From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Saturday, December 29, 2007


(special thanks to Emilio Torres Garcia for taking these photos!)

Saturday afternoon, FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLE DE LA MUERTA hit the shelves here in Puerto Rico and I have to say, it was mind-blowing how many people showed up for the signing event. This was the line that awaited us before the doors even opened. There were people stretching out down the mall and it seemed to go on forever.

Meanwhile, upstairs, artist Juan Doe (left) and editor Alejandro Arbona (right) joined me for a quick cup of coffee before the store opened for business. We've waited a long time for this day and it has finally arrived.

As the doors opened, people began the journey into the store. I cannot tell you how patient these people were today. The lines were long and it's a small store. There wasn't a bad word from anyone in line the entire day. And this line never seemed to go down.

Univision sent a camera crew to cover the event. You can see the cameraman in this shot. It was incredible how the media jumped on this story. We didn't know until today that this is the first time in comics history that a bilingual book had been published and released on the same day. The fact that me, Juan and Alenjandro really love this little book made that historic moment all the more special.

We've had coverage from El Nuevo Dia, El Vocero, Metro Magazine, Hoy Magazine, Caras Magazine, USA Today, New York Times, New York Post, Orlando Sentinel, MSNBC, Associated Press and San Juan Star. We did a slew of interviews for internet sites such as Comic Book Resources, Newsarama and many, many more. Thanks to everyone who was interested in this project!

Me, Juan and Alejandro share a quick laugh during the mayhem. We sold a shitload of comics today. Every customer who came in bought six issues of each version each. We signed so many books that I couldn't tell you what time it was. The greatest thing was hearing folks say "thanks for making the island proud." We signed comics non-stop (we took a half-hour lunch break upstairs) from 10am until 7pm. The line never stopped and the register never stopped ringing.

It was such a great experience making this book. Really. It was a goofy idea, one I thought Marvel would never go for in a billion years. It was an artist who's never made a comic book in his life. And it was an editor who steered me clear of repeating myself and helping me add as much about Puerto Rico as possible, without hurting the story. And it snowballed into this fantastic experience. I feel so blessed to have worked with these two guys.


Sean said...

I totally bought a copy at Velocity Comics today, and even swayed an employee of the shop to purchase one.

Carlos Torres said...

The signing was great, thanks to all the people that made it possible.

moviegirl78 said...

Be proud of this book, Mr Beland! I have to admit I don't usually buy Marvel issues, but I did this time, knowing that you had written it. And boy, am I glad I did! You wrote a wonderfully touching and funny story. Keep up the great work! :)

carbunkel said...

Got it. Read it. Loved it.

Tell me where you are in there, though. I've poured over every page and I can't find you and Lily. Didn't you say you two were supposed to be in there?

Did Mephisto erase you??!

Shawn Levasseur said...

"the first time in comics history that a bilingual book had been published and released on the same day."

Unless you count the Klingon/English editions of one Star Trek book a few years back.