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Comic Book / Tales of the Beanworld

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Tales Of The Beanworld is a comic book written by Larry Marder.

It focuses on the tales of a world of anthropomorphic beans. The comic has an incredibly detailed, bizarre semi-2d cosmology, and a surprisingly rich plot given that most of the residents of the world are nameless. Notably, the comic does not feature humans in any way, shape or form.

The original comic ran from 1985 to 1993. It was reprinted in 2009 in two volumes, along with a third, entirely new volume. A shorter book ("volume 3.5") was published in 2012, and a fourth volume was released in July 2017.

As of 2017 it consists of:

  • Wahoolazuma! (volume 1)
  • A Gift Comes! (volume 2)
  • Remember Here when You are There! (volume 3)
  • Tales of the Beanworld, a collection of short stories.
  • Hoka Hoka Burb'l Burb'l! (Volume 4)


  • Arc Words: "Something more!" and, in the fourth book, "Find the Five!"
  • Author Avatar: Beanish, with his love Dreamishness as a stand-in for his wife Cory. Marder mentions losing all taste for the Dreamishness scenes after Cory passing away.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Somehow, the Hoi-Polloi never bleed no matter how many spears are flung at them. The coloured chapter "While we wuz eatin'!" does show them bleeding, though.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Hoi-Polloi have this to the beans. Their entire society, mentality, and existence is wrapped up in a cycle of endless gambling.
  • Cephalothorax: The Hoi-Polloi. Beans may count as well - they have no real 'head'.
  • Cloudcuckoolanguage: Everyone, but the Boom'r Band takes this up to eleven. Discussed In-Universe, with both Mr. Spook and Professor Garbanzo noting how hard it is to keep up with their slang.
  • Crack is Cheaper: In-Universe Example: Professor Garbanzo discovers the abilities of Mystery Pods. She later gets obsessed with them. Mr. Spook is not amused.
  • Crossover: Beanish participated in the Total Eclipse crossover event for the ten year anniversary of Eclipse Comics in 1988.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The page where Beanish describes his involvement in the big Total Eclipse crossover positively smacks of shamanic imagery. According to Beanworld creator Larry Marder, he was already planning to have Beanish go on a shamanic journey (and even have an upsetting experience involving Dreamishness, who's basically the sun, being eclipsed), and the Total Eclipse crossover fit both those bills perfectly.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first two chapters. The first chapter involves an attack by some strange corn-shaped creatures, which only serves to set up the second chapter. The second chapter in itself is almost never mentioned again either, and its only purpose (albeit a very important purpose) is to explain where the Mystery Pods came from. Even the first issue had a persistent effect - the eerie Bone Zone of Hoi-Polloi skulls between them and the Four Realities.
  • Eyes Always Shut: While not always, starting with book 3, the Boom'r Band spends far more time with their eyes closed than open.
  • Flashback: Several. Notably, there is issue 3 (Big Fish Story), as well as "Beanworld Zero" and "How Proffy Discovered the Four Realities"
    • Volume 3.5 is almost entirely flashbacks.
    • Volume 4 adds the story of how the Boom'r Band broke out.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: It turns out that the Fix-It Shop was created during a previous season - read 'generation' - and ended up playing this role after a disaster almost ended the Beanworld's cycle of life and death. It didn't even just do this for Proffy - it did it for the Boom'r Band, too.
  • The Hero: Mr. Spook. That's his actual title.
  • Mad Artist: Beanish has shades of this.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Mr. Spook. He is more realistically drawn compared to the other beans, and more resembles a Hoi-Polloi. In-Universe, adopting a new appearance to set yourself apart from the rest of the identical beans is part of the "breaking out" process. Mr Spook is a special case, though - he's a mutant born from the same disaster that almost ended the Beanworld.
  • Outside-Context Problem: To the beans, any threat is effectively this, given their small frame of reference. Special mention, however, goes to the corn creatures in the first chapter, and the Red-Hatted Gangster Racketeer from "While we wuz eatin'!". The latter even lampshades it himself:
I mean, the NERVE of an unknown entity like ME showing up unannounced during DINNER!
  • Sapient House: Professor Garbanzo's Fix-it Shop has some kind of sentience on its own, though it communicates only with Proffy. In book 4, Proffy temporarily fuses with the Fix-it Shop itself, and is named as the "stem" of the shop, with the building itself being the "root". One of the cuties even joins in, becoming the "leaf".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Averted in the black-and-white comics. Beans call each other "brother" and "sister" and clearly have some concept of gender, but they all look identical. In the coloured chapters (collected in book 3.5), however, brothers have blue "pants" and shoes, while sisters have red.
  • The Smart Guy: Professor Garbanzo. Actually, more like The Smart GIRL.
  • Voice of Reason: Mr. Spook comes off as this pretty frequently.
  • World Tree: Gran'ma'pa, the tree at the center of the Beanworld - literally and figuratively.

Mr. Spook: Proffy, who linked you to TV Tropes?

Alternative Title(s): Beanworld