Marder-ography – Journey #23 [1985]

Journey #23 [1985]
Letter column illustration by Larry Marder

T.M. Maple (“The Mad Maple”) was the most common name in comic book letter columns of that era, having sent over 3000 letters to comics, including in a number of issues of TALES OF THE BEANWORLD. Also, on a personal note, a rather odd one for me to see, since the post office address he used wasn’t that far from where I lived. In this issue of JOURNEY, William Messner-Loebs devoted almost the entire 6-page letter column (6-page! They knew how to do letter columns in those days) to letters by or about T.M. Maple, and had several artists draw their conception of what the pseudonymous writer might look like, including Sergio Aragones, Mike Grell, Bill Reinhold and others. Larry Marder’s contribution nicely twists one of the Beanworld descriptions (“It’s not a place, it’s a process”) and incorporates some Duchamp inspired imagery.

Maple eventually revealed his real name, Jim Burke, in an issue of ZOT! a while after this. Unfortunately he passed away in 1994. You can read a few of his letters, including the one revealing his name, on this site set up as a memorial.



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