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Beanworld Book 2: Wahoolazuma!

by Larry Marder

Publisher: Dark Horse

Format: hardcover, 6x9, black & white, $19.95

ISBN: 978-1-59582-240-6

Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly

Wahoolazuma! gathers the first nine issues of Larry Marder’s Beanworld comic, first published in the 1980s. Scanned from the original artwork, the engaging, clear black and white illustrations bring to life a universe populated by beanlike characters, their adversaries the Hoi-Polloi Ring Herd and a variety of other creatures. The society evolves over the course the book, with the beans learning about art, creating new music and inventing useful tools. Their world starts out in perfect balance, with everyone performing their assigned role and depending on others to do the same, but a variety of developments creates crises from which the inhabitants must struggle to recover. The text is at times repetitive and didactic; the first chapter, in which readers need to learn the rules and characters of Beanworld can be tough going. Those who press on and immerse themselves in Marder’s creation will be rewarded with a charming tale. Its themes of environmental conservation, mutual dependency, faith and sacrifice will resonate with readers of all ages facing the challenges of the 21st century, despite being written over two decades ago.