From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Thursday, January 31, 2008

We're celebrating Lily's birthday in....


She'd only been there once and even then, it was for only an hour.

She's turning 50 this month. She's not an ageaphobe. She's very proud of her age and what she's done in those years. I'm glad I'm with somebody who embraces birthdays.

So we were going to go to Rincon and do something quiet and then, today, she walked into the living room and asked how I felt about celebrating her birthday in Paris. She was very excited about the possibilities, but when I told her it was a great idea... she got this look to her. It was as if she was asking me if she was worthy of having a birthday like that.

I told her we weren't going to debate it. It's a huge thing to celebrate! Why not do it in the style it deserves?

So, off we are to realize one of her dreams. It's going to be magic.

Friday, January 25, 2008

HOLY COW.. I just discovered this tidbit...

FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTA, that lil' book I worked on with Juan Doe and Alejandro Arbona (below with me in the photo)..? Turns out it did pretty damned well, sales-wise. Better numbers than I've had in my career.
juan and alejandro
Here's what the numbers were:

• The issue ranked 110 on the Diamond Comics Top 300 chart. Just missed the top 100!

• Total sales were 20,780

mmmMMMMmmmm... that many people enjoying something that fun should revisited. Don't you agree..? ;)

Not only that, but I had ANOTHER Marvel book in December that did pretty well! SPIDER-MAN: FAMILY #6, which I shared with the embarrassingly-talented Chris Eliopoulos came in at #179, with 9,404 sold!


Thursday, January 24, 2008


Y'know something..? Sometimes this world gets more fucking nuts with each rotation around the sun.

Dana Jacobson got fucked over by something bigger than Jesus. She got reamed by Disney, ESPN, Notre Dame and the Catholic Church itself.

Dana is the co-host of the morning show on ESPN called "First Take." It's a show where there's a lot of debate over the current topic of the day. It's nothing great, nothing earth-shattering to say the least. But, since there's nothing else on the tube when I'm drawing or writing in the morning, what the hell.

Jacobson is a very likable person. Nice delivery, she gets into the debates and she's cute. What I like about her, as a viewer... and as a sports fan in particular, is that she doesn't hold back on who she roots for in sports. She's a loyal Michigan Wolverine fan and often tells her co-host, who's an Ohio State guy, where to put his Buckeye.

And this is important to me, if she's going to be on an opinion show based on sports. Bring it. And she often does.

Soooo.... what's the big deal about Dana Jacobson..?

The big deal, according to Disney, ESPN, Notre Dame and the Catholic Church, is that Dana Jacobson is not a stand-up comedian. She's never been on Def Comedy Jam, or seen in an episode of Who's Line is it Anyway? She's not Robin Williams, or Dave Chappelle, or Will Farrell.

And I've never heard Dana reminisce on end about opening for Don Rickles at the Punchline in San Francisco. I've never seen her humor mistaken with that of, say Patton Oswalt.

So, who was the incredibly stoned dumb-fuck who asked Jacobson to be a part of a celebrity roast for the guys over at Mike & MIke in the Morning? Whoever it was who signed off on this roast, while inviting religious people to attend, is a bigger idiot than Chris Webber when he called that infamous time-out in the NCAA Finals.

I'm sure this is how it all went down:

ESPN: Hey Dana! You're popular... doing anything next week?

Jacobson: Ummm.... no. Just going to cheer the Packers when they play the Giants. Why do you ask?

ESPN: We're going to do something nutty for Mike & Mike's 10-year anniversary. We're going to roast them in front of an audience. Wanna be a part of this?

Jacobson: Hmmm... I'm afraid I'm not sure what a roast is, Mr. ESPN.

ESPN: Oh yeah, that's right... you're not a professional comedian, I forgot. Well, what happens is, we get a lot of their friends together, serve a SHITLOAD of free alcohol and then you get to insult them in front of everyone. It's always a fun time and you can tear them apart. It's a hoot!

Jacobson: I'm not sure, Mr. ESPN... I'm a talk show host... not a comedian. What am I allowed to say?

ESPN: Whatever you want! That's the beauty of it! The raunchier you are the funnier it is! C'mon, Dana, join in on the fun!!

Jacobson: Mmmmm.... okay! Sounds like fun!! You sure I can say whatever I want..?

ESPN: Dana, we love you. You're a part of the ESPN family and we'd never ask you to do something that would hurt your career.

Jacobson: I've been meaning to ask you... whatever happened to Harold Reynolds..?
ESPN: Who..?

So Dana shows up to the party, has a ton of drinks, like EVERYBODY ELSE on the stage and is called upon to do her bit at the mic. And THAT'S where the magic begins. THAT'S why putting a microphone in an amateur's hand is like putting a loaded gun into the hand of a 5-year old.

A drunken 5-year old.

Jacobson found her inner Chris Rock and began a profanity-driven tirade, which included her screaming in a loud blotto'd voice:


Hey sports fans... guess who failed to notify Jacobson that there'd be someone from the church sitting in the audience..? And guess who blew up like a volcano and now wants Jacobson fired?

That's right... it's THOSE WACKY, NUTTY CATHOLICS!!!! YAYYY!!!
You know those people, right..? Those are the ones who are okay paying out victims of sexual abuse to protect their priests, but cannot and WILL NOT accept the apology of a drunken who-the-hell-is-that-anchorwoman doing what every comedian is allowed to do at a roast.

And, trust me, I know of this situation. There was a priest at the church I attended, St. Thomas Aquinus in Napa Valley back in the late '70's. He appeared to be a great person, he loved opera, gardening and he was always welcome in our family home. He joined us for dinner on many a night and he gave the service at my father's funeral. And this is the priest who sexually assaulted a member of my own family was transferred to the east coast the very night they were confronted with the charges.

Where was the Catholic League when we were trying to get over not only the death of a parent, while the other parent was ill, but had to now face the nightmare of a trusted church leader doing something this horrible.

This is why I dropped out of organized religion, entirely. Because it didn't matter that I went to church every week, that I served mass as an altar boy for years and then became a youth minister... it didn't prevent something as despicable as sexual assault to hit our family. And it was from our priest. And nothing... and I mean NOTHING happened to him, other than a transfer to another unsuspecting congregation.
If these are the people who are responsible for interpret the Bible... then I prefer to walk this world on my own, thank you. When we get a letter in the mail from the Pope, asking me for my forgiveness for doing nothing about the man who shattered our world back then, then maybe I'll rethink my views of the Catholic church.

And kudos to ESPN for fumbling the ball on the one-yard line. This was someone who wasn't on the air, who was at a function where alcohol was chugged left and right and, yeah, she said something shocking to some. But she did apologize, which the Catholic League wouldn't accept. And yet... isn't forgiveness the thing Jesus preached the most?

Wouldn't it have been more inspiring for the Catholic Leaders to go on the air and say, "hey, she was drunk and it was a frat-house mentality at that party." Wouldn't it have been amazing to see those leaders forgive her without asking for a reprimand..? Man, I would've been impressed.

If the church isn't going to follow the examples of Jesus Christ, then who the hell SHOULD? But ESPN, in their infinite lack of wisdom canned Jacobson for two weeks. Wow. Thanks boss.

Why not suspend the guy who thought up this brilliant roast idea? Why not suspend the bartender, who was getting everyone so sloshed? Why not suspend Mike and Mike for being in the business for ten years?

It's just so fucking ridiculous. Go after the real criminals and quit wasting your time on alcohol-driven rants.

Sorry for the rant. I'm passionate about this.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I hate buying CD's, but the iTunes website won't let me update my credit card information (a problem that seems to be growing, according to the message boards I've read)... so I'm just not buying music these days.

When I contacted iTunes billing department, they said it was because my bank refuses to verify my information. When I call them, they tell me that the opposite.

This is the same credit card I use for Amazon and every other online store I use. So how is it that I only have this problem with iTunes? And why don't they have a customer service number, instead of only an email address??

Ugh. I hate companies that don't give customer service. I really do.

I've tried for over a year to solve the iTunes dilemma, but to no avail. Anyone else been having this problem? If you have... and was able to solve it, can you let me know how you did it?

okay... so there were a lot of drinks...

Me, Lily, Joe and Monica spent the past two days at the beach apartment in Rincon.

If you've seen Rincon, it's quiet, lots of great beaches and it's where some of the best surfing can be found. Our place is right there on the beach, fourth floor up, facing the ocean.

Yeah... it's our pride and joy.

Little known fact about Rincon..? They have booze there.

Ohhhhh manomanomanomannnnn do they have booze there.

We went out to dinner to the Lazy Parrot. They had a reggae band, great food and some seriously powerful drinks. When I say "powerful" trust me... good lord they're strong. Lily just had a glass of wine, since she was driving.

This didn't stop my brother and I from downing mango margaritas, beer and somethings called "Death by Iced Tea" to which I can honestly tell you... are nuclear fucking Long Island Iced Teas.

So when you have two of those huge monsters... what can be a better than walking down to the pool area bar and actually ordering a long island iced tea? That also melted many, many brain cells.

Lily rolls her eyes as three stupid-ass-wasted people stumble out of the bar with her to the car. Lots of "I LUV YEW MAN" and bringing up embarrassing romances.

We rolled out of the car, stumbled up to our apartment where Joe crashed instantly. Monica and I were trying to get a photo of my unconscious bro, who kept swatting the burst of flash, like King Kong trying to swat at those biplanes.

I then put Monica's hair clasp and put it in my mouth, which gave me vampire fangs and then I put on some sunglasses and what resulted in the funniest fucking photo I've taken in some time. You just have to realize how completely PLOWED we were during this instant in time.

I don't have the photo from Monica yet, but I will post it. Trust me, it's more ridiculous than my San Diego Comic Nerd With Male Camel-Toe. In case you're forgotten THAT jewel:

Sunday, January 13, 2008


So my little brother, my Kemo Sabe, my Jimeny Crickett, my Chewbecca, my... well.. my everything has arrived in Puerto Rico, with his girlfriend, Monica.

They're here for ten days, without children, so on this, his first night, we made the most of it and got shit-ass drunk.

Yep. And let me tell you all something... wanna know a cheap way to get your best friend wasted on little money, or alcohol...? Simple. You have them fly eleven fucking hours in a plane, without sleeping, let them have a short three-hour nap and then wake them up and stuff them with rum, red wine and tequila shots (which I'm SURE is going to fuck me over in the morning).

We visited our friends' home down the street for a small get-together and, sure enough, Frankie had a fully-stocked bar waiting for us.

Glass of red wine to start things off..? Sure. Let's do this.

Hey Monica...! Join me in a rum and coke..? Yeah..? Great! Let's have four more.


Somehow we all staggered home, Lily passed out upstairs and my brother passed out with his gal in air-conditioned bliss. That's how we ended the evening. It's now 1:42am and I'm awake still and talking to you all.

I love my brother. Seriously, he's the greatest.

We both got through mom and dad together. By the time mom was gone, our three older brothers were out of the house and far from home. Joe and I had to live there all the way to the end. It was horrific and I wouldn't wish that time on my worst enemy.

We were goofballs. To this day, we love to make poo jokes or titty comments.

We're the two musketeers. When we lived together, I was working at the local newspaper in Napa and one of the editors had showed a horrible lapse of judgement by giving me two passes to a tequilla tasting event. I could take anyone with me and all I had to do was write a small blurb about it for the paper.

So, in an even WORSE lapse of judgement, I invited Joe to go with me. I told him that he had to be cool and remember we were representing the newspaper and had to be professional.

TWELVE tequilla shots later, we were both fucking SMASHED and we kept telling the expert "I still can't taste the boisenberries in this" to get him to refill our glasses. We were laughing something stupid and I think I may have sang "Somewhere in the Night" by Barry Manilow.

We took a cab home and were fucking LAUGHING our asses off and then went to our rooms and passed out. No hangover whatsoever the next day. That's what partying with my brother is like.

So, after gallons of alcohol, I'm downstairs with Iron Chef in the background, as I relish this time with my brother. He's the coolest guy in the world and we're together for the next ten days.

Man, life is good.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Everybody sing together now.... THIRTY FOUR DOLLAHS AND FIFY-SIX CENT!!!!!

Okay... wanna know something..? I am not fucking joking when I tell you I'm so cool here! I am VERY excited about this check.

First of all, the check has Spidey on it, so, I mean... right there, know what I mean..?? Secondly, it's my first royalty check, man!! After what is now, ten years of working in comics... I've got a fucking royalty check!! From Marvel Comics, no less.

Yeah, yeah... I understand it's $34.56, but it's the greatest $34.56 check I've had the experience to hold. It's could've been TWENTY-four dollah and fify-six cent... and I'd still be this rad over it.

Because it means... y'know... the work had something to it. I just really dig it.

And the cool thing was... LILY TOTALLY GOT INTO IT!! I was freaking out, feeling all awesome and SHE dug those thirty-four dollahs and fify-six cent at the exact same level I was digging it. And that's when it's cool being married. Because someone's there at a moment when a check for thirty-four dollahs and fify-six cent comes your way with a big Spidey on it and it has the word "royalty" on it. Trust me.

It's a fucking fun moment.

Monday, January 7, 2008


My brother, Joe... readers know him as the guy who threw the Filet O' Fish sandwich at the menu board at McDonald's in an early issue of TSSTG... has created a new business, based on his uncanny mutant ability to create some gorgeous hand-lettered merchandise. Case in point... footballs.

He decided it would be cool if a player got a game ball, with his name on it and all the stats for that player. So he did one for a player at Cal-Berkeley. He used the school colors, the logo, his name and all his stats.

The dude, LOVED this. So much so that he showed another person the ball. This guy then called Joe and ordered 77 footballs for the boys on his team. These are the footballs from that order. Pretty cool, eh?

If you dig it and you know a coach who'd dig it... go to Joe's website to learn how they can order them for their team. Or for an individual player. Great for parents who don't know what to get their kid who plays. You can also check out more of Joe's work.

Go to the link on the right side of the page and check out his site.

Tell him Tom sent you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tom, Lily and Alejandro in Fantastic Four

Did you see us..? We were all in the crowd scene, when Reed, Sue and Johnny are walking through Old San Juan.

Here's where we are: