A while ago I mentioned the auction for a package of the self-published TotB issues that Larry Marder mailed around prior to the proper series being distributed by Eclipse. Well, the winner of that auction, Shield Albright (who maintains neilgaimanbibliography.com), has done this great rundown of differences between the first issue and the story as it was eventually published. Similar comparisons for the other issues will follow.
Overall, the layout, art, and text are nearly the same. In some panels, I’d guess he copied and pasted the art, but much is definitely redrawn. Here is a direct comparison, with corresponding pages of the self-published number one to the Beanworld/Eclipse number one.
TOTB self-pub #1/TOTB #1
Page 1: Horizon line and clouds (at horizon, not in sky) behind Gran’Ma’Pa. The labels (“The Boom’r Band” etc) are missing. Story does not have a title beyond Tales Of The Beanworld
Page 2: Dropped completely from Eclipse/Beanworld press issue. Same layout as page one (G’M’P with the beans scattered around doing their things), this page has the labels and the map of known Beanworld placed over Gran’Ma’Pa’s folliage.
Page 3/Page 2: Minor text changes. Second tier of art completely different.
Page 4/Page 3: Top tier is not in silhouette. Second tier with Boom’r band included. Hoi Polloi do not talk
Page 5/Page 3-4:Top tier includes the Hoi Polloi text missing from previous page. Second and third tier match first and second of regular comic.
Page 6/Page 4-5: Missing bottom tier from last page is top tier of this page. Instead of “No! No! No! Not the fork!”, Hoi Polloi says “Think yer some hot stuff, huh?”
Page 7/Page 6: Basically the same
Page 8/Page 7: No hearts! Hoi Polloi speech very different (“Hubba hubba”!)
Page 9/Page 7-8: Hoi Polloi text missing from last page is the top tier of this page, the H-P are in silhouette. Rest of page matches top two tiers of regular series
Page 10/Page 8-9: Last tier of page 8 through second tier of page 9
Page 11/Page 9-10: First tier is last tier from page 10. Second tier is jumping into the pool. Third tier is the chowdown pool from page 10. Fourth tier is same text as page 10’s second tier, but split into three panels.
Page 12/Page 10: Full page of nighttime, page 10’s last tier, but skips the final caption (“This is the way…”)