Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Larry Marder's Beanworld Volume 2: A Gift Comes!

by Larry Marder

I continue to be very grateful to Dark Horse for publishing Beanworld (not to mention continuing the series with the next volume!). I would say I own half of the comics collected in this handsome book, but I haven't read them in years, and not ever in sequential order, over a short span of time.

Read this way, not long after Volume 1, it becomes easier to see the 'Big Big Picture' for this series. Marder's story is more obviously about environmental balance than before. The Beanworld has been sent down a precarious path, and it is both interesting and entertaining to see how this is affecting its inhabitants.

This volume has a much wider scope than the earlier one. In addition to caring for and educating the Pod'l'pool Cuties, the Beans have to deal with problems caused by thieving Goofy Service Jerks, Mr. Spook's broken fork, and the break-out of Heyoka, the upside-down bean. As well, Beanish continues to visit Dreamishness, although his secret is discovered. Mr. Teach'm comes on the scene, and a lot of the characters' backstories are revealed.

As usual, Marder's simplistic drawings are a big draw to the book. His work appears primitive, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is anything but. He has clearly invested a lot of thought into the Beanworld, and its place in the Big Big Picture, and this project remains a 'most peculiar comic book experience'.

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