Page 45 Review by Stephen
"'Now' has turned into 'then'."
Pure comics magic which has for over 30 years ignited the imaginations of all and sundry, including wide-eyed infants prepared to spend their own pocket money on its mind-blowing invention. The covers are key, for their spectacle promises a brand-new, otherworldly experience, and the contents will not disappoint.
For a full introduction, please see BEANWORLD OMNIBUS VOL 1 for which Jonathan, Mark (posthumously) and I joined forces in a composite celebration of Larry Marder's unique vision.
Alternatively, let's throw you in at the deep end...
A second volume embracing creation, communication, cooperation, discovery and sustainable resources: one man's junk is another's treasure if you manage to unravel its mysteries.
There are plenty of mysteries here, like where Beanish goes when he makes his midday "jump" (he's keeping that a secret) and why the youngest creatures here, the Cuties, start a-snoozin' whenever they're left to their own devices. They just don't talk to each other, and that's a big worry if they're going to grow up to become Chow Sol'jers because teamwork for them is a top priority. Without fresh chow for the Chowdown Pool there'll be no vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals to absorb, so it's time to think of the future and look to a little learning through the eyes of a child who really just wants to play.
Both the dilemma and the solution were brilliant, with obvious implications for our own educational system.
Over and again, Larry Marder proves he is one of the wisest man in comics, connecting his unique and seemingly outlandish, self-sufficient ecosystem with the very real world around us. Oh, and he practises what he preaches, providing education through entertainment shot all the way through with exuberant joy.
The language is fabulous, as witnessed here when the Boom'rs first voice their concerns:
"We stumbledunkled into a somethingness we can't quiff riff into twined idealios!"
"What sort of fact did you discover that doesn't make sense?"
"The Pod'l'Pool Cuties neversonever do the yaketyklak between themselves."
And the designs are simply thrilling. Mark made so many models of these for our windows, and he would have loved the giant amoeba with its cytoplasmic contents coming over all Native American / Jim Woodring. It's flanked with flagella and primed with an angry red eye, assaulting the Beans as they float in their chow. And that makes Mr. Spook angry!
Not sufficiently mind-frazzled yet? Of the first half Jonathan wrote:
"There are new discoveries aplenty from Professor Garbonzo, such as combining the mystery pods with twinks to produce the mysterious float factor, which the ever-practical Mr. Spook is hoping to use to protect the Beans from aerial invaders - should any ever appear. Mind you, there's a certain large fish that might be planning to pay a visit. Whereas Beanish is rather hoping Mr. Spook won't get too interested in what's happening in the sky as that's where he goes for his daily meetings with his beautiful and mysterious friend and muse Dreamishness, who promises the 'secret path of something more' may reveal itself if he can only bring her a love song. To that end he tries to enlist the help of Boomr Band, Beanworld's trio of mad musicians, but poor old Beanish is struggling to find his rhythm."
It is, as it says, "A Most Peculiar Comic Experience" and it will stay with you for a lifetime.
"Search for the rhythms.
Reach deep inside.
Feel the surging pulse.
Summon the BLISS!"
It is here.