From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


What says romance better than pages of 9/11, a huge argument and me sitting on a curb... having a conversation with a dog?

Why.... that would be TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD #10 where I ask Lily to marry me in the midst of tragedy.

Man, this was a tough book to do. There are moments in this series where I've had to revisit events and arguments I'd rather soon forget. This issue is loaded with those moments. It was tough to get those feelings off me when I'd complete a page and I have to admit, I was very often in a horrible mood during the making of this issue.

In many ways, this issue literally pushed me away from the drawing table for quite a long time. It took so much out of me and, yeah, that sounds totally pussy to admit. But when you take the worst day of your life and write it, pencil it, ink it, letter it and print it... over and over... page by page... well, it can do things to your frame of mind. I'd walk around grumpy for hours after doing a page.

The next issue will be very light... what a blessing. If you take away the intense feelings of "oh man... we're gonna get sued by Disney," it's been a great book to work on.


Andy Ihnatko said...

One of your best issues yet. It definitely went in unexpected directions...!

Re: Cruise people eating at the Hard Rock -- I've done three or four cruises (sweet deal where I get free tickets in exchange for giving a few lectures on the "at sea" days) and it seems like the people on the ship are in two different camps: the "I'm here to fully exploit the adventure of traveling to interesting, exciting places that I'll probably never have a chance to see again" people, and the "I've paid a lot of money for the privilege of relaxing and having fun and not having to think very hard about anything" folks.

On my very first very big trip anywhere I made a valuable rule: "I did not spend 18 hours in airports and airplanes just to verify that the Big Macs in Alaska taste the same as the ones in Boston." So count me in for new experiences.

That much as I and my friends enjoyed bouncing along the back roads of Costa Rica for an hour, when we got back to the port all filthy and hungry and we passed by the senior citizens who spent their entire time sitting and drinking at a shipside bar, getting hammered as the sun slipped below the was hard to completely dismiss the validity of that other point of view.

Tom Beland said...

LOL... we used to live in the apartment duplex right there along the bay where the cruise ships enter and exit. We'd see everyone and hear all the "oohs" and "ahhhs" when they pull into port.

Then, we'd hear everyone ripped roaring hammered drunk as they left the harbor.

I still love trying McDonald's at least once when I travel... but now I'm much more interested in dining where the locals all hang out.

This was certainly the case when we visited Greece and Venice. We found two local spots where the people and the food were outstanding.

But what's amazing about Hard Rock is, their food absolutely sucks. All they do is fill up a Flintstones-size bowl full of pasta with some dried-up, over seasoned chicken breasts piled over it.

Best meal I've had while traveling was in Barcelona. I let the old couple sitting next to us order for me and it was one of the best meals I'd ever eaten.

Andy Ihnatko said...

During my childhood I spent maybe half of my Sundays at my Italian gramma's house for dinner. Suffice to say that it's hard for me to see a pasta dish on an Applebee's menu that doesn't fill me with a certain contempt for the species. I was raised to think that Italian food is made of simple, rustic dishes made by hand with fresh ingredients.

(I actually own the table she used to roll her pasta dough on...still smells like hand-cut spaghettini)

Check out my Food Porn page on Flickr to see some of my favorite travel food.

I do break my "no fast-food" rule often...because sometimes it's 11 PM and you're just getting back to the hotel from another day at the conference and you just want to get some protein and carbs.

In London, it's more of a self-defensive thing. I ate more BK during my last trip to London than I ever did at home...because it was the only place near the hotel where I could get a meal for less than $20 US.

But honestly, usually it's the cheapest meals that are the best. Most of the photos in Food Porn are diner entrees that stand among the best meals I've ever eaten...