[Archival copy – Addresses and upcoming news info might not be current]
online newsletter for/adhesive force between
readers of Larry Marder’s
TALES OF THE BEANWORLD
Vol. 2 #4 November 2, 1996
Gunk’l’dunk is here to provide a forum for fans of Larry Marder’s TALES OF THE BEANWORLD (TOTB), and to promote wider readership of this unique comic. It’s been just over a half year since the last issue. I’m still more frequent that Marder…
Compiled by BobH
E-mail me to comment or contribute, or to get on the distribution list to get future issues and the occasional other Bean related thing in your e-mailbox.
Founded by Jeremy York (editor, v1 #0-#11)
Hoka hey, all. While the drought of new Beanworld stuff for most people continues (there have been a few ashcans, mostly available to those lucky enough to meet Marder at a convention), I decided it was time for another issue anyway. The e-mail distribution list is up to about 50 members now, which is cool.
Some neat stuff in this issue, if I do say so myself. The new Beanworld Press address is down below. The usual look at what little new Bean/Marder stuff has been sighted or promised recently. I’ve got a Beanworld rarity review by me, and another review by somebody who’s not me, which =I= always like to see. Except for the fact that it’s a review of something I don’t have… And a poll for Beanfans to answer.
Sometime recently, the Beans pulled up roots and headed west. Thanks to Keith at Nebula Bookstore (interviewer of Marder in v2#3) for supplying the new address.
The Beanworld Press 363 White Cap Lane Newport Coast, CA 92657
Not too much actual TOTB stuff has been published in the last little while. The serial in ASYLUM ran in #1-#6 and the following story (mentioned in solicitations and the next issue blurb in #6) wasn’t to be seen in #7-on, presumably related to the Image/Liefeld split. There was an ashcan reprinting that story, reviewed later this issue, and apparently a second sketchbook ashcan.
The new Beanworld Press printing of the second trade paperback was solicited for September of this year, but so far I haven’t seen it or heard of any sightings.
My records are a bit of a mess, but I think the only other new Bean appearance since last time was in GEN 13 #13B, from Image. A bunch of indy comics types make cameos, including the Beans. I don’t think Marder drew them, and if not I’m pretty impressed by the credible job that the artist did, given he’s one of those Image types.
IMAGES OF A DISTANT SOIL (formerly VISIONS OF…) has been solicited from January from Image. Marder had been listed as a contributor last time it was announced. And if your tastes are like mine, you’ll want to get it for some of the other contributors as well (Swan, Garcia-Lopez, Cardy, Foglio, etc).
I picked up ‘While We Were Eating!’ at the last San Diego Comic Con. I believe it cost me five dollars–quite a bit cheaper than getting six issues of ASYLUM. There is really only about six pages of story spread out over twenty-three pages of art. Larry clearly altered his story-telling style significantly to take advantage of the possibilities color gave him. The book averages only two panels per page with an even spread over three and two pagers and splash pages. The art survived the transition to ashcan well. The large panels remain clear at half size, and I’ve got to say that I like the art better without the distraction of the garish coloring.
The story is simple enough: Mr. Spook and the Spear Fling’n Flank’rs defend the Beans against a threat from the Big Big Picture. It is fun to see Mr. Spook in action in a bit more detail than usual. Plus the ending has just a touch of foreshadowing that makes me think that this episode may have some importance in the larger story (that is, in a different way than Larry tells us outright that it’s important in the author’s note).
And speaking of the author’s note, it’s a nice value added part to the book explaining, in Larry’s words, just how the oddity of Beanworld in the same book as Battlestar Galactica came about.
On the whole, I’d say that ‘While We Were Eating!’ is worth the money for the serious Beanworld fan.
Last time I looked at one of the few stories you’ll ever see written by Marder to be drawn by another artist. This time something equally unusual, Marder drawing a story by someone else. “Someone else” being John Ostrander and Del Close, the story being the backup in GRIMJACK #42. It’s a “Munden’s Bar” story, which means a short story set in a bar which is at a meeting point of all realities (so various guest creators are free to bring in their own creations if they want). Usually fun stuff. I’ve got about two dozen issues of GRIMJACK, and I haven’t yet read the main story in any but this one, but have read all the backups. So I’m not sure if this issue is also good as an introduction to GRIMJACK. The main story is a standalone, but it’s really just a fairly uninspired sci-fi update on a cliche sports story. I preferred most old “Strange Sports Stories” from DC to this.
Getting to the important part, this is a pretty decent story, maybe just slightly above average for “Munden’s Bar” (the best ones I read are by Phil Foglio). No regular Beanworld characters show up in here, although there are a lot of bugs that could be related to Der Stinkle. I suspect that Marder may have had a hand in plotting it, since in addition to various jokes about the movie business, there’s a lot of jokes on advertising, which of course it what he used to work at.
The story is also in colour, and actually doesn’t look bad (especially compared to the over rendered colour Marder got in ASYLUM). Except that one page is =way= out of register.
Overall this was pretty enjoyable, showing a different side of Marder than TOTB usually allows. Worth picking up, and even if I didn’t like the main story much, at least it’s a complete story and not just a chapter of a long serial.
Now that the distribution list is up to a healthy number, I thought it might be fun to try this. I’ll start off with some easy stuff which should be easy to tally, and depending on how much work it is I might do another one in future issues with more detailed stuff. Suggestions for questions are welcome. What would =you= like to ask 50+ Beanfans?
E-mail all answers to email@example.com, and if possible putting the word “Poll” in the subject line would be a great help.
1. Where did you first read Beanworld? (issue #, tpb, TOTAL ECLIPSE, ASYLUM, etc)
2. What’s your favourite Beanworld story? (issue # preferred, but I can look up story titles)
3. What three other current comic books would you most recommend to Beanworld fans? Anything counts, but ideally this should be stuff that you could find or order in any good comic shop and which comes out more frequently than Beanworld (like that’s hard. Halley’s Comet could give Beanworld competition).
The results of the poll, of course. I’ll sent preliminary results to members of the e-mail list after a few weeks, and then keep a running tally of any late entries and run totals in the next full issue. This is a cheap ploy to get more people who read this elsewhere to join the distribution list. Or to get people on the list to run screaming. I forget which.
And the Marder rarities reviews I enjoy, and I’d still like to see some from other people. Duplication of stuff already reviewed is okay, a different perspective is fun.
And I previously promised an essay examining how Jack Kirby’s work informs and influences the Beanworld, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll try to get it done for next issue.
And anything else I might get sent to run has a great chance of making it in.