True Story Swear to God #4
Remember how I said in the last issue that this series would be more than a little bit too cheezy for people who aren’t in love? Well, some time has passed, a few things have changed for me, and (get ready for too much personal information) I’m in love with someone these days. I say that not for you all to send me e-mails saying “Awww…..”, I just wanted to point out that my perspective on the series has changed. Combine with the fact that the girl I’m in love with lives 4 hours away from me, and I can certainly relate to the long-distance relationship thing going on here. This issue is all about Tom going to Puerto Rico to visit his future wife. Is it still cheezy? Well, kind of, but it’s also pretty accurate. Things get sappy real quick these days, so these books of his make a lot more sense.Â And he’s putting these out on a regular basis, so he’s got that going for him. What can I say, my impression of this guy is improving all the time, and it wasn’t that bad to begin with. It was fascinating to find out that he originally did this just for himself and only decided to publish it after the fact. It’s incredibly personal at times but it’s also funny as hell at others. If you wait a few more issues you can probably just buy the graphic novel, but these work pretty well as self-contained issues. Check it out.
True Story Swear to God #2
Tom makes the jump to color covers and self publishing with this series. Look, I’m going to give it my all here to be as unbiased about this as possible. This series is about Tom falling in love with the woman who is now his wife, and there are two frames of mind in which you can read this comic: being in love yourself or not. I’m not right now, so this is all a little too syrupy for me. It’s kind of like watching two people make googly eyes at each other for two issues (so far). If and when I fall in love again, I’ll read this again and tell you all how my opinion has changed. Until then, stay away unless you are the most romantic person in the world. On the bright side of things, his weekly comic is getting better and better all the time. This is, to me, not a big enough story to make into a graphic novel, and that’s obviously what he’s doing with it. Again, I like to think that I wouldn’t like this even if I was in love, but I know better than to say for sure that that would be true. Eh, buy the first one, if you’re really curious. Actually, if you’re lucky enough to find it in a comic store, just read part of it there. You should know pretty quick if it’s something that you’ll be interested in or if it will drive you crazy. All the contact info is the same as above, and there are a few more issues of his mini (you know, the one that collects his weekly strip and goes by the same title, confusingly enough) out there too.
True Stories Swear to God #6
Tom Beland’s mini was nominated for an Ignatz award for best mini comic last year, and that’s one of those instances where the line of what is and isn’t a mini gets kind of blurry. This title is basically a collection of the newspaper-style strip that he does. They’re mostly funny in a non-offensive kind of way, but they hardly hold together enough to win an award for the best mini comic of the year. All that being said, this is an OK book. It puts a smile on my face and keeps it there. If you’re looking for a unique experience (and there are a lot of them out in mini comic land) then you might want to avoid this, or at least wait to buy it until you’re rich. If you’re looking for an amusing title that you can read and just be amused for the time that you’re reading it, this might be for you.
E-mail Tom Beland (he says that he answers all his e-mails)
Check out his site to see some of his strips, maybe you’ll like them and a bunch of them are free
If you want to order any of his books, #1-6 are available for $2.25 each from:
True Stories, Swear to God PO Box 9020278
Old San Juan Station San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00902