Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Sprout-Butt Story!

After too long away, I'm back to doing some blogging.
The above is a bit of a teaser--some panels from Beanworld Book Four: Something More.
It's flash back.
For those of you who scored a Glimpse Book ash can comic at San Diego or Chicago--it comes after the teaser shown on page 17.
The rest of you will have to wait (he said rather cryptically).

In the meantime, below is an interesting oddity that popped out of the Fabled Beanworld Archives.
The top drawing is a marker sketch on Bienfang 360 layout paper and labeled "cover #16."
The actual cover of  Tales of the Beanworld #16 published in 1990 is shown below.
I find it interesting that I followed the outlines of the inner working of the Sprout-Butt when I did the final noodling. I wouldn't do that today as I can be so much more spontaneous on a Cintiq and working in Photoshop than with real pen and ink

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wahoolazuma! It's Comic-Con Time Again!

It's Comic-Con time again!

I've "graduated" from Artist's Alley,
where I've been sitting since my return to full time comics creator status,
and earned a spot in the fabled Small Press area
where once upon a time,
I was a charter member before going off
to join the circus on the business end of comics and toys.

So what will I have on display.
If you smartly already purchased it from your local comic book retailer,
you know I'll be glad to sign your copy.

I'll also have a very limited supply of these things....

It's an old school handmade

(that means I did the collating and stapling myself)
Beanworld ashcan comic.
There hasn't been once of these since...ummmm...
Professor Garbanzo's Joy Ride in 1999.

Of course, I've have the usual stuff on hand also.
FREE Beanworld Action Figures,
Beanworld t-shirts,
FLEECE Beanworld Action Figures,
TFAW cards,
Plus other sorts of additional Beanworld thisis'n'thatsis.

Speaking of TFAW cards...
Here's the original of the finished drawing,
\up for bidding athe CBLDF/TFAW auction this Saturday.

Then of course,
I think it's high time I go CRAZY again!

Sketches like this and this and this
will get YOU one one of THESE!

Come by my table at
and 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!
\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 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
And last but not least....
whatever you do don't forget THIS!

Offer is good for Beanworld 3.5 too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



I have my printed sample in my hands.
The printing is spectacular.
The soft matte paper holds all the subtleties of the coloring.
It should go on sale June 27th.

To quote a famous feline inspiration:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cory: My Dreamishness

Cory had cancer.
In 2001 she was diagnosed with an agressive Stage II breast cancer.
She had excellent doctors and did all the things one does with cancer. After surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation; she had reasonable expectations that she'd beaten it. She was cancer-free for seven years.

And then in 2008, after a routine check-up, it was discovered Cory's cancer had returned.
Her breast cancer had moved and taken up residence in a new neighborhood--her lungs. And after surgery to remove one of the lobes of her lungs, Cory spent the next three-and-a-half years in and out of radiation and chemo. When cancer comes back and moves to another part of the body, it's a totally different ball game than when one has it it the first time. The odds are more steep. It didn't matter to Cory. She kept working and travelling. always talking and planning for the future. Always smiling. Always worrying about everyone else more than herself. It's just who she was.

Cory fought her cancer with every bit of courage and strength she could summon until she had absolutely nothing left to give. And then she died quickly and quietly. She couldn't have planned it better if she tried.

I knew she was heading out, I just didn't know when. Her last weeks were truly an amazing time between us. We were able to share so many memories of the life we lived together for 30 years. We had something extra special and we both knew it.

For as much of a public person I am in the comic book industry; behind the scenes I'm a very private person. I don't really have much to say beyond what I'm saying here.

But I thought I'd share something with you.

I'm not quite sure when I drew it or how it came to reside in this little frame. Cory was never sure either. But we both remembered it was a little present at some point early on as we were falling in love. The colors aren't according to Beanworld canon. There are trees along the horizon. Beanish has red shoes! This drawing is older than than the official Beanworld continuity.

Wherever we lived, this little drawing was always somewhere in the bedroom. It might not be accurate in a Beanworld sense but it is perfectly true from a Cory and Larry point-of-view. Beanish and Dreamishness were born in personal comics that I drew just for Cory. Most of those comics will remain private until I'm gone too. You can read about that here (second column--2/3 way down) and continued here .Can't remember which cat was responsible for breaking the glass but it has a nice Duchampian feel to it.

No one loved life more than Cory. Others have written far more eloquently about the impression Cory made upon them. Charles wrote an amazing piece. Heidi built upon it. and Ivy kind of wrapped it up.

People have asked about Cory's favorite charities.
Cory supported virtually every animal cause there is.
But the two that stand out most in my memory are the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and Best Friends Animal Society. 

As for me?
I'm doing as well as one can expect to given the circumstances.

But I never forget that I was married to Cory and for three decades I was one of the luckiest men on the face of the earth. After all--she really was my Dreamishness.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A (tiny but hopefully tantalizing) Tuesday Teaser!

So here's a bit of process for ya.
Some iPhone snaps of my Cintiq screen.

Above: a dirty scan of a quick pencil sketch I did while watching TV.
Below: the drawing tightened and (more-or-less) digitally inked .
The dialogue is scribbled as are the FX.

This will almost certainly end up as a mere single panel at a much smaller size.
Will the full sequence be in the next Beanworld ashcan comic
"Glimpse Book" breaking at Comic-Con this summer?

Mmmmm, it's looking like it.
Today, anyway.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

See? I still use a pencil sometimes!

I still use a pencil sometimes!

A sketch and an uncorrected panel from "Something More!"
Oh yeah, it will also be in a new ashcan called "Glimpse Book."
I'll have it at Comic-Con.
More details as I go along..

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Eisners.

2012 Eisner Judges - Benjamin Saunders, Larry Marder, Brigid Alverson, Calum Johnston,
Jesse Karp, and Mary Sturhann {photo by Jackie Estrada)

The Eisner nominees have been posted.
As always people are ecstatic and mortified by the list.
Can't say that I blame them.

You put six people widely different comic book backgrounds with widely divergent tastes and the results can wind up looking rather inexplicable.
I got that during the voting and I get it again today.

In the end, it all came down to six votes and the goings often got strange.
Below is the bit of commentary I was asked to write for the Eisner page on the Comic-Con site.
So here goes:

Okay, comic book, it's just you and me now. Let's see what you got."

That's the method I used each time I cracked the cover of a comic as an Eisner judge. On my side, I had 50+ years of continuous comics reading since the dawn of the Silver Age. Add to that my credentials as creator of small but respected alternative comic, Beanworld.
All the hoopdee-doo, the hype, the heat, the raving complimentary blurbs on the back cover, the placements on year's end top 10 lists, previous award-winning reputation of publisher and creative teams went out the window. It came down to the story I was reading at that moment and how that story filtered through my brain.

That's what judging is. And that's how it went with me. I approached each and every comic book I read with the most open mind I was capable of summoning.

Now, I don't want to get too deep here, but anyone who has ever been around me for any length of time understands that I don't believe in any sort of measurement of something commonly known as "quality in art." This is something that often drives people crazy because it is their living and livelihood to be the arbiters of what "quality in art" is.

My personal standard is simple but I believe honest. "I found this interesting"opposed to "I found this uninteresting." I'm passing judgment based solely on my own taste. I believe that is what an Eisner jury is chosen to do, and so, that is what I did.

I was tapped to be a judge with five other people. I didn't know any of them previously and only knew two by reputation. We corresponded a bit at first and had our first real intermeshing as we went through the process of selecting two giants of the comics artform to the Hall of Fame. Then we also chose the candidates to be voted upon for the other hall of fame spots. It was an opportunity to get some insight into the other judges' thought processes. And for them to sneak a peek into mine.

Then the books started coming. There were so many books and comics to read before the judging meeting in March. At one point I was reading at least three trades a day. I took this responsibility so seriously that I stopped working on my own book. Well, I had to; I knew I couldn't forcefeed my brain that much of other people's stuff and still pretend that my own creative decisions weren't getting disrupted by the process. I like to be able to savor my comics reading experience and then let the book resonate for a while. An Eisner judge doesn't have that luxury.

By the time we convened in San Diego for the judging, I thought I'd done a pretty good job of keeping up with most of the books eligible for an Eisner nomination. That thought went out the window when I saw the huge stacks of books I still needed to read.

Being sequestered in a room with the other judges for day after day was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can't begin to recall how many comics I read one after the other over those three nights and days. And there is nothing comparable to a bit of sorbet to cleanse one's palate between courses of devouring books. Every single time I thought I was getting a handle on a category, another judge would hold up a book say "Hey, guys, have you read this yet?" Read it? I hadn't even noticed it before.

The conversations, to put it mildly, were quite lively. Some of the other judges are far more educated than me and used a lot of the language of academia and criticism. I rolled my eyes more than once at them as they did right back at me. And as a creator, I won't kid around, it's painfully difficult to witness the work I most admired of another creator get cut. But a round of voting was definitive and we kept moving along. I don't think I've ever talked about other people's comics so much, for so long, in my entire life. And that really covers a lot of personal history in our business.

As the final vote tally gelled, books I never thought would be cut didn't manage to make it to the finish line. Everyone felt individual pains in that way. Reality is six people casting votes, and you really don't know how the chips are going to fall. Do I think another jury of other people would have placed other books into nomination? Yes, of course I do. One thing I'm certain of, in my opinion, everyone got a fair shake with these judges.


So read the lines and in between the lines and make of it whatever you think I'm saying or leaving left unsaid. I just want to add, that as someone who witnessed and participated in the whole thing, I can say that no one was deliberately "snubbed."
What an awful thing to say.
It implies a mean-spiritedness on behalf of the judges.
The judges are all people who love the comics medium.
Just some just didn't love the same comics that you did.
If, and when, you are ever asked to be an Eisner judge, then you'll understand what I'm struggling to express, a little bit better.

And now, as Forest Gump said "That's all i have to say about that."


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A little "oomph" for Beanworld!

Here's the final artwork for the all color hardcover Tales of the Beanworld aka Beanworld 3.5.
Drops June 27, 2012

Now, please indulge me for a moment....

This artwork above is for the endpapers of Beanworld 3.5.
Anytime my editor, Diana Schutz, asks me about what I envision for this sort of thing
I always say "Surprise me!"
Because I know she will.
And she did!

The production budget alloted for a one color endpaper.
But Diana and designer, Tina Allesi, came up with this design.
They sent it to me, fingers crossed, hoping I'd like it enough to bust the budget a bit.
My reaction was (of course) Awwwwwww!
Will the printer charge extra money to produce it in two colors?
Oh yeah, but hey, that cash will come out of my end not the retailer's or reader's.

Going to two colors is a subtle thing the reader might not ever notice.
We all believeit will provide a bit of "oomph" to the final product at the point-of-sale.

And as the final arbiter of such things on my creator owned and controlled book
I get to make the final decision.
(Yay, creator owned books!)

The design came through right before WonderCon
(and I will do my late wrap up next post)
and Charles Brownstein took one look at it and said,
"That should be some kind of fabric!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Oh, yes,
I'll be at
March 16-18
at the Anaheim Convention Center

Artists' Alley

I'll have a notebok full of pages from
Larry Marder's Beanworld Book Four: Something MoRE!
with which to tease Beanworld fan WonderCon attendees most mercilessly.

I'm fortunate enough to be a last minute addition to the panel:
Comics for Kids3:00-4:00
Room 203

Despite the fact that most of us fell in love with the comics medium when we were children,
good comics for kids seem few and far between...or are they?
Join moderator and APE Entertainment editor Aaron Sparrow, artist James Silvani (Darkwing Duck, Richie Rich), artist Amy Mebberson (The Muppet Show, Strawberry Shortcake, Toy Story),
Shane Houghton (Reed Gunther, Casper Scare School), Archaia editor Paul Morrissey,
Beanworld creator Larry Marder and more for a lively discussion on kids comics, their place in the industry, and how to break into the business!
As a bonus, children attending the panel will be eligible to win comic books and sketches t
he artists will draw during the panel!

In the meantime, however, take a look-see at the page above.
It's a tantalizing teaser for everyone, everywhere!
(And it's not even Tuesday!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser!

Here is a panel I just finished drawing featuring Proffy, Heyoka and one of the artifacts from Beanworld 3.5!
All in a panel from Larry Marder's Beanworld Book Four: Something More!

Just noticed I forgot to fill in the textures on the door.
Back to work!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A few things you might want to know!

A belated Happy New Year!
It was a busy holiday season here at Beanworld Press and this is the first moment I've had to blog.
First up, the illo above is the final cover that we decided on for what we've been calling Beanworld 3.5.
A 64 page hardcover full color graphic novella.
It's on the schedule for June shipping.
More details as they are given to me. 

Tomorrow I'm heading to Arizona for Amazing Arizona Comic Convention.
I'll be in Artist's Alley doing my usual leguminous things.

Sunday is Kid's Day.
I'll conducting a workshop for youngsters called:

"How To Create Your Own Comic Book Universe."
Everyone has stories inside of them, especially you!
Join Larry Marder, as he takes you on a journey of imagination
to show you how you can turn your own characters into stories
and start making your own comics!
Larry Marder’s series of Beanworld graphic novels have delighted readers
from grade school to grad school for more than a generation, earning him a spot on the
New York Times' Graphic Books Best Sellers List.

(I think it's scheduled for 11 on Sunday and don't know the room yet.)
It is aimed at young kids but I think anyone of any age will get a kick out of it.

And last but not least:
Over on Twitter #comicmarket every Tuesday there is a maelstrom of dialogue between various mover and shakers from every corner and niche of the comic industry. It's often a wild and bumpy ride. I add my two cents whenever I think I have something reasonable to share. I guess someone noticed because I got a 2012 Top Ten (kinda) Award for Comic Creator.