Climbing up the Picture Plane

My old pal Larry Marder just sent me images from the upcoming Beanworld Book 3—the first all-new Beanworld stories in fifteen years—and I was struck by how beautiful they were; even moreso than in the original series, which remains one of my favorite comics of all time.

Larry uses spot blacks, bold geometry, rhythm, negative space, repetition, and variation like no other cartoonist I know.

Beanworld accomplishes something very rare. To use my own goofy terminology, Larry manages to use pure cartoony abstraction from the lower right vertex of the big triangle but because of the pure graphic ingenuity on display, his pages are a riot of abstraction reaching up toward the picture plane vertex at the same time.

Look at any given element. Is it a symbol? A picture? A pure shape? It’s everything all at once!

Click on the thumbnails below to get a closer look at 6 out of the 186 pages hitting store shelves in early December. This one’s going to be a classic.

Discussion (5)¬

  1. Wil says:

    This is going to be sooooo good. I can’t wait.

  2. larrymarder says:

    Thanks, pal!
    Now back to thinking about the next book for me!

  3. John Fiala says:

    Happily, I’ve already got a copy! <3!

    I’m all Beanish over it.

  4. Vernon_John says:

    So excited book! In thinking about Scott McCloud’s four categories (Animist, Classicist, Iconoclast, and Formalist) I thought that Beanworld had to be one of the few books out there were form and content completely serve eachother, as opposed to other comic books where the content serves the form or the form serves the content. Just an idea

  5. John H. says:

    My copy is in the mail now! I was worrying that the magic might have been lost in the decade-plus since there have been new stories, but those sample pages show I had no need to fear!