Let’s Finally Talk About ‘True Story Swear to God’

Tom Beland‘s True Story Swear to God is one book I keep meaning to talk about on the podcast, but never get around to it on the weeks it comes out. So I thought I’d get to it here. I was reminded of the book by this interview on Newsarama. If you’re looking for some personal story/romance comics, you could do worse than these.

I will be the first to admit that this book can get downright schmaltzy, yet there’s a sincerity to it that can’t be denied. I really admire that in a world where men are supposed to be so tough and arrogant, Beland sort of lays it all out there for us to read. Putting yourself up to that kind of judgement is a brave thing. Not to mention the stones it takes to actually do the work and make your own comics.

So far, the Image ongoing series has been pretty good. It’s what I’ve expected from reading the previous trades. This book is basically all heart, with raw edges. There’s something sincere about that which I appreciate.

Anyone else reading this? Hate it? Love it?


  1. I’ve been picking up this book since it started coming out. I think it’s really great. I very much enjoy the sort of cartoony style that it’s drawn in, along with that sort of heart warming realization at the end of each story. It’s sort of like an 80’s comedy disguised as a comic book. But that’s what I love about it.

    I recently moved to live with my girlfriend, so the book touches me on that personal level as well because the character is dealing with the changes of living with a woman in a different country.

    All in all, I think it’s a great book and enjoy reading it. It’s definitely a great diversion from all those super hero books out there.

  2. I see about half a dozen trades over at Amazon. Which ones would you recommend, or in which order would you recommend them? I’ve been thinking about this book on occasion for a while now, but I don’t know where to begin.

  3. First book is Chances Are…, of which there are 2 volumes. After that is “100 Stories” which is a collection of strips from the website.

  4. i must have asked about this book a million times and it seems its one of those books diamond doesn’t want to send to my shop, because they never recieve any copies, despite repeated orderings.

    anyway i really want to give this a try, although i must admit the first thing i think about when i hear tom beland’s name are the interesting comments he posted responding to a negative review he received in a cbr blog a while ago:

    (scroll down to the comments section)

  5. Josh~

    I think you and I are the only people that read this…


  6. I’m reading it too. I have only just started since it moved to Image, so I’ve only read 4 issues. I have not read the trades of the older stuff. So far I like it. It’s not a book that I really look forward to, but after I read each issue I think how good it was. It just seems real, you know? I feel like I am really reading about his life (which I am). It doesn’t feel like fiction at all, it’s more like I’m looking in on his day, or week, or whatever. I’m on board for the long haul.

  7. Yeah! Add one more to the list.


  8. Wow. About his comments…wow. If you like this, I wouldn’t read them. Maybe it’s not him? I think it is though.

    I met him once, and he did a great sketch for me. Fantastic. Now I’m afraid to not like his book.

  9. I remember hearing about that dust-up, but I didn’t read what was actually said at the time. Now that I have, I’m more determined to read the book than before. I read that site every so often, and Beland’s rant perfectly crystallizes what I think every time I read their reviews. (The “Urban Legends Revealed” feature is excellent, though.)

  10. Yikes. No one came off well in that one….

  11. holy shit that was brutal


  12. It’s almost as if I could turn this thread into another Nick Cage related topic…

  13. he called him a vagina

  14. I think I’ll start my reviews this week with this gem:

    Any fat slob out there can pretend to be a part of the comic press. Any dude resembling COMIC BOOK GUY from the Simpsons can go online and write endlessly about posting personal attacks disguised as

  15. I think that’s what one could consider a bitch slap on a message board.

    Honestly, after reading the first issue of his current Image run, this response is not all that surprising. Pretty hilarious, all in all.

  16. I think the only excuse that I can give Beland is that he’s writing about something so close, and so personal, that to be criticized on it is to be criticized about your actual life, which is a tough thing to be able to take. But still….

  17. He’s put himself out there though. That’s part of the deal

  18. Absolutely. But I’m just saying I understand it a little more because of that. Not really an excuse.

  19. I hope jim lee is nothing like tom beland.