Larry Marder's Beanworld is the best god-damned comic book you have never heard of.

It all takes place here, except the parts that don't

Just The Facts

  1. Beanworld ain't just a place, its a process
  2. Beanworld is just one small part of the Big Big Picture
  3. Beanworld is populated by Beans that can walk and talk. They Have Arms and Legs but no mouth. This is the least confusing thing about the book.
  4. Tales of the Beanworld was published in the 1980s and 1990s and was said to be "20 years ahead of its time", 20 years later people are getting it and it is on the NY Times Graphic Novels Best Sellers List
  5. Beanworld uses so many made up words there needs to be a glossary in every issue.

Bean what? Sprout What? Mr. Who? What the hell is this shit?

The story of Beanworld is about a pretty simple ecological process including Beans, Gran'ma'pa, Sprout Butts, The Hoi Polloi Ring Herd, and Chow and what happens when just everything imaginable tries to fuck this shit up.

Deep Water Horizon

Don't worry some Gunk'L'Dunk will fix that right up.

Let me make this a bit more clear.

This is a Bean:

beanThey are the residents of the Beanworld aliong with Mr. Spook the Hero, who is not a Bean.

This is Gran'ma'pa:


Gran'ma'pa is the spirtiual center of the Beanworld and the only Source of Sprout Butts.

This is a Sprout Butt:

spout butt

These things also talk though they don't have a mouth. On a Chow Raid day Mr. Spook catches a Sprout Butt on his Trusty Fork and takes them to the Hoi Polloi Ring Herd.

This is a Hoi Polloi:

Hoi PolloiSee that? Its a mouth! Amazingly, the Hoi Polloi are not mute. After a chow raid where the Beans brutalize these guys and steal their shit they leave behind a Sprout Butt which the Hoi Polloi turn into chow by singing to it,. which beats the old way of doing it which was pummeling the damn thing till it was a dismembered, foul tasting mess.

sprout butt to chow

And then there are these guys:



Gangster Thing

goofy jerks

Little Clone Son

Yeah these guys? They fuck that shit up.

It looks like my kid could draw this!

At first glance, the art does look simplisitc. I mean everything the Beans build are made of four basic shapes known as the Four Realities.

four realities

And you would be correct. The art is simplisitic and this is by design. The bean characters were an experiment at how one could express emotion and intent with the minimum of elements, which means the mouth just had to go, and emotions displayed with just eyes and body position. Kind of like another comic book creation that also has no mouth.


Believe it or not, a Beanworld Bean has more in common with a comic book superhero than a stick figure. But that being said, kids love drawing this shit. The cool thing about this is, no matter how crappy you draw, Larry Marder will trade you a drawing of a Beanworld charcter for your uncoordinated scribblings.