved being the creator of Beanworld is because sometimes I'm fortunate to get the opportunity to meet people who love Beanworld as much as I loved the work of cartoonists work when was a kid and finding my way around in the Realm-Of-Stuff-To-Think-About.

Not too long ago, I received an email from a Facebook friend, John Scrudder. John wrote that he had recently given "the softcover books of Beanworld 1-4 to my seven year old daughter, Meghan after I saw that a teacher was using them in her classroom. She stayed up until 3:30 in the morning apparently (she woke me up at this hour to announce the Pod'l Pool Cuties were her favorite characters.)
Meghan is the artistically inclined and most imaginative out of four children. I just wanted to extend a thanks. She said she wanted to say thanks too... but now she is occupied watching Little Nemo Adventures in Dreamland, If Windsor McKay were still alive I'd send him a thanks as well!"

To my absolute delight, John and his daughter, Meghan, made the 3 1/2 hour trek up from Indiana so Meghan could meet the man who knows the Pod'l'pool Cuties, Beanish and Dreamishness personally.
After the signing John wrote: "It was really nice. Meghan was bouncing off the walls, I've never seen her as quiet with anyone as I have with you (it was her form of "speechless")"
Whenever I meet a kid that young who is as thoroughly plugged into Beanworld as John's daughter is, it's about as gratifying an experience as I can ever hope for as a cartoonist.
Below is a picture Meghan drew on a dry-erase board that she couldn't wait to show me!

Right before I hopped into the car, thinking I was giving myself a lot of time to get to the north side for my signing--it began to rain.
Cold, persistent autumnal rain that had all the freeways, ooops, I mean expressways bumper-to-bumper packed.
Instead of being early I arrived a bit late (to top everything else off there was a Cub's game in the neighborhood of Chicago Comics that was like getting caught in a labyrinth ).

Regardless of all of that--Beanworld fans came.In addition to FREE Beanworld Action Figures, the store had bowls of Jelly Beans and Boston Baked Beans out to snack on. (And I admit, I ate my share!)
And they got their "Secret Sketches"
And received their previews of Remember Here When You Are There!
Ol' pal and Chicago Cartoon Club member, Tim Gagne turned up with a photocopy of a very very early draft of Pop!Pop!Pop! that I don't have a copy of. (He got it from the legendary George Hansen.) That is a cool thing to have. Thanks, Tim.

Here I am with Eric Thornton, Chicago Comics' manager (left) and Eric Kirsammer, Chicago Comics' owner. I'm holding the sketch I did for the store.
Later on, The Moondoggers began traipsing in. These are the folks that I worked with at Moondog's Comicland in the early '90s. We were all veterans of the retail frenzy that erupted in the launch of X-Men #1, Death of Superman, birth of Image Comics and Wizard. It was a crazy frenetic time and we had a fun together.
A lot of fun.
Afterwards, we walked through the rain to Leona's, which was a favorite eatery where Cory and I often dined once upon a time, long long ago.
In a week long chain of reunions; this was another.
And we laughed and swapped stories and closed down the joint.
I'm a lucky guy to have these old friends who came out to see the ol' Bean Guy.

From left to right back row: Vince Smith, Shawn Campbell, Mike Valdez,
Chris"Joe King" Ecker, Larry Marder, Gary "Moondog" Colabuono, Jim Mortensen
From left to right front row: Sue Flaim Laz, Andrea Goldberg

My thanks to Nancy Whiteman and Cathy Thompson for making sure my NSCDS functions went of with nary a hitch and Kate Puccia and Alex Gutierrez for letting me interrupt their classrooms. Additional thanks to Eric Kirsammer, Eric Thornton, and the entire gang at Chicago Comics for their hospitality and enthusiasm.
And an extra special thanks for putting up with the Moondog's Comicland alumni invasion!
And thanks to Gary and the gang!



John M. Scrudder said...

Larry, It was a fantastic Evening. You really made Meghans 7th Birthday something special!


Alan Jeffrey said...

Thanks for doing the signing, it was great to meet you, and to see how super-excited Meghan was!

Moondog said...

Hard to believe it's been so long since you did a signing in Chicago, Larry. Great to see you again, pal.

Danny said...

is there going to be a columbus comic-con? or anything your coming to?

Larry Marder said...

I suspect I might be going to a bunch of places in '1o to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Beanworld.
But before I do, I have a little leguminous project to finish for Diana Schutz the anniversary.
(Oooops! That hasn't been announced yet. Well, forget I said anything, okay? )