A Month of Webcomics – The Bean
All throughout May, I’ll spotlight a different webcomic. Like with the month of independent comics and the month of LGBT comics, I figure I will let you webcomic creators out there suggest your comic for spotlight during this month. So if you want me to spotlight your comic, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Today we look at Travis Hanson’s epic fantasy tale, The Bean, which garnered an Eisner nomination for Best Digital Comic this year.
Hanson was developing the story that became The Bean over a decade, and tried to develop the property in a few different formats. Eventually, he firmly committed to doing the comic as a webcomic and he has been updating the comic weekly (currently Monday, Wednesday and Friday) since late 2009. The amount of time that Hanson had to develop the idea sure has paid off in how well-developed the property is.
You will find the beats of The Bean familiar, but it is the execution that makes the comic worth following.
Hanson first develops a small cast of characters and expanded the cast as he went along, while always keeping the original crew in the mix.
The titular character of the book, Bean, is a young lad who works for an ogre at a small tavern.
The owner of the tavern, Gort, is an interesting character.
A jerk on the outside, you can tell that he really cares for Bean.
Another Ogre, Grottle, is more gentle and is the cook for the tavern.
Ravna is the barmaid, and she is pretty badass (and looks after Bean like a big sister)…
That leaves the bartender, Siv, who is your typical “guy with a mysterious past who seems like he is a great warrior.”
In that above scene, Siv is tracking Bean. You see, while on a mushroom gathering mission, Bean was abducted by a troll wizard to capture a magic sword.
So Siv goes off to find the missing Bean.
Meanwhile, Bean and the troll wizard have some adventures finding this magic sword, and when Bean gets it, he discovers it gives him some new abilities…
While Siv searches for Bean, he accidentally uncovers a conspiracy…
And that is just a drop in the bucket of this story. Hanson is a dedicated comic book creator, and he has expanded his universe beautifully on quite a regular basis, so he has over 240 pages of story at his website (he has collected the story into seven comics so far and is in the middle of what will be the eighth right now). This is a lush, vibrant universe filled with interesting characters.
It is well worth a read. You can start the adventure here.