From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jon Stewart is a GOD.

Just had to say it.


So there's this financial Ragnarok heading our way... and it's crucial to get a plan agreed to as soon as humanly possible or else every nickel we own will turn to dust by Saturday and....


and... they're OFF today..?

Listen, I'm all for religion. I'm all for how important it is and all. But I'm hearing from every person that the world is going to end Saturday and... well... I can't help but go WTF??? And yeah, yeah, I know that it's a sacred day... but it doesn't change my mind. There is a huge BORG ship heading towards Earth and we are truly fucked if we don't act now.

And they took today off.

I used to work for Holiday Inn. When I worked for Holiday Inn, you were told right away that you would be working on Christmas and Easter. No questions asked. People need to have someone at the front desk. So when something like Christmas came around, I'd have to tell my family that I'll have to be working and that I'd catch up with them.

Holiday Inn, people.

Are you telling me that someone like me can be expected to work at Holiday Inn on a religious holiday... one I used to observe... because Steve-O in room 323 may want to get some change for the snack machine... I can be expected to work that day because Steve is important. And when the senators, with the fate of the Nation's economy at stake... THAT job... they get to take holidays off..?

How many fucking Jewish senators DO we have???

Shouldn't the leaders of our country take a moment and call their families that something huge came up, in the form of Galactus with a stolen ATM card. I'd hope that they'd tell them that, even though it's a religious holiday... we have to get this work done. Tell everyone I'm sorry, but they'll understand.

And instead, we lost a day and they have no idea how to solve it. They all waved fists of anger, telling the cameras how insulting it was to hear who did what and that professionalism and sanity have left the stage. Lots of fist-waving. Lots of freaked-out senators worried about them not knowing how to fix it and how huge the situation could get. Everyone is shitting buckshot-style and heads are tweaking out on the television and the bald finance dude was ON HIS FUCKING KNEES, begging the senate to get this done.

And instead, they shut their briefcases and left for home..? Really?


And here we are laughing at Palin.

Monday, September 29, 2008



Legalize it. Tax it. All that tax money goes towards the bailout.

Hey, it's something and it's more thinking outside the box than Obama and McCain combined.

And hell... you think Palin's family does NOT smoke weed..?? C'mon. Seriously.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yep. That's right.

I hit the big 4-oh-6 today and I gotta say, I don't think I ever matured over the years.

Oh yeah, the hair's gone, the grey has settled in and found a home in my beard and I'm taking medicine that I once labeled as "old folks" medicine.

But mentally...? I'm still that 23-year old dude who loved to go out at night and get crazy. I'm still in love with comics. I still love a good groove playing while I draw. I still love Saturday morning cartoons and I still love a good Coke from the freezer, just before it explodes.

I still love the feeling I get on new comics day. I love how each book is another wrapped gift and I'm always shocked at what my co-creators are doing in the field. And hey... I get my comics for FREE on my birthday!! The owner never charges me on my birthday.

So what did the wifey get me? Well, for one, she got me one of those CHILL PILLOWS... the ones that never lose their cold side. I've been flipping my pillow over and over at night since I moved to Puerto Rico and when we heard about this, I nearly exploded all over the screen. So, most people would say "a pillow...?" I say "YESSSS!!" She also got me a very cool razor for my head and beard.

My niece, Tiana, is getting me a back scratcher. Trust me... this is also an epic gift. I loooooove a good back scratching. I must've been an old hound dog in another life.

And tonight, we're going to our friends' restaurant for dinner and we'll have a ton of family and friends joining us. There'll be food, conversation, laughter and we'll probably embarrass somebody during the night. It's my favorite part of the day.

I love birthdays. I love celebrating another year on this crazy globe. I love getting birthday wishes on Facebook and MySpace and I love having that inner child still in me. After what I've gone through the past couple of months, you'd better have some sort of childlike optimistic approach to life.

But best of all... my wife continues to give me the greatest gift of all. Her company. Even when she's driving me crazy with how it takes her ten minutes to set-up the stories she tells me while I'm trying to watch the game. Even after ten years of hearing that she's starving, but doesn't know what she wants to eat. And even when I'm watching something and she puts on the channel guide and flips through the listings one at a time... I love her company.

Because she's awesome.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sarah Palin claims she's ready to "take on Washington" and "take on terrorism" and "take on Wall Street" and yet she refuses to take on the media. It's more than ridiculous, it's become embarrassing to watch.

Until this woman is ready to sit her ass down and take on the questions by reporters, she's nothing but talk. She's the beautiful woman they use in advertising to get you from looking at the tiny print that tells you that your milage may vary.

But if she's going to be as tough as she, and the party, claim she is, then it's time to get her ass out of the bunker and face some tough questions... as well as answer them. Otherwise, get the fuck out and let someone who actually WANTS to face the media do their job.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Yankee Stadium came to and end today.

The game itself was a great one, the Yankees winning 7-3 and the emotions were high all night. You could feel the energy in the air as the fans gave it their all as they bid their stadium adieu.

I'm just not sure why.

Because I'm not sure the stadium itself would cheer this day. I wondered if Yankee Stadium was happy with the outpouring of love its fans... or if it had that feeling that Old Yeller had when he saw little Travis holding his shotgun as he took Yeller out to the back yard. And I get the feeling that Yankee Stadium felt the latter. I mean, how would YOU handle it? What if you were Yankee Stadium today?

Yeah, you've heard for decades how you're one of the "crowned jewels" in sports. You'd think that if they call you one of those, you were good to be around forever. A historical landmark, for hell's sake. Your biggest moments in sports history happened right where you are.

But then you get the news. Maybe it's just a rumor at first... some of the other buildings begin talking shit about how the city was going to be losing one of it's jewels. Who... you? Hah. Laughable at best. And if it's ANYONE... it's that old Empire State guy who'll probably go. I mean... the last great thing that happened there was that fucking big ape movie. Right?

But then the rumors get a bit more focused. You hear the public tennis courts crying with the community baseball field. And when you make eye contact, they give you this look that suggests you should brace yourself. And the wind gets a slight bit chillier.

The next day you wake up and... that public park is gone. Everything. The trees, the track, the tennis courts... all of them. All torn up and reduced to dirt. And none of those people were there. It was just... empty. Gone.

And you remember the look the tennis court gave you and you freak-out just a bit. You check yourself out, mentally. You're still in solid shape. Yeah. And you have all those moments and memories that created such a bond between you and the city. I mean... c'mon.. those people-thingies go absolutely ape-shit gah-gah over you for crying out loud. They say that Ruth-guy built you... and you know how they all feel about RUTH!!

Yeah, it's gotta be that Empire guy.

You wake up again and there's a buzz in the air. Usually you don't hear those people thingies talking out there. But for some reason, you're hearing your name over and over. There's a tension in the air. You get that feeling that maybe you should make a call and just see how everything is and see if anything is brought up and....

There's a knock on your door.

You look down and it's those owner-people. All dressed up in suits and looking official. Whoahhh... look at all the media vans pull up!! Wow!! Look at the reporter people run into me!! That kinda tickles!! HAH!!

And then you listen in.

And your elevator drops to the ground floor in a thump.

No. Fucking. Way.

It's not the Empire State guy. It's not even that weird-ass Carnegie Deli fucker near the theaters.

No. It's you.

What the fuck..?? Are they shitting you?? You're absolutely posifuckingtively speechless as they all exit you. Total silence as you hear the cars drive off into the void. Even if you could speak, there's simple no question in the history of asking that could specifically depict your utter loss. Not even CHEMO is an option. And the governor ain't gonna be calling.

And it's not for the fans, those people that you see day or night, sunny or raining, championship runs and the times you were never even in the mix... naw. It wasn't for the those people who believe in keeping history there when you can't improve on it. No. It wasn't for that seat that's been in the family for generations. And that's what's so insulting. The reason those owners are leaving you was for the disastrous of reasons. One that you can't defend in a million years.

It was because they wanted someone younger.

Someone hotter. Someone that doesn't have all that milage you have. Jesus, would it have killed you to polish those plaques once in a while?? We have sponsors out there!! Trim that infield some time and maybe they'd care about you more.

When the air finally returns to your body, you almost laugh, because the reality is so damned impossible. There's no FUCKING way it's you. I mean... you could've SWORN they loved you. That person who was dying... it felt like he meant it... and all the baseball... the football... those events where two guys beat the shit out of each other... they went NUTS over those moments. That's what you were designed for and you gave it back to them a hundred times over. You did your job... and you SEEM to be great at it... but now..?

There she is. The new girl.

Sighh... yeah, she'd young. She's got that virginal look to her. Untouched. You remember being like that. It's so easy to be loved because you're new. They'll go crazy over her... not matter what they see when they get there. She'll have that "new-girl" smell to her and they love that. But then things will change. Those people... there'll be fewer of them around when she doesn't perform. One, two losing seasons and she'll become... normal. And don't forget, she's only got baseball. A one-trick pony.

And then the night comes when they officially end it all... and THIS is how they say goodbye??? The ORIOLES? Are they fucking JOKING HERE?? NO BOSTON?? REALLY??? Wow... okay... whatever. You'd just think that they'd have some respect when they made this schedule. That's all. Wow.


No, it's NOT fucking okay. They new FOREVER that this day was going to come. And they could've shown you some real love and let you go out the way it should be done. But not like this. This is... a bit... embarrassing. You should tell them how cheap you feel. But I guess you won't. You'll go out classy and forgive them the way you always do. And at least your friends... the ones you're CLOSE to... at least they won't have to watch you go out this way.

What the fuck? Is that Paul..? Why did they have to ask him to... noooo. Is that Bernie..? Paul AND Bernie?? They didn't think this would be awkward? Why don't they just invite LARSEN for crying out... OHMYGODIT'SDONLARSEN. And YOGI. TELL me they did NOT invite Don fucking Larsen and Yogi goddamn Berra tonight's game. Is that Chambliss? Jackson..?? And the family members..?

You look at Babe's daughter and quietly mumble that you don't KNOW why they're doing this. You don't know who you pissed off or who you disappointed... you don't know. No one's asked why. RUDI... the 911 guy... HE knows what you are... he's wearing your hat!! Surely HE'LL do something to save you!

But he doesn't. And in a fleeting moment, the game is over... and you can hear them play Sinatra one final time and then the lights go out. It's officially over. I guess everyone goes sooner or later.

You just never thought you'd go out like this. For something called "luxury boxes," whatever the hell those are. You wonder if they'll miss you, or move on. They moved on after the World Trade twins were murdered. And you're not the World Trade twins. You're just a stadium. And you know how they feel about stadiums.

I bet it'd be cold that night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Couldn't have said it better, Tim

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

• White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

• White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

• White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

• White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

• White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office—since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s—while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

• White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you’re black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

• White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do—like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor—and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college—you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

• White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

• White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

• White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

• White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

• White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a “light” burden.

• And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me (Soft Skull, 2005, revised 2008), and of Speaking Treason Fluently, publishing this month, also by Soft Skull. For review copies or interview requests, please reply to

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I've been seeing this chiropractor for the past few weeks and I'm now able to sit down in the chair without discomfort.

I'm also able to draw a little better, so long as I slow down. Wayyyy down. It takes me about four days to get a page done and I can't get too crazy with background details, but if I really take my time and don't freak out when the line jumps a bit, I can actually get a page finished.

The chiropractor also believes that I injured the wrist in my fall. He says that I may still have some swelling there, so we can't do x-rays yet, since the swelling would block the view. He's gotten me this far, I'm going to stick with his plan.

All of you folks have been amazing to me during this and I really want to say thanks.

I'm working on the book again. It should be ready in '09. I hope you all dig it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Same ol', same ol'

What to do.

I try to get past those three words and I can't help but cry. I've been trying so hard to do what the doctors say... what friends recommend... what the internet explain... but in the end, I pick up my brush and its as it's been.

A jittery line.

Everyone tells me to hang in there. To be strong. That this will pass.

So far, it hasn't happened.

And each time I try and it doesn't happen... it kills a tiny bit more. The hand knows what the brain is telling it to do, but it can't seem to execute those lines that I could do in my sleep at one time.

I feel as if I'm letting so many people down. My readers, Image, comics shop owners, my wife, my characters. Each time I try to draw Lily, there's this feeling of loss that hits me. As though I'm losing that character. Each time I try, it seems a little worse. I just tried to draw that familiar look, where she's looking at the reader, with her shoulder up a bit. Jesus... I can't execute that image and it fucking kills me.

I'm getting emails from readers who want to know when the next issue is coming out and I can only explain it so many times to where I just ignore the emails. It hurts too much to give the run-down over and over. I want to yell, "IT'LL COME OUT WHEN I CAN FUCKING DRAW AGAIN" but I know that's not the right thing to do.

I just miss my art.

It's hard to be strong when you're losing something that has gotten you through so much in life. No matter what happened to me in my life, I've been able to express it on paper. This is the first time in my life where I'm afraid to touch a pencil and pen. When the jittery lines appear, it's like throwing a brick through a stain glass window.

Lily will tell me things like "I don't really notice it" to lift my spirits, but it doesn't help. It's there. Because I can feel it as I draw and see it in my line. It's not about what the reader can see. It's about what I see. This isn't a bad back or a sprained knee... this is my art. I can't put work out there in hope that people won't notice the messed-up line work.

My art has been my entire world since I was five years old. And now I can't do it.

I'm taking pills I wouldn't take in a million years. I'm wearing a magnet bracelet. I'm seeing two doctors. I'm emotionally fucked up and the one thing I would do to ease my mind is the one thing I cannot fucking do. Each time I try something, I sit down and nothing has changed.

My cartooning is more than art. It's my sanctuary. It's my Hundred Acre Woods.

It's that place I can turn to when the rest of the world is hitting on my skull. My cartooning is what got me through mom and dad dying. It got me through my first divorce. It got me through the times where I truly didn't know how I was going to buy food, or pay rent. It's what I did to meet people in school. It's how I got girls to notice me. And it's what I did... for me.

It's what I did to show the world how I met such an exceptional woman who's changed my universe.

It's what I did to spread my wings and soar.

I could be sitting in Starbucks at a table, drinking a coffee and sketching in one of my books. But what nobody can see is how utterly breathtaking it is to create even the simplest doodle. To draw the egg-shaped circle that is the head. To divide it up so the eyes rest on the horizontal line... so they even up. To then fill out the face... the eyes, the nose, the smile. The hair. To then breathe some life into that simple drawing.

I miss it more than I miss my parents.

If it came back to me, I'm confident I could take having cancer. I could hear the news and say to the doctor, "I can deal with this... I once lost my art." If you're an artist, you can understand that.

If you don't draw, you cannot imagine how that is so much a part of my life. When I see people, anyone, the first thing that comes to mind is how I could draw them. What makes them unique, artistically. Do they have a round or thin face? Their eyes. Their smile. Their hair. Their bodies. How could I translate that to the page. And in every case, I could sit down and do it.

And now... forget it.

I'm not going to give up. But even as I say that, it kills me that I even HAVE to say it. But the pain of trying hurst that much more each time. I'm terrified. I'm emotional. I'm irrational.

I just want to draw again.

I miss it so.