Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Going South For The Holidays!

Wayyyyyyy south!

But I will be back in time for
Amazing Arizona Comic Convention
January 8-9, 2011
Mesa Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ

This convention is looking more and more....
well....amazing every day.

Comic book entrepreneur extraordinaire,
Jimmy Jay and his crew,
are putting together an incredibly dynamic show.

I'm really looking forward to being in on the action and
having an opportunity to hang with old pals!
I will be perched in Artist's Alley.

And don't forget:
CBLDF Has The Best Gifts For The Fan In Your Life!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now THIS is news!

Prince William getting married?
The Beatles library on iTunes?
The new Bruce Springsteen boxed set?
Marvel killing off Ultimate Spiderman?

What EVER!

None of that news holds a candle to the reemergence
of one of my favorite advertising mascots:
Speedy Alka Selter!

After putting their toes in the water
(so to speak)
with a rather odd Lindsey Vonn ad featuring
what seems to be some sort of Speedy totem
on the tip of her ski,
Alka Seltzer's current corporate owners
have brought the little guy back.

This is big stuff for me.
Because I love advertising mascot characters.

They are as much part of my psyche as any comic book or cartoon character.

So I have to tell you folks,
I'm very pleased to see that Speedy Alka Seltzer
seems to be making a comeback in television advertising.

(Although the new commercial seems to be a bit of a story retread
of a current Frosted Mini-Wheats ad)

(And let's not even get into THIS!)

You can read my previous posts
singing the praises of Speedy
here and here.

"Down, down, down the stomach through,
Round, round, round the system too,
With Alka-Seltzer you're sure to say,
Relief is just a swallow away!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From the Beanworld Archives!

8 1/2" x 11"
The cheapest bond paper imaginable
Black markers and color pencils
Late 1970s

At recent convention appearances, I've made it no secret that Beanworld Book Four: Something More has been slowly taken over by the Boom'r Band.

I set out telling one story and this other one, in a direction I hadn't foreseen, took over. Recently I've learned that this does fold back into the story I originally set out to tell.

The side track is the Origin of the Boom'r Band.
This tale of the Beanworld has been hinted at from time to time, most significantly in a frame of
Beanish Breaks Out! (TOTB #4 and/or page 112 of Wahoolazuma!).

While going through my accumulation of notes regarding the Boom'rs, I found the drawing above. This is part of the going-backwards process I often talk about.

Beanworld started out as a complicated entity and I kept simplifying it, parsing it down, narrowing its scope intil I discovered Gran'Ma'Pa (or maybe Gran'Ma'Pas discovered me...not quite sure!).Then I started moving forward with the comic that became Tales of the Beanworld #1.

I cant say with certainty what year this piece was drawn.
I think late 1970s.

If I recall correctly it an early attempt at a Beanworld story about a human being (it might have been me) who is transported to Beanworld (I've forgotten how) and finds himself (assuming it was me) in a Bean-body.

And in a (clumsy) Wizard of Oz-ish riff finds himself on a red and yellow boardwalk that he follows on his adventures until he...he...I'm not sure as I don't think I ever finished it.

That's The Visitor, surprised, in the lower left hand corner.
That's about all I can recollect.

By 1980 I had come up with the Boom'r Band trio.
They had a different look but they had their current instruments.

In the sky are the four symbols of the Beanworld Tarot.
Two of those symbols came down to the ground as Mystery Pods.
The other two came down even further and became two of the Four Realities.

I really like some of these Beanworld-ed of instruments.
The bass balalaika still works for me.
And the Bonging-thing with the hammers too.
The Harp-ish thing isn't so bad either.

What really jumps out at me though is wooden structure sure looks like something from Angry Birds doesn't it?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

There Is Still Time For Larry Marder's World Famous Third Eye Halloween Costume.

Yes, my leguminous friends, it's the 11th hour for Halloween costume procrastinators: But, I, Larry Marder, can come to the rescue for folks that need a simple, yet effective costume for parties this weekend.

I'm not quite sure how many times I've concocted this particular two-phase costume over the years but it's been several times a decade. Because I've moved around so much and drifted in and out of social circles, both personal and professional, over the years, there has always been a fertile new audience for my subtle yet powerful one trick-pony of a costume.

A little bit of History:

It started at Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford.
The Art School had the reputation the best Halloween Bacchanal on campus.
It was legendary really.

This epicness (as they would say nowadays) was based on two things:

First, the quality of the costuming from art students from 1969-1972.

The second was some sort of punch that was mixed up with god-knows-what in it but I'm quite certain its main ingredient was pure grain alcohol This punch had a campus wide notoriety somewhat akin to Four Loko today.

I discovered right away in art school that when it comes to masquerades (and what is now known as cosplay) that I stink.

People always ask me how come I never try to make some sort of Beanworld costume.
Cuz I'm not creative enough in that way.
Personally I have absolutely no idea how one might do that.
But I do like minimal costumes.
And this is mine.

Frame from "Ducks Yas Yas" (c) Robert Crumb

Truthfully I'm not quite sure where the idea came from.
Over the years, I've settled on it being influenced by a frame of a Robert Crumb comic called "Ducks Yas Yas."

I really liked the guy with the third eye.
Decided to do one myself.
Minimal but memorable.
And give it a little bit of sequential art punch line.

Stage Directions for
Larry Marder's World Famous
Third Eye Halloween Costume.

Part One.
Affix third eye to your forehead.
Go to the party.
Take the ribbing that is inevitable for having such a lame costume.
"Hey you're a creative guy. That's the best you can do?"
Sheepish smiles and a lot of shrugging are the proper responses.

Part Two.
Let the festivities settle in.
Wait until everyone has seen everyone else's costume.
Then wait more until the fun-seekers are getting appropriately loose (inebriated, medicated, whatever one's poison is).
Wait further still until folks are starting to shed various pieces of their burdensome, uncomfortable costumes and falling out of character and starting to look more and more bleary eyed.

Then you strike!

Go to the bath room and affix Third Eye #2.
Start circulating.
Say nothing.

It generally takes a while but at some point someone will notice that you have switched eyes. There will be a moment of recognition/comprehension as to the absurdity of what you have done.

They will giggle.
They will laugh.
Depending on what some have been up to they might guffaw.

Like Beanworld itself, it's deceptively simple bit of theater but full of meaning.
It works.
It wll be a hit.

Try it sometime.
You have my permission to download my drawings, print 'em out, cut 'em out and use mine.
Or make your own!

Now let's celebrate by grooving to that Halloween anthem of greatness by the Shaggs!0

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'll be pretty busy this weekend for a guy who isn't supposed to be at APE!

I'm not an official guest at APE.
I'm not setting up at my own table.
But I'll be dropping in just the same.

I'll be doing signing and drawing type stuff for CBLDF here and there.
Catch me if you can!

Offers for Crazy Trade Ins and What-The-Big-Fish-Said are open for business!
Unique TFAW Cards will be available for a donation at CBLDF table.

Here are the things I know I'm scheduled to do.

Saturday 10/16 at 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
CAM Alternative Press Expo Party: Storytime! and Graphic Details
Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission StreetSan Francisco, CA, 94105

It's a great show and it's not going to be up a whole lot longer
and it's well worth the Look-See!

Also....I have a workshop on Sunday 10/17 at 12 pm (aka noon aka midday)
It's called: Marketing a Comic That's Easier to Read Than to Describe.

Presenting a comic as peculiar as Beanworld to the public is hard today;
imagine how difficult it was more than a quarter of a century ago.

I'll share my story of the strategy I deployed to get myself discovered,
find a publisher, and how I found the right message to break through the clutter
of the mid-80s comic book marketplace.

I'll have some artifacts on hand that hardly anyone has has seen before
plus a whole bunch of stuff quite unseen for a long, long time.

Hear how the lessons I learned then have sustained Beanworld's public image to this very day!

Also on Sunday 10/17 4:45-5:30
CBLDF: The Fight For Intellectual Freedom

More than 50 years after Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, comics and other media still come under the attack of censors.
Charles Brownstein, executive director of the CBLDF, is joined by cartoonist Keith Knight
and other panelists for a discussion of current trends in comics censorship and how we all can get involved in protecting intellectual freedom

I'm one of the others!

Trade In One Of Yours For One Of Mine!

Am I crazy?
But here's the deal.

Trade-in one of your homemade Beanworld drawings
for a genuine Marder-drawn, signed original sketch of the same character!

Offer open to kids of all ages!

THE DETAILS:Only one trade-in per person allowed.
If your drawing contains more than one character,
you must decide which single character you'd like as your trade-in sketch.
After the drawing exchange you agree that I can post your sketch in the
Leguminous Fan Art Gallery.
And it would be nice if I could get a snapshot of you and your art too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beanworld on the verge of going APE!

I'm not a guest at APE.
I'm not setting up.
But I'll be dropping in.
I'll be doing signing and drawing type stuff for CBLDF here and there.

Here are the things I know I'm scheduled to do.

Saturday 10/16 at 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
CAM Alternative Press Expo Party: Storytime! and Graphic Details
Cartoon Art
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA,

It's a great show and it's not going to be up a whole lot longer and it's well worth the Look-See!


I have a workshop on Sunday 10/17 at 12 pm (aka noon aka midday)
It's called: Marketing a Comic That's Easier to Read Than to Describe.
I'll be talking about how I first marketed Beanworld and have continued to for a quarter of a century.
And I still haven't a clue as to how to describe it.
And I'll be talking about how I've managed to market around this dilemma!

Also on Sunday 10/17 4:45-5:30

CBLDF: The Fight For Intellectual Freedom
More than 50 years after Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, comics and other media still come under the attack of censors. Charles Brownstein, executive director of the CBLDF, is joined by cartoonist Keith Knight and other panelists for a discussion of current trends in comics censorship and how we all can get involved in protecting intellectual freedom.

I'm one of the others!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LIBERTY ANNUAL 2010 is in my hands!

In one of those great slices of life that make my life so much fun--I just happened to be in the CBLDF offices in New York this afternoon when the first cartons of Liberty Annual 2010 arrived.

Am I happy?

Yeah, I'm very happy.

If you are in for New York Comic Con be sure to stop by at the CBLDF/Image Comics/Beat Bash Thursday night.
I'll be there!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's not Tuesday but here's a Teaser!

This frame is connected to one I teased you with a while back.

I'm deep into a significant sequence that sets into motion events having lasting ramifications the Boom'r Band, Professor Garbanzo, the rapidly growing up Pod'l'pool Cuties, and even
Beanish and Dreamishness are (indirectly) in on it.

An earlier rough of this sequence has been hinted at before. Same actions (more of less) but replaced elsewhere into the ongoing continuity. It's directly related to the MDHP #14 online comics "? & !"

I work in such a strange slow fashion. I'm totally unable to sit down and write a story with a beginning middle and end. A Beanworld story is a bit like a Joseph Cornell assemblage. Instead of sculptural bits and pieces, the found objects I work with fall out of my head in no apparent order. I work with these story shards until they feel right.

But when they do feel right, then all sorts of doors open and linkages that previously weren't there appear. It's that kind of week. Thought I'd share a bit of it with you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Déjà Vu All Over Again.

Panel from "The First Amendment: It's Why We Fight!"

This post is about something I care very much about and I'm very proud to be affiliated with.
It's the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The press release is here.

You can read the brief in its entirety here.

The First Amendment is an elegant bit of prose written a long, long time ago by folks who couldn't possibly imagined the world that we find ourselves living in today.
(see illo above).

Sure the language comes across as a bit quaint but the message is concise:
The Government can't pass laws dictating what an individual can speak or publish. In the United States of America freedom of speech isn't a privilege--it's a right guaranteed by the constitution.

No one is allowed to tell us what we can say or or think.
Not ever.

Of course, that has never stopped people from trying to do otherwise now and again.
That's why the First Amendment, in its tightly written simplicity, is such a valuable part of the Constitution.

Today, I'm here to tell you about how Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is pitching in and as a friend-of-the-court has filed an amicus curiae brief in a case that is soon going to be heard before the Supreme Court of the United States.

That case is called Schwarzenegger v. EMA.

The law that was passed by the state of California and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger bans the sale or rental of any video game containing violent content to minors, and requiring manufacturers to label such games.

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) believes that this law is unconstitutional and has spearheaded the appeal to have the law reversed.

CBLDF thinks so too.
The Board of the Fund (in all fairness I will remind you that I'm its current President) states that if allowed to stand "California’s law would reverse fundamental First Amendment principles by creating a new category of unprotected speech, diminishing the First Amendment rights of minors, and reducing First Amendment protection for new media."

Think about that.
A state legislature gets to create a whole new category of speech that it's decided isn't eligible for protection under the First Amendment and by doing so claims the right to chip away at the free speech rights of people working in a new media as they come along, y'know, like video games.

"The CBLDF argues that the law under review is the most recent example of government improperly attempting to regulate content by using junk science, and calls upon a history of moral panics against media that includes the 1950s crusades against comics that crippled the industry and harmed the art form. The CBLDF asks the Supreme Court to deny California this attempt to roll back protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, as it and other courts have correctly done in the past."

Well, this hits close to home for those of us that love comic books and are painfully aware of what happened almost six decades ago when we were the targets of a similar moral panic. Junk science was provided "indisputable proof "that comic books were harmful to the moral health of America's impressionable Baby Boomers. It was loudly argued in public and private that comic books were a malignant force undermining the very foundations of civilized society in the post war period.

The Business-of-our-Art-Form, as I like to think of the comic book industry, was severely damaged in the 1950s.
Lives were ruined.
Careers destroyed.

The appendix in a history of the era, The Ten-Cent Plague, lists the names of about 1.000 industry professionals who never worked in the medium again. In the prologue of the book, one Quality Comics studio artist, Janice Valleau, when asked why she never worked in the comic book industry again repled: "My God. I couldn't go back out there--I was scared to death. Don't you know what they did to us?"

Comic book creators and publishers were demonized. Junk science was pushed forward in books and in Senate hearings to "prove" that the negative influence of comic books was a primary motivator and root cause of post-war juvenile delinquency.

I oughta know.
I'm one of those kids they were talking about.
I started going to school in 1956 in the direct aftermath of the horrors that destroyed the comic book industry of the 1950s.

It's a story I tell often enough but in 3rd grade, circa, 1959-60, I drew a picture of Batman in crayons at school. This so alarmed my teacher that my parents were called and told that I was well on the road to ruination because I was obsessed with comic books. My mother was horrified , of course, and it wasn't until I was an upperclassman in high school that comics were once again allowed in our home.

Dime novels, early cinema, Jazz, radio, pulp magazines, comic books, Rock & Roll, and now video games all have been accused in one or another of undermining the status quo in a harmful way. When comics were attacked in the 1950s, our industry didn't seem to have any friends.
The targets of moral panics rarely do.

That's why I believe it is so important for everyone who loves the inter-meshing worlds of comics, games, TV, and film to understand just how important it is to defend our First Amendment liberties when they are being attacked or violated.

Don't just take my word for it, listen to someone who lived through it before: Stan Lee who posted on this subject.

"Comic books, it was said, contributed to 'juvenile delinquency.' A Senate subcommittee investigated and decided the U.S. could not 'afford the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror and violence.'

The more things change, as they say, the more they stay the same. Substitute video games for comic books and you've got a 21st century replay of the craziness of the 1950s. States have passed laws restricting the sale of video games and later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a case about one of those laws, this one passed in California. Why does this matter? Because if you restrict sales of video games, you're chipping away at our First Amendment rights to free speech and opening the door to restrictions on books and movies."

That's why so many other organizations are filing amicus briefs in support of EMA. In the past, the CBLDF would often be a co-signer on other amicus briefs. This time, we as a Board, after careful consideration, we concluded that this one hits too close to home. Our collective past experience brings too much to the table.

We've been there.
We've done that.
We want the Supreme Court hear about our history and consider our experiences.
It's our duty as people who are protected by the First Amendment to make sure that everyone else is too.

Because like I said before: the First Amendment isn't a privildege-it's a right.
It can't be taken away.

Or as Jeremy Bentham (the real guy-not the one on LOST) said:
As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.


Protecting the First Amendment isn't cheap.

CBLDF is a grassroots organization that exists because of the generous support of the comics community.
The donations of individuals and small businesses add up to make CBLDF the first responder to First Amendment emergencies when they arise.

Please support the CBLDF’s work by making a
monetary contribution and by following us and spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crazy Trade-Ins from Floating World!

Last Tuesday, I made an appearance at Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco
The Storytime! show is really quite extraordinary and very informative.
We wanted to focus on the process of creating comics and the show really demonstrates how all of the artists in the show work out their stories.
Everyone does it differently.
(Hope Larson's thumbnails are something to see!)
My stuff looked a lot better up on the walls then it did when I was sorting through it on my studio floor. Context is everything, huh?

Duh....I forgot my camera and failed to get any pictures.
The exhibit is up until November 14 and if you are going to APE--you really want to pop in and give the show a look-see.

Then last Wednesday, I did a signing at Floating World Comics in Portland OR.
It was an opportunity to see old friends, make new ones, and have a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Many thanks to Jason of Floating World for working with Diana Schutz and making the whole thing happen in a very short period of time.

And there were even some particularly excellent Crazy Trade-Ins.

Riley, age 8, wasn't a bit shy to show me her Beanworld originals. She insisted I take several pages because "It's easy to make more." When I asked her who her favorite Beanworld character is, hands down it was "Pod'l'pool Cuties." More of Riley's fantastic artwork here.

Kids love the Cuties. Doesn't matter what stage the Cuties are in--they are popular as can be.I've written about it before, and will again, but it amazes me how they took over the book and in turn Beanworld fandom. There really needs to be Cutie merchandise of its own--don't you think?

Speaking of merchandise: please post your wish lists of what you most need to have!
We'll speak of this again later

This watercolor illo of Beanish pondering Kant came from the incredibly talented Dylan Meconis.
Totally cracked me up.
I was truly complimented she took the time out of her busy schedule to join the Beanworld Trade-In craziness!

One of the things that also came out of that night was me agreeing to come up again next spring for Stumptown Comic Fest April 16 &17, 2011.

In a day or two, I'll post about something that happened at Floating World that reminded me that a post about the Eclipse Comics hard covers from two decades ago is long over due.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Will there be...???

Secret Sketches?

Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhh!

August 24th


655 Mission Street
San Francisco CA
(between New Montgomery and Third Streets)
(415) CAR-TOON
With Lark Pien!

August 25th

Floating World Comics

20 NW 5th Ave #101
Portland OR

Saturday, August 21, 2010

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

It's been a long, long time since I answered my mail here.
So let's get to it!

Dear Larry,

I took this picture for you today while walking in Boston's historic North End neighborhood. This mosaic greets visitors to the local branch of the public library. It looks like Proffy's dream from Beanworld.

I am eagerly awaiting the next book!

Brad Friedman

I love knowing that this mosaic exists.
Brad, you're so right to think about Proffy' dream when looking at this.

Whoever made it was thinking along very similar, but ultimately a bit different, lines as the creation of the 23 Realities in Proffy's dream: A Gift Comes!-page 317).

Thanks so much for taking the time to snap the pic and send it along.


I wanted to upgrade my TALES OF THE BEANWORLD books from paperback to hardcover until I saw that they were reduced in page size. What was the reasoning on doing this?

Todd Tamanend Clark

Excellent question, Todd...

Quite a few of the photographic film negatives from the old comics were lost. This was not a huge deal because I never sold my original pages and was in possession of every page of the Tales of the Beanworld.

The original negs were often kind of shoddy anyway. Many were shot as favors or at discounted prices and didn't always accurately reflect the drawings on the pages. Fine lines often closed up or got fuzzy or disappeared altogether.

So we went back to the source material and scanned it all digitally. The production department at Dark Horse A really talented digital artist at Dark Horse, Matt Dryer did an astounding job capturing the fidelity and crispness of the original artwork . Thanks to the iron will of Diana Schutz and the DH production department the hardcover books totally look exactly like the scans--and the scans look like the drawings.

We also knew, as long as we were starting from scratch anyway, that a size change was something to seriously contemplate. I admit, I was cautious about reducing the page size but I also knew that a slightly smaller 6" x 9" final product was a format that had wider commercial acceptance and once I saw just how inconsequential the reductions actually were--I never looked back. You can see for yourself in the picture (below) I just snapped of a random page in both formats.

I don't think anything is lost in the transition--but I'll leave it up to other Beanworld fans to give their opinions.

Ever see these, Larry?

$1 each, over 100 to collect, nice carrying case too. I thought they'd be nice to scrape the picture off if possible and paint your beans on them.


No, Yup, I've never seen them before.
Pretty nifty toys.

The site, the music, the bad puns, the ridiculous attitude is the sort of thing that can keep me awake at night whenever some one asks about turning Beanworld into something-other-than-what- it-already-is.

It's this anxiety that somehow no matter what I am promised (or even guaranteed) that somehow Hollywood will transform Beanworld into something like this.

No can do, folks, no can do.

Hi Larry,

I was going through a box in storage when my eye caught a glimpse of an envelope bearing a familiar green “bean.” Inside, was a letter and a stash of chip drawings purchased from you at San Diego Comic Con in the time leading up to the full blown “commission piece” you did for me. Hope all is well!

Kind regards,
Kevin Noonchester

As I told you at Comic-Con, Kevin, it's hard to believe its been 25 years since the first time you came up to my table in 1985. You were one of the very first Beanworld readers I ever met that was an actual kid! Up until that point, I really didn't know that a middle schooler was capable of following the intricacies of Beanworld.

Now, everyone knows differently, of course.

That's quite a stash over Beanworld "chip drawings" you accumulated one-by-one over the years.

And the letter?
An personalized, original drawing of Beanish before TOTB #4?
Hey, that's a pretty cool thing to own if I do say so myself!

Hi Larry,

This is a long shot, writing to you, since you probably get thousands of fan emails and I'll probably not get a reply, but:
Isn't Beanworld about our circulatory system?

I don't want to bother you with details of why I think so (including the shapes chosen for the 4 realities and the bacterial/viral infection of the poppers etc), I'm just surprised that no one seems to have mentioned this anywhere on the Web.

Thank you for Beanworld and for your time.

Dominic Wan

To the best of my sometimes leaky memory, Dominic, no one has quite made this observation before. It's a fascinating new interpretation of Beanworld.

As I always say, whatever resonance a Beanworld reader feels emanating while reading the book is true. If you think it, if you feel it: it's there.

It's a pact, a covenant between you and the Beanworld.
I'm just the guy who delivered the pages.

If you are local to San Francisco or Portland OR next week....I'll be appearing at:

August 24th
655 Mission Street
San Francisco CA
(between New Montgomery and Third Streets)
(415) CAR-TOON

August 25th
20 NW 5th Ave #101
Portland OR

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Marder to sign at Floating World Comics August 25th!

Floating World Comics
20 NW 5th Ave #101
Portland OR

Wednesday, August 25th,
Details here!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pssssst! Oregonians....

WHO: Larry Marder
WHAT: Book signing
WHEN: Wednesday, August 25th, 6-8pm
WHERE: Floating World Comics, 20 NW 5th Ave #101, Portland, OR 97209
(503) 241-0227

Save the date and time.
More details as the develop!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Leguminous Comic-Con Wrap Up 2010!

This was my first time as a Guest of Honor at Comic-Con and I have to say--everything I ever heard about the GoH experience is true. They take superb care of you every step of the way. Cory and I send along our great thanks to all the members of the Con Committee and the army of volunteers who make Comic-Con work with amazing efficiency on the ground. Particular thanks to my GRT: Tiff Hudson who made sure I showed up at all my obligations in plenty of time.

A few observations regarding the con itself.
Yes, it's gotten so big you can't begin to take it all in.

The sensory overload of crowds and displays and attendees in costumes and giant bags and swag and thundering noise put Comic-Con in a class of events up there with Mardi Gras and Super Bowl. Doesn't bother me a bit. The idea that there are one-way halls and entrances/exits is something that I've become accustomed to now--a few years ago it drove me nuts. Now it's just part of the way things are.

I have to admit, I've never set foot in Hall H in my entire life and I reckons there is a good chance I never will. That part of the convention is off my radar completely except for hearing anecdotes from friends and fans.

I really liked the placement of Artist's Alley all the way at the end in Hall G this year. Clydene placed me in a great spot. The aisles were wider and the noise level wasn't anything that bothered me where I was. Some folks thought the Alley was too far away from the larger artists tables and although that was probably true--I don't think it had a lot of impact on my fans. I think because Hall G is next to the fabled Hall's possible we had foot traffic because it was the closest set of doors downstairs. Don't know but it felt like it.

As far as a metric for measuring foot traffic, I do know this--I broke a personal record in the amount of FREE Beanworld Action Figures I gave away. 3 1/2 pounds. I don't think I ever gave away more than 2 1/2 before. Zombie, Crazy, Battle Damaged, and Dead remain the most sought after of the lot. But Tee-Hee is definitely making a surge.

I received an Ink Pot from the Convention for Achievements in Comic Arts. This means a lot to me. People assume I've won all sorts of awards. But I haven't. I've only been nominated for one (a Kirby) once and that was in 1987. As I said in my dazed acceptance bit of babble "I've spent a lot of my career working for and with folks who have enough awards to crack the foundation of their homes. But this is one of the only times where my work has been recognized."

Scott McCloud immediately turned it into a FLEECE Beanworld Action figure merchandise display and I had the little fella working for on the table the rest of the show.

I'm a New York Times certified geezer!

I got a terrific write-up in by Peter Larson in The Orange County Register: Now our neighbors can see what Cory's husband actually does all day.

Some really nice words about the indescribable Beanworld experience from kli.
"It is the kind of book where you generally recommend it to someone by shoving it into their hands so it can be experienced directly."

I had a good time on all of my panels--as far as I know the only one that has turned up as a public documentation is Graphic Novels: The Personal Touch” that featured Gabrielle Bell, Howard Cruse, Vanessa Davis, Jillian Tamaki, Carol Tyler and me--moderated by Shaenon Garrity. I'm rather quiet in that one--I was far more interested in what my fellow panelists had to say that hearing myself speak but I did mange to get in some pithy observations here and there particularly about the quality of printing reproduction these days.

The "Indy Writers Unite" panel was an odd collection of mostly writer/artists and it's reported on here.

In a lot of ways, the most remarkable panel I did was "The Funny Stuff: Humor in Comics and Graphic Novels." I more or less dropped out of it in the middle as I had front row seats to one of the most bizarre and surreal panels I've ever had the honor of sitting on in my quarter century of panel participation. As far as I know, it wasn't written up anywhere in depth. All I can say is: it was a classic example of funny-weird not funny-ha ha. However, I did get a chance to make one of my favorite points that I consider Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q to be the greatest satirical gesture of the entire 20th century.

Image comics/Shadowline Fractured Fables hardcover was launched at Comic-Con. My contribution isn't Beanworld but it's very Larry Marder just the same.

I did two Sketch-a-Thon stints at the Cartoon Art Museum table. One was with Scott Shaw! I think I laughed more in that hour than any other hour the entire run of the show. Lot's of cartooning fun

Well, that's as much time as I can steal for a blog post today.
More stuff as I remember it.

And my next post will be about this.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Babbling at Comic-Con!

An impromptu interview with Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool at Comic-Con.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Isn't quite this and isn't quite that is about as Beanworld as you can get--don't you think?

I wrote about my 2010 CBLDF/TFAW contribution a few weeks ago and here is the rest of the story. The email sent to solicit the art community's participation will help explain it to you:

Hi Larry,

Last year, Things From Another World and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund teamed up with you and other fantastic comics professionals to help raise more than $30,000 for the CBLDF’s annual auction at San Diego Comic-Con. Now we would like to ask you to participate in our Second Annual SDCC Autograph Card/CBLDF Auction event by generously donating an original piece of art to this effort.

We’re already off to an excellent start this year! We are thrilled to announce the participation of our flagship partner, Image Comics, one of the premier comic book publishers in the nation. The stellar folks at Image Comics are serious about supporting the CBLDF, and they are kicking things off with donations of art from many of their colossally talented creators!

However, we are determined to pack this event with every one of our favorite creators, and we hope that will include you! It's a wonderful way to support the First Amendment rights of the comics community while promoting your signings in San Diego.

As with last year, we are asking artists to create original works of art to donate to the CBLDF auction at San Diego Comic-Con. In exchange, you will receive 500 free limited-edition autograph cards of your sketch to distribute in San Diego, and we will also give out additional copies of your autograph cards at our booth during the Con.

I think this idea of TFAW's is sheer genius.
Under the guidance of Andrew McIntire, Elisabeth Forsythe, and the TFAW crew this project ended up making a substantial contribution to CBLDF though the auctioning of our original art.

Blank card

I hate to admit that I totally forgot about this until Saturday at noon when I was signing copies of Fractured Fables at the Image booth and saw a stack of someone else's cards sitting on the table next to me and realized I had not received my stack of cards.

No worries.
A quick flurry of texts uncovered the mystery--my cards had been mis-delivered to the Dark Horse booth.

Soon I had the cards in hand along with a nifty new CBLDF donation box with the "Look! I'm customized!" card tucked into it.

Folks started dropping their contributions into the slot and I started whipping out cards--each modified and personalized according the the contributors wishes. Often I'd ask for an emotion and was glad to serve up whatever came into my mind.

During slow times, I'd prepare a few in advance so Cory could keep the ball rolling when I was away from the table doing panels and the like. they are showcased in a new gallery you can find here.

Lots of fun.
Simple to do.

Each card is something that isn't quite an original drawing and isn't quite a print.
Isn't quite this and isn't quite that is about as Beanworld as you can get--don't you think?

Customized card tweeted by Chris Blanchard
" My Comic Con gift from @larrymarder via my brother."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kids draw the darndest Beans!

One of my greatest joys since the Beanworld reboot has been just how popular the book has become with the kids of the 21st century.

I get reports from parents and teachers all the time--a boy or a girl sits down with a Beanworld book and something starts zapping back and forth from the printed page directly into the child's mind back to the page and so on.

Is it the deceptive simplicity of the iconic art?
Can it be the intertwined concepts that make up the rules and laws of the Beanworld?
Maybe it's the maps and glossary.
Maybe it's just that this generation is totally poised to grok what I mean when I say: Beanworld isn't a place; it's a process.

This is all rather remarkable to me because I've never actually had a target audience in mind as I've written and drawn Beanworld tales over the decades. As I say all the time: Beanworld more or less writes itself and I often feel like a glorified scribe getting it all down on paper as fast as I can once it starts to emerge and flow.

Who the Beanworld audience/readership is really has little to do with whatever I (or my publisher) wants it to be.

It's a contract between Beanworld and its readers of all ages.

Beanworld has been around long enough now that folks that read it when they were kids can now share it with their own children and Beanworld appreciation becomes a shared family activity. This is something I could never have imagined when the first Beanworld stories came together in a comic book stories I genuinely believed no one would ever read.

But those stories are in fact the first few chapters of Wahoolazuma! and are the entry point for kids into the Beanworld.

Interaction with Beanworld fans (of all ages) is why I go to comic book conventions.I love the questions and observations.I like to talk about my influences.I like to talk about whatever a Beanworld fan wants to talk about.

That's why I'm there.But the most fun is interaction with young readers who "get it" and immerse themselves in the whys and wherefores of the Beanworld.

One of the true highlights of my 2010 Comic-Con was when this kid kept coming back and very politely requesting the loan of some blank beans and the use of a Sharpie and proceeding to make his own personalized Beanworld Action Figures. He's show them to me and saunter off. He came back several times--both alone and with his older brother.

Some one carried this drawing all the way from Tallahassee FL on behalf of Fiona Grace Jacoby-age six. Her Dad, Brian Jacoby is the proprietor of Secret Headquarters: Comics and Games for Everyone! and a very good friend of the Beanworld's. Fiona Grace's drawing skills have come a long way since her first contribution to the Leguminous Fan Art gallery in 2009.

Another repeat young Beanworld fan artist: Treasure Olson!
This year, Treasure was able to write her own letter and showcased her own Bean characters for me--plus she used a Beanworld Action Figure in a bit of multi-media collage. Really cool for age 6 if you ask me.

I had a lengthy chat with her Dad who delivered her drawings and he filled me in on all the Bean adventures Treasure is creating on her own. Her favorite character of her own is "Cookish" so that the one I drew for her in trade.

I think I was given this trade-in drawing at the LA Book fair and it hid out from me until today. The name Greg is on the back. I haven't found any other information. Thanks, Greg!

This goth Bean was a trade in from Teresa Gonsoski.

I love these trade-in drawings at conventions.
Next opportunity will be at New York Comic-Con in October.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Comic-Con is concluded!

Larry Marder and Inkpot award

Once upon a time, long long ago...starting in 1985, each summer I'd go to this oddball little conclave in San Diego called Comic-Con.

I spent all my time there in this place called Artist's Alley giving away FREE Beanworld Action Figures, and making drawings and selling my Beanworld comic books.

Larry Marder at Comic-Con in the 1980s. Photo by Cynthia Fluharty

I just got home from Comic-Con 2010.
It's no longer odd.
It's about as mainstream as Cannes or the Super Bowl gets covered in detail by all the major news and entertainment media.

It's no longer small.
It can't even be kept inside the confines of the cavernous convention center.
It spills out into the street and up the walls of the surrounding buildings.

That all said...I'm pleased to report I still spent almost all of my time sitting in this in place called Artist's Alley giving away FREE Beanworld Action Figures, and making drawings and selling my Beanworld comic books.
Although, I do have a few more things on display nowadays.

I had a great time.
Actually I had the time of my life.

I'm going to post in a sprawl over the next several days
but I want to immediately thank the Comic-Con International Board and committees that chose me to be a Guest of Honor and so professionally deployed all the operational details that made my experience so pleasant and smooth.

A particular shout-out to Tiff Hudson who was my GRT (Guest Relations Team) volunteer and made sure I was well taken care of and in time to all my obligations.

More to come!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Things you can do today at Comic-Con!

Beanworld Leguminatus Prime, Queen Paula
scored the first FLEECE Beanworld Action Figure!

Room 4
Beanworld and the Leguminous Life of Larry Marder!

Don't take my word for it: take Newsarama's advice for
"SDCC 2010: Potentially Overlooked Panels."

Plus, you'll want to see if Scott McCloud will be able to get a word on edgewise?

CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party!
8:00pm - 11:30pm
Westgate Hotel
1055 2nd Avenue
San Diego, CA

CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party, sponsored by Image Comics, in association with, Soulcraft Comics and IHEARTCOMIX! Festivities include a WALKING DEAD Live Art Stage, featuring the book's co-creator Charlie Adlard and presented by Dr. Sketchy's!

PSYCHENAUT, multimedia sound and vision by Paul Pope!
DJ set by Franki Chan of IHEARTCOMIX!Plus, a photo booth provided by!
All this, and an auction preview gallery, featuring ETNIES/SEEN custom designed sneakers, the art auction, and a gift bag for the first 300 contributors!

Come dressed in your zombie finest and party down!
Free for CBLDF Members
$10 to $20 suggested donation for non-members!