From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This comic says it all. Great job, Keith!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Yeeesh. I thought this movie blew.

Indiana Jones is 65 years old and he's knocking out groups of Russian soldiers half his age. The movie ground to a halt in every scene he was in. Even when he's using the whip, he looks tired.

I could see Shia surviving those three waterfalls... but every other grandparent in that boat is dead. I mean DEAD.

Two things I'd rather not see from this point on. The greedy fucker character who can't run for safety because he's too busy stuffing his fucking pockets and gets killed. And the building falling apart and everybody out-racing the disaster.

It felt old.

The days of Harrison Ford taking on brutes twice his size and absorbing twenty punches in a row are long gone. I was laughing more than cheering him during those slugfests. I just didn't buy any of it. Ugh.

Lily, however, loved it.


It started back in 1997 as a comic strip in the local newspaper. Then it morphed into a 17-issue comic book series that I self-published under CLIB'S BOY COMICS. Now the series is with Image Comics.

In all, I've been doing this comic for ten years. I'm still amazed that I've made all those books. I never thought I had it in me.

Well, this Thursday, you can read every issue of my self-published run. The TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD archives collects all seventeen issues of that run in one book.

It's a fucking huge book. Every issue. How I met Lily at that bus stop in Disneyworld. Visiting Napa and Puerto Rico. The cat-5 hurricane that swept the island. Comics shops in Berkeley. The decision to move. The Vieques incident and the joys of making comics and attending Wonder-Con!

I truly hope you have as much fun reading our story as we had living it.

And yep, it's all true... swear to God.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I attended my niece, Tiana's, high school graduation last week and this week, she went to her senior prom. This is Tiana as she appears in TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD, above.

These are the moments when you see how time has flown by. In TSSTG, Tiana is still a little kid, doing kid stuff, barely able to handle a conversation with me in English.

Now, however, Tiana is a young woman, gorgeous and interested in the political system and now when we talk, they're great conversations about finding ourselves in this world and being our own person. She also has a deep love for Bob Marley. That's her in the middle in the that "how did you get that hot" I DREAM OF JEANNIE dress.

I also have a niece, Celine, back in Napa. This was her as she appears in my book:

Celine is also graduating in June and will be attending Sonoma State in the fall. This is her now:

Sonoma State.

Celine. My little Celine.

Two hours ago, Celine was a year old, shoving birthday cake all over her face and hair. Now she's also a young woman, dealing with life, work and relationships. We spoke recently about dealing with an ex and, for a moment, I was overwhelmed by the thought of her actually BEING in a relationship with a guy.

Time never seemed to go by this quickly for me. I remember when the days seemed like years to pass by. Summer vacation was like a decade and it was frustrating to find ways to fill the day. Nowadays, the sun never gives us enough time to do what has to be done that day. Years now feel like days as they pass me by.

I'm so proud of these two women. Not only are they gorgeous females on the outside, but they also have integrity and are empowered with a strong sense of self-worth. They radiate when they enter the room and I could talk with them all day without being bored. I'm sure it's obvious at this point how proud I am of these two.

I just wish they'd quit growing up so fast.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This is the cover of my self-published issue of TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD #17. It was the final issue of my run before I took the title to Image Comics.

Have you read it..? Did you like it..? Good. Because you're the person this is aimed at.

Artist Josh Medors is fighting a rare form of cancer in his back, and The Hero Initiative, the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need, is aiding in that fight.

Hero is currently running three eBay auctions with net proceeds benefiting Josh, the artist of Frank Frazetta’s Swamp Demon. One of them is one of my sketchbooks I use when I write TSSTG. This is the sketchbook from issue #17. There are over 60 pages of fully-rendered pencils and it represents months of work. If you've always wanted to know how I write this book, this is a great item to bid on. I don't do scripts when I work on my book. I go right to thumbnails in my sketchbooks.

And here's the final art of the above page. From the sketchbook, you can see what I've changed for the final product and see the creative process. I treasure these books and I'd never let this one go, except it's for such a great cause.

And here's where you come in.

I want you to bid the fuck out of this item. I want you to bid often and win this item. I don't want to see a small amount for the winning bid. I want dollars. I want bucks so big, it's do the good that needs to get done.

I'm not taking a cent. Not a fucking penny. It's all for Josh.

It's cancer. On his back.

If that thought doesn't get you off your ass and bid some cabbage, I don't know what would... and I'd be afraid to ask.

I've lost a mother and father to cancer. I hate this shit. I couldn't do something for them then... but I can do something now.

And so can you.

I don't want to hear anything about how you need money for next week's comics. Bullfuckingshit. While you're looking forward to next week's comics, Josh is simply looking for the next week. Imagine that.

I'm serious on this. If you have the money to donate... and have a computer... and don't feel like being a part of something that will make you feel great and help someone in the process.... do me a favor.

Don't buy my books anymore.


Because the whole point of the TSSTG series is realizing dreams. Be it a dream of love. Or a dream of living somewhere new and different. Or the dream of helping your fellow human.

And if I haven't influenced you in twenty-eight issues... I never will. And I don't have the time in my life to deal with someone who wouldn't do what I would in this situation.

If you do... I'll be forever proud to call you a fan. I want this to be spectacular, amazing and sensational. I want Josh to see what you folks are going to give him and I want him to say "No. Fucking. Way."

Do it. Make me proud.

These auctions can be found at:

And further auctions benefiting Josh can be found by searching “Josh Medors benefit auction.”

In addition to these auctions, The Hero Initiative will be taking additional measures to help Josh in his convalescence.

"Having an organization like the Hero initiative is a blessing,” said Josh Medors. “Even when things are going great, trying to make it as a freelance comic illustrator can be tough. The support the comics community has shown has been amazing. Now having the Hero initiative involved has made it possible for me to focus on what is important, getting better. They are a wonderful, caring organization, and their help has given me a hope and made it possible for me to focus on something I love very much—creating comics."

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'll be signing books today (Thursday) from 5pm-7 at Metro Comics at the San Patricia Plaza! I'll be signing TSSTG books, as well as the FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTA!

If you're in the area, stop on by!

Monday, May 19, 2008

RORY ROOT 1958-2008

He was the owner of one of the best comics shops in the country, in my opinion. He was honest, he was strict and he was passionate about comics in a way that made him a walking comics encyclopedia. He also looked like the lead singer of Blues Traveler.

And he was the second person in my life to invest in my work.

Rory Root, the owner of Comic Relief, in Berkeley, California, passed away today, after dealing with several health issues. I got the news today from Andrew Farago, who runs the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.

This really hit me hard. Rory was someone I always looked forward to seeing whenever I strolled into town. He was someone who always bought whatever I had to sell. He was one of those people who believed in me when I had zero faith in what I do. And he's one of the reasons I've been able to do what I've done in this business.

He never minced words with me. When I attended my first San Diego Con, he set-up a signing event right there. But when I asked him if he needed any books to take back to his store, he told me that he would be getting a 50% discount on them. He wasn't in my face about it... but he was very direct, in his smiling fashion, that this was how it was done.

I remember doing a scene in TSSTG where I took Lily to his store. It was her first time in a comics shop and it was a very fun scene with her looking at all the books. A year later, at one of the conventions, he stopped me as I was walking by and told me that he appreciated the scene. But not just because it was his store being featured in my book.

In the scene, I put in the black cat that used to live in the store. It could always be seen sleeping on top of the comics in the back issue bins. The cat had recently passed away and Rory was very moved to see it in my book. I happened to have that page in my portfolio bag and I signed it and brought it to him.

Rory thought I was there to sell him some books, but when he saw me slip the page out and hand it to him, he got very emotional. It was the only time I'd ever seen this side of Rory. He was moved to tears and gave me a hug.

Whenever I had a question about Diamond, or dealing with a publisher, I went to Rory. He always gave me great advice and he was one of my obi-wans. When I got my dream gig of writing for Marvel, Rory congratulated me and promptly told me that it was nothing compared to what I was doing in my own book. Rory always had a way of letting me know that I had worth in this business.

He was like an uncle to me and I'm so very sad about this. I'll be crying tonight for the loss of my friend.

You were exceptional, Rory. Say hello to Jack Kirby... and that little black cat.

You are missed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Her name is Duffy and her CD is called ROCKFERRY and I've been loving it. Has a Dusty Springfield feel to her work and it's great stuff.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Stefan Blitz asked me to participate in his column "5 QUESTIONS" and who am I to refuse? Okay, he was holding my drawing tools hostage, but even if he didn't, I'd have done the interview.
Click the linky-poo and enjoy href="">

Sigggghhh... this fucking Blogger system won't show the fucking link. And after trying to fix it, it won't connect the link. Does anyone know how to get this to work??

Monday, May 5, 2008


From Thomas Denton... regarding a very special auction:

"My name's Thomas, and I was hoping I could get your help with something. I'm organizing a charity fund raiser to benefit the Candlielighters. They're an organization that helps the families of kids with cancer. They recently did quite a lot to help my family get through a tough time, and I was hoping I could try give something back.

What I'm doing is gathering artists to donate work to be auctioned off, 100% of the proceeds going to the Candlelighters.

It's been mentioned at a few major comic sites and a couple of pros have signed on, and I was hoping you wouldn't mind helping out a bit. Just you starting a thread at MW mentioning it would bring a lot of attention to it, and it'd really mean a lot.

You can read all about it here-

Thanks for your time."

When I was asked to donate something for the cause, I knew immediately what to send. In issue #2 of TSSTG, there's a scene where Lily shaves her head and unknowingly becomes an inspiration for two women with cancer to get rid of their wigs. This was such an emotional experience for Lily and it remains one of my favorite scenes in the series.

So this is the page where she meets them. It's on 11x14" bristol and there are blue pencil not shown on this image. It's one of my favorite pages and I'm giving it for the cause.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Free Comic Book Day is Saturday and I'll be signing books and even sketching for the fans!

Come see me at METRO COMICS, in the SAN PATRICIA PLAZA 9am-11am! Looking forward to seeing you there. FCBD has really blossomed into something wonderful over the years and if you're into comics, or your kid is into comics or your significant other is into comics... you should come experience it.

See ya!