Category Archives: Marderography

Marder-ography – MySpace Dark Horse Presents #14 [2008]

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”.


Marder-ography – Hey #7 [1989]

Back here I linked to an auction for the original art to a bizarre jam piece by Larry Marder, David Tosh, Denis Kitchen, Don Simpson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mark Stokes and Mark David Dietz. Thanks to friend of the blog Shield Bonnichsen, I now have some images from the publication of that story “Turn Left at the Light” in HEY #7.

First, the Marder panel in question:


And the full page it appears on, and the Crumb tribute cover by David Tosh (click for full sized images, nudity and language warnings apply):


Look for some more rarities provided by Shield in the future.

Marder-ography – Strip Aids [1987]

STRIP AIDS was a benefit comic from 1987, with proceeds going to London Lighthouse. Among the contents was this one page jam piece, featuring the “Jill de Ray” (a pseudonym for Alan Moore) character Maxwell the Magic Cat, and artists Larry Marder, Monte Beauchamp, Skip Williamson, Kim Deitch, Jay Lynch and Dan Clowes drawing their own characters.

Thanks to Shield Albright for providing the scan for this piece (signed by Larry Marder, no less) that I didn’t even know about before.

[STRIP AIDS shouldn’t be confused with the related 1988 anthology STRIP AIDS USA]

Marder-ography – DIYB certificate

One of the regular features of the second half of the TALES OF THE BEANWORLD series was the Do-It-Yourself Beanworld contest, where Larry Marder would provide a four panel wordless comic sequence and invite readers to fill it in as they saw fit. Several entries would run in a later issue, with the winners getting a certificate suitable for framing. I’ve gotten a few people e-mailing since I re-started Gunk’l’dunk asking about the certificate, but I’ve yet to dig out my copy (from contest 10). Fortunately, Stéphane Bura, one of the winners of contest 8, provided a scan, seen over on the right. Below is Stéphane’s winning entry from TotB #17.

Larry Marder has made mention on his blog recently that the DIYB contest will probably be seen in some form in the future of the Beanworld, possibly as an on-line feature.


Marder-ography – Journey #6 [1984]

Journey #6 [1984]
Illustrated letter by Larry Marder

This is the first of the many letter column illustrations by Marder to appear in William Messner-Loebs comic JOURNEY. It’s a great example of how Marder was able to make the very simple designs very expressive, as the Bean figure in this one speaks volumes about his enthusiasm for the comic he just read and the worlds it opens up.

By the way:

Jim Bridger by Stanley Vestal
Lord Grizzly by Frederick Manfred
The Frontiersmen by Allan Eckert


Marder-ography – Savage Dragon #50 [1998]

Pin-up by Larry Marder

Erik Larsen’s SAVAGE DRAGON is a bit of an anomaly among the founding Image comics, in that Larsen has continued to write and draw it from its inception, instead of handing it off to other hands.

Anyway, back in 1998 he reached a milestone, #50, and decided to celebrate it with a big 100-page issue with a lot of guests on pin-up pages and back-ups while continuing his string of writing and drawing the main story. Among the pin-ups was this piece from then Image executive director Larry Marder. Taking the same approach as he did with his earlier Shadowhawk piece he reduces the character down to iconographic basics, in this case the impossibly muscled arm, the clenched fist, the fin and the angry eyes (looking kind of like Dreamishness’ eyes during Total Eclipse), and surrounded by symbols of power and energy. Sort of a spawn (if you’ll pardon the expression) of the Kirby branches of the Inspiration Constellation. Cute piece, I think.

Marder-ography – Tales of the Beanworld (self-published) #5(+extras) [1983]

Concluding Shield Albright’s much appreciated comparison of the self-published Beanworld issues with the eventually published final version a few years later, this time what may have been the final self-published issue (can anyone confirm?) with the first part of TotB #2, plus all the additional material sent with the issues.

Thanks again for the detailed info, and check out Shield’s detailed chronicling of another comic book creator at

TOTB self-pub #5/TOTB #2

1/1-2: Scan will show you many differences. Can only see half of Gran’Ma’Pa, whose roots are rounded at the end. Explanatory box provided for Gran’Ma’Pa says a little more. The beans in a daze have no dialogue; notably one bean is no longer laughing. Proffy’s speech includes text from the first two panels of the next page in regular edition. No prayer speech bubbles are used. The speech is slightly altered, most significantly some text is in thought bubble instead of spoken and “This mountain of chow” in the regular edition was originally “Your mountain of chow.” (Consider the tone of accusation changed with that one word!) A horizon line is present with what could be bushes. The ground has grass clumps, but no specks.

2/2: Three tiers. Top tier has text from panel three of top tier regular edition. Image is a distant view of the scene showing, from left to right, a bean with his hands in the air, Gran’Ma’Pa (in full), Proffy on the chow, the Chowdown Pool and Proffy’s Fix-It Shop, along with three wandering beans. Second tier is the classic image of the Beanworld and the four realities, etc, same text as reg. edition second tier. Third tier matches exactly.

3/3: Top half is the same. Bottom half has same text and layout, but was redrawn. Original had more specks of chow in the pool, the beans with their hands in the air were both looking at Mr.Spook, and the lower left bean was missing.

4/4: Most art was reused, but Proffy was redrawn, originally sitting on the chow, stomping feet. Spook is redrawn, but in same position. The Pluk & Plop word balloon was in a box instead of giant quotation marks.

5-7/5-7: Same

8/8: Three tiers match first three panels. First tier, Boom’r instead says “Prof G. Having A Tough Time?” Ground has light layer of zip-a-tone. Second tier, can’t see the top of the Fix-It Shop, no exclamation point. Third tier, can see Proffy’s arms, one holding the door, the other held up in exasperation. Twinks on ground have wavy lines above them (like stink lines or anger lines – hard to describe a line without showing it!). Boom’r is not laughing. Zip-a-tone used for ground again. Door stays in panel. Minor text change of “You ‘N’ Yer Big Ideas” to “You & Your Big Ideas”. Narration box says “To *picture of regular bean* Continued!”

And that’s the end of the five issues I received. However, that is not all that was in the package! This was a promotional package. It included the five self-published comics, a photocopy of Cat Yronwode’s Fit To Print review from The Comic Buyer’s Guide Oct 21, 1983 (background drawn by Marder), and a single sheet survey with self addressed stamped (20 cent!) envelope back to Larry Marder. All this was sent in an envelope with a Beanworld sticker on the front.