In the early days of the 21st Century comics made a partial transition to a digital format of “the internets” from their prior format almost exclusively on “the paper”. It was in this format that Larry Marder’s Beanworld returned after a gap of over a decade, with a story appearing in MYSPACE DARK HORSE PRESENTS #14 [September 2008], a revival of the long running anthology comic from Dark Horse appearing on the social network MySpace.
The 8-page story, “? and !”, serves as both an introduction to some of the main concepts of the Beanworld and a continuation of the tale as we left it so long ago. Proffy and Beanish star, as they take advantage of a Goof-Off Day to go looking for some Slats that Proffy needs in the Four Realities, and Beanish takes the opportunity to try out some thinking he’s been doing on her, about how the Realities appear to be a finite resource. As anyone who knows her would expect, these new ideas set Proffy pondering, though the problem is clearly much more than can be solved in 8 pages.
I’m just so happy to see some new Beanworld again that I can’t really judge this objectively, but I can say that it feels right, a comfortable continuation of the tales clearly leading in a new direction. The colour (now being done by Marder himself) works much better than the previous experiment in colour Beanworld comics, and Marder’s adaptation of new computer drawing methods (as seen in posts on his blog) fits well.
And of course this is just the tip of the iceberg, the next few months should see details of multiple new and reprint Beanworld projects, both on “the paper” and “the internet”.