Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Larry Marder's Beanworld Volume 3: Remember Here When You Are There!

by Larry Marder

I've written before about the pleasure I get from reading Marder's Beanworld comics, and I won't go into that again, except to say that it is a pleasure heightened, not diminished, by the recent easy availability of Beanworld stories thanks to Dark Horse republishing the original comics, and now, with this volume, ALL NEW material!

This volume (somewhere between thin and chunky in length) concludes what Marder is referring to as the 'springtime cycle' of the Beanworld, a strange and inventive land.

A lot happens in this volume. The Pod'l'pool Cuties are getting older, and getting more involved in the day-to-day life of the Beanworld. Mr. Spook is still mourning the loss of his trusty fork, while Proffy is still trying to figure out the float factor, and now has the new mystery of float force to deal with. Heyoka is still stuck with the Goofy Service Jerks, and the Boom'rs are still booming. The Elusive Notworm is now pitching in to help raise the Cuties. I know that none of that makes sense if you haven't been reading this title for a while, but trust me, it's all good stuff.

If there is an emotional centre to this volume, it is Beanish, and his quest to understand his relationship with Dreamishness, his secret friend in the sky. She asks him to sing her a love song, and this causes him no end of grief. Beans in the Beanworld each have a particular job or function to perform, and Beanish is increasingly feeling like he's having to step outside of his usual place in society. He's keeping secrets from his friends, and is even neglecting the Look-See Show, his contribution to Bean society.

Marder's books are infinitely charming and readable, even though there is a steep learning curve to starting out with this series. It's such a treat to be reading new material, and I hope that the books are finding a whole new audience. This is a completely unique project in comics, and it deserves much more recognition.

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