From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Friday, February 29, 2008

THE EPIC GREATNESS OF STEPHEN DESTEFANO


Stephen Destefano is a brilliant cartoonist who works on the uber-fabo VENTURE BROTHERS. Check out his blog (click to the link of the right side of the page) and get swept-up in his greatness.

Here are some samples. Thanks to Peter Avanzino for pointing this blog out to me!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

SIMPSONS MADNESS THIS WEEK!

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My Bart Simpson story hits the shelves this coming week!

BART SIMPSON #40: Bart finds himself living the dream after landing a gig as the new Radioactive Man comic book writer; alas Comic Book Guy finds himself living his worst nightmare.

Look for it this week! Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

photos from Paris

These may be too big for this blog, but let me try:

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Finding my FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTA at Album Comics in Paris!
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

An American and Puerto Rican in Paris DAY ONE

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It's late Sunday night and we're all packed for Lily's birthday trip to Paris, beginning Monday morning.

I'm very excited about this. Mostly because it's her dream come true and, well, let's face it... this woman has made more dreams come true than any other person I know. This is great to return the favor.

The other reason is our itinerary. We don't have one.

Other than our hotel reservations, the only other thing we have reserved is a segue tour through the streets of Paris. Yep. You heard me, folks, we are going to be those tourist nerds that the French will laugh at and ridicule.

Don't care. This is going to be great fun.

But before we hit the City of Lights, we're going to make a quick, eight-hour stop at the SECOND most romantic city in the world:
PHILADELPHIA, BABY!!!

I've never been to Philly and it's only logical that we visit this city before baseball season begins, before that bile begins to form in the stomachs of the citizens. I've also told myself long ago that I would NEVER eat a Philly cheesesteak until I was officially standing in this city.

So, I'm going to finally have my first cheesesteak sandwich. My cherry is going to be popped.

My good friend from the Bendis message boards, Jacob Goddard, is going to be our tour guide. He promises good food and a trip to his favorite comics shop... oh, and something about a famous bell. Whatever. I want my fucking cheesesteak.


More to come!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

LIAR LIAR, PINSTRIPE PANTS ON FIRE


What an asshole.

I have to say, I've seen some people saying that Barry Bonds must be happy that someone else is being dragged through the mud in this steroid crapola.

But the fact is, what Clemens is going through these days is hardly what I'd consider the same level as Bonds. Clemens never faced 25,000 fans holding signs and chanting "sterrrrroids" every time he hit the mound. Clemens got cheers his entire career... his. Entire. Career.

I'm not saying Bonds was innocent, but c'mon already. What Clemens has faced is NOTHING compared to Barry's jury.

And look at how many people Roger throws under the bus during his testimony. Everyone else has "misremembered" everything. And then he puts his wife in the mix of everything.

You're an ass, Roger Clemens. You were an ass when you were bitching out the umpire under your glove. You were an ass when you threw half that bat at Mike Piazza. And you were the biggest ass when you were trashing every friend and loved one you had in life. The sad thing is, the more you deny and lie, the more ridiculous you look.

Baseball will go on without you. Pitchers and catchers report this week. We already couldn't care less about you OR Barry.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A REALLY GREAT FILM


Wanna see a great film? Go see LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.

I'm not going to tell you about it, because I'll probably ruin it for you. Suffice it to say, when you see it, you'll want to move to this town and live there forever.

Great characters, wonderful script and plenty of emotions.

Happy Valentine's Day, Lily



I met her at a bus stop ten years ago.

She smiled at me, spoke with me... and didn't pepper-spray me.

It's amazing what the right person can do to your life. Since the day I met Lily, my world has only gotten better with each day.

Yep. We have arguments... I'm not saying it's always easy. I'm not an easy person to live with. She had to live with someone who's had to adjust to an entire new world and way of life. And when that person is impatient, as I can be, sainthood should seriously be considered.

She's only made me a better person than I was before I met her.

She took a guy who had settled for a nowhere job, who didn't think too highly of himself and who certainly didn't see the potential in himself that she saw.

Ten years later... wow. Look at what I've done.

I made mini comics. I took them to conventions. I made friends in the business.

I made actual comic books. To date, I've made 27 issues of TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD. She's been there through every page. Every panel.

And then there was Marvel. And Spider-Man.

My Lily understood what an impossible dream it was to put words into the mouth of my favorite character of all time. Same with Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny. And Captain America. And, yes, Dragon Man.

After she gave me the emotional support to write comics, I gave her the support to write her own books. Her new one is now a best-seller here on the island.

When I was in spending my "lost year" in Napa after our divorce, we spoke on the phone every day. Great conversations, laughs and support... from an ex-wife. It didn't take long for us to realize we made a huge mistake and I moved back here to stay. With her.

To show my love for Lily, I cook, do laundry and do the shopping. I'm there with a shoulder to cry on when needed. I tape all her shows on our TIVO, even the shows I'm not all that into.

When I go to conventions, I always try to find something that has Wonder Woman (her favorite) or Astro Boy (her nickname in high school... they thought she had legs like Astro Boy).

I know this is Valentine's Day, where guys out there are trying to prove their love to their women... and the women are waiting to see if their men will come through with something great.

That's not us.

Because love isn't about cards, chocolate and flowers. That smells of desperation to me.

Love is making a meat loaf our of turkey meat, because she doesn't eat meat. Even though you've been craving a beef, pork and veal meat loaf all week.

Love is sitting through Entertainment Tonight AND Access Hollywood because it's her guilty pleasure.

Love is washing her hair when we shower together.

Love is knowing that she'll order Ceasar Salad sin pollo. She loves mojitos.

But I'll tell you what love is to me.

When it's 10pm... we're on the couch watching television. She's curled up next to me, her head on my shoulder. There's a gentle breeze coming in from the patio doors as the coqui frogs are chirping their song in the distance.

At that moment, I can feel the weight of her head sink into my shoulder, telling me that she's passed out. Every time I feel this, it makes me feel special. It's amazing to me how someone can feel so safe with you that they can fall asleep on you.

Love is work. And the reward for this work is the love you get.

Not just one day.

Of course, I'll still make her a card. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

GOOD GRIEF! THE BEAGLE WINS!


Awww, C'MON already... HOW could you have NOT cheered for this lil' guy Tuesday night? He's freakin' ADORABLE, for cryin' out loud.

And his name.... is.... Uno. Y'know... like number one?

Bruno pushed some pansy-ass poodle aside, to the cheers of an entire stadium, to win the Westminster Dog Show. And I gotta tell you... the world is just so much nicer for the time being.

Ain't it a great thing to put aside all our drugged athletes, bitching politicians and reality television that plague our time and just take in the goodness that these dogs give us? I mean, really. I feel good that the beagle won.

I can't really explain it. But thanks, Uno!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This. Book. Rocks.


Yeah, yeah, I'm a huge Marvel guy. Never been much of a DC dude, just could never get into the characters. They seemed to lack the personality of the Marvel characters. The last time I was into DC, hardcore, was during the Marv Wolfman/George Perez TEEN TITANS run. In fact, their story "WHO IS DONNA TROY?" would be on the top five list of favorite super books, Marvel or DC.

But nothing else has made me put a DC book on my saver. Or go nuts with excitement when a new issue comes out. There are some really good books there... but nothing to make me yell "YES!!!"

Until TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE.

I am so unbelievably hooked on this series. The characters are so perfect and the art...? I'm as deeply in love with Karl Kerschl's artwork as I am with Juan Doe's. I mean... this is just gorgeous fucking work.

And then, along with that great art, you get this KILLER story written by Amy Wolfram, who, incidentally, writes for that kick-ass animated series TEEN TITANS GO! Love she writes Aqualad. Give these two a series.

If you're not getting this joy of a book, you're really missing out.

NEW ISSUE TODAY!! THE ENGAGEMENT ISSUE!

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.

TWIN SONS OF DIFFERENT MOTHERS

So I'm attending Wondercon one year and I'm sitting back with my brother Joe and good buddy, Keith Knight. Our tables were side-by-side and we were discussing the greatness of the Falcon, when this guy walks up to me and asks me to sign a comic.

Hey, cool! Always happy to sign a copy for the admiring puuuuuwwwhhhaaaaHUH?? I look at the comic he wants me to sign and it's a Fantastic Four book by Art Adams. I tell the guy that I can't sign a book I didn't make and the guy walks away.
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"That's the FOURTH person to ask me to sign that book," I tell Keith. "What's THAT all about?"

"I thought Art Adams did that issue," says Keith.

Then this guy walks past my table and my brother goes all "WHOAHHHH.... look at THAT guy."

"Which guy?" I ask.

"The one who looks like you!" he tells me as he points to Art Adams. Sonofabitch we DO look a lot alike. No WONDER I was getting people asking me to sign that book!

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ME:me

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ME: Photobucket

I walked over to him and struck up a conversation and after a few minutes of discussion, Art pauses, looks at me and says "eeewwww.... you look like me." I reminded him that, since I'm a year older, it is HE who looks like ME.

The other weird connection..? Art grew up in Fairfield, California... twenty minutes down the highway from Napa Valley, were I grew up.

I STILL to this day get Art's readers at my table, handing me books to sign. I find it hilarious. Jesus, I wish my ART was like Art's. He's one of the greats.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Feel free to discuss.

MARVEL

DC

I'm just saying.