Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ramblings of a Third Grader?

This is an unabashed plug for the Kickstarter drive of a great little illustrated book called Ramblings of a Third Grader.

It was written by one of my best friends, Suzy Kuperschmidt--when she was in third grade!

I'll quote Suzy from her Kickstarter pitch:
Explore the world through the eyes of a third grader that didn't have access to an iPhone, XBOX, laptop or some other mode of information-gathering system. This third grader actually had to write legibly with a #2 pencil.
In 1964, I remember riding my bike to the library (without a helmet) and the excitement I felt when I found the perfect book to check out. My quirky little stories in RaMbLiNgS bring that sense of nostalgia to the pages of this book from a third grader's innocence of awe and wonder. I also created My RaMbLiNgS spiral notebook for kids to write their own quirky stories and create art masterpieces.Nothing makes me smile more than seeing a child reading an actual book with dog-eared pages. It takes me back to a simpler time.For a brief moment, sit back, relax and stroll down memory lane with me and see if you can spot the misspelled words and bad grammar! 
Here is the inside scoop: Suzy’s primary school teacher, Mrs. Sewell, encouraged her young students to keep a journal and to write in it as much and as often as possible. The stories our little Suzy wrote are filled with the pure awe, wonder, and written with the innocence of a child. And yet, there are so many hints and clues foreshadowing the person Suzy would become as an adult.

Our little Suzy then

Suzy now

Yes, it's true, as you see when you hit the link, I wrote the introduction to the book--I was delighted to--Suzy and I worked together closely for 8 years during my tenure at McFarlane Toys (actually she was Suzy Thomas then) and she is one of the kindest, zaniest, most trustworthy human beings I've ever known. I'd trust her with with my life.

Ever since her third grade spiral journals in the Beatles notebooks resurfaced, Suzy has had a driving desire to have the books illustrated and published. Thanks to the wonder of Kickstarter she has a the pathway to do it. 

But she needs your help.
She's getting closer to her goal but if you can take a look at her page and toss in a few bucks--you will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Larry Marder cosplay: LOTR Ent!

Angry young man
 at  Greenleaf Beach
Lake Michigan
Chicago IL
  in the late '70s. 

One thing I'm sure of is that this was taken
before I discovered Gran'Ma'Pa
and I had no idea where my life was going to take me.

Happy Halloween to all the Leguminati!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's kinda crazy but it all intersects through me, kinda, sorta.

Duchamp in front of The Large Glass
It should be no secret to anyone that Marcel Duchamp is one of my primary influences as an artist. At this particular point in my life I study & think about Duchamp quite a bit. Last week, after New York Comic-Con, my fellow Duchampian fanboy geek, Charles Brownstein and I made the trek to Philadelphia to experience the Arensberg wing of the Philadelphia Art Museum. It was an excellent trip. We walked in front of The Large Glass at midday, the sun was shining brightly through the glass doors and the light was hitting the painted glass in a way neither Charles nor I had ever seen before in previous trips. The subtlety of the color was rich and almost glowing.

This was my first experience with The Glass since my cataract procedure and so some of the extra crispness and vibrant color could have been chalked up to the fact I see stuff better now but Charles saw the same extraordinary warmth of the colors. (Because it was midday I chalked it up to Dreamishness.)

Peeking through the holes in the wooden door to view the extraordinary world of Etants Donne was
as mid-boggling as ever. It is something that has to be experienced. No photograph of what is inside ever does the installation any justice. The atmospherics you witness as a peeper into this alternate reality are indeed as Jasper Johns described as  "the strangest work of art in any museum."

But that's not what I'm writing about today.
I'm here to tell you about something else, another example where Beanworld crossed paths with Duchamp, or more precisely one of Duchamp's influences -- Cranach the Elder.

I don't know how many times I looked at the above Man Ray photograph of Duchamp and Bronia Perlmutter as Adam and Eve. Dozens, hundreds, I dunno. And i'st usually is subtitled as "After Cranach the Elder." But I have to admit, I never really gave much thought to who Cranach the Elder was.
That is until I started reading a book I bought a few weeks ago, Marcel Duchamp in Munich:1912.

Duchamp's self imposed exile in Munich was only for 3 months. It was there that the ideas that later became The Large Glass began to take root. He went to a lot of German art museums and was quite struck by the way that Cranach the Elder painted flesh tones. I wanted to read a bit more about Cranach the Elder and went to the Internet.

The moment I found the above painting I instantly realized "Ohhhhhh, after Cranach the elder. Duhhhhh!"
Odd that a tribute to the artist was done in black and white, well, a silver print, but still, some dots were connected. Duchamp tried out the colors he saw in Cranach in The Bride painted while in Munich.
You can see what he was trying with color blends in the painting below.

But that's still not what I'm here to write about.
While I was looking up Cranach the Elder I came across this:

It's Cranach the Elder's signature.
His signature!
It's pretty small in the paintings.
Was he a member of a secret society?
Does it have alchemical meaning?
No one knows.

The winged serpent is something I've long been fascinated with.
I wrote about it years ago and you can find it here.

Yes, of course, the first thing I thought of when I stumbled on this was Beanworld's owned crowned Goofy Sermon Jerk.

Anyone else see the family resemblance or am I nuts?
Actually the Goofy Jerks were more influenced by Garfield Goose than anything else but I got a real joy on connecting these dots -- as they only intersect through me. I see what I see.

Or as Duchamp would say "It's the viewer that makes the painting."
(I'll go quietly now!)

ps: For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, from the better late than never department I've posted pics of Comic-Con & my Korea trip.
And I'm Vine now too.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I do believe this book has shipped.
I was the book's facilitator.
It was fun.

This is what I wrote about the book in the book:

This book is the vision of a man who is a legend in his homeland of South Korea, Lee Hyun-se. During his tenure as chairman of KOMACON, Korea Manwha Contents Agency, he had an idea to try something new and unusual.
Last year, KOMACON conducted a nationwide talent hunt for young South Korean artists. The prize was the opportunity to move for six months to the United States, study English, and learn about the way we create comics in the west. The goal was for Korean artists and America writers to collaborate and co-create new intellectual properties together.
Less than a month after final judging, six young artists found themselves in Los Angeles living in a big house near Griffith Park in Los Angeles.  It was called K-Studio. Various people worked on their behalf looking for ways to accomplish the goal of collaboration. Several American publishers hired K-Studio artists to draw work-for-hire books and covers.
About halfway through the artists’ six month visit to the US, I was asked by my friend and colleague, Milton Griepp, if I could lend a hand. We quickly came up with the idea of this anthology.  KOMACON offered to fully underwrite the project. Everything would be co-owned by the creators. The only hitch was the task had to be completed before the artists went home at the end of January, only two months away.
I didn’t know the artists. I didn’t have any writers. We didn’t have a publisher. All I had was a ticking clock. I rolled up my sleeves, got into my car, and drove up to the K-Studio house, pulled out my laptop and gave them a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Who is Larry Marder and what is he doing here?”
For the next two months my life and the lives of the artists I know as In-Hyuk, Cory, Rock, Chan, Hae Mi and Yoon were intertwined. Joining us was our madcap LA-based interpreter, Sonia Lee, without whom none of this could have happened as quickly as it did.
Each artist wanted to do a 500-page graphic novel, but we only had 12 pages for each story. By the end of the month we had broad outlines of the world each artist had envisioned. I put together very detailed documents of each story so that a writer could take the ideas and reshape them with the artist.
I chose six writers that I knew and trusted. I needed them to write a script in a week. A week! The six I asked all agreed. Beau, Rick, Anina, Joe, Ben and Colleen pulled off miracles.
I stepped back and the creators, well, created. Together. Sure there was a language barrier, but somehow it all came together. My advice to everyone throughout the process was, “One step at a time. One day at a time. One bridge at a time.”
Thanks to Michael Kahn at Brickhouse Law, Jim Valentino at Shadowline and the amazing Tom Orz this book got finished at a blinding speed that still makes my mind reel.
There is an old saying about quests:  “It’s the journey not the destination.” The book is finished now; the K-Six have gone home. I already miss the daily problems to solve. I had the time of my life. These are memories I will cherish forever. I thank Lee Hyun-se and KOMACON for having the vision to try something new and asking me to come along for the ride.

On Monday I'm going to South Korea to be an invited guest to BICOF.
I have no idea what to expect.
I'll report it all in due time.
That is all.