"True Story Swear To God" is unique in today's comic market. It's an auto-biographical romance comic that tells the story of cartoonist Tom Beland's first meeting with his future wife, Lily, the trials of a long distance relationship and it's growth from there. The book has grown in popularity and was even honored with two Eisner Nominations earlier this year. Today sees the release of Issue #4 and Beland was happy to share a six-page preview of the comic with us. According to Beland, "This issue centers around my first visit to Lily's home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It gives the readers a better chance to understand who she is, what she does for a living and some of her family."
For fans of Beland's art things might look a bit different this issue.
"It features my attempt at perspective art," said Beland. "I'm both proud and nervous to see my artwork stretching a bit further. It also features the first time I saw Lily get pissed off at someone."
For those unfamiliar with Beland's story, he met Lily while visiting Disneyworld in Orlando Florida. They both returned to their respective homes (at the time Beland lived in Northern California, Lily lived in Puerto Rico), but stayed in touch. They continued this long-distance relationship and eventually Beland moved to Puerto Rico to live with Lily and the two married last year. With issue #4 we find Beland visiting Puerto Rico for the first time, but when do we get to see the wedding pictures? Well, in the comic, anyway.
"How far away are we from anyone's wedding? I'm not sure, the books tend to set their own pace. I've always thought that this story would go about seven issues or so. That hasn't changed much."
As we reported back in August, AiT/PlanetLar approached Beland about collecting his books in trade paperback and now it's official. The first four issues will be collected and are due out in February.
"I signed on with Larry Young and AiT/PlanetLar last month. Larry and his wife, Mimi have been a cartoonist's dream to work with. If I've got a problem, BOOM, they're there with advice!"
In addition to TSSTG Beland's got plenty of other work to keep him busy right now.
"Working on a project for the San Francisco Cartoon Museum. They're doing a book titled 'Inspirations,' which asks different cartoonists to answer the question: 'Who was your inspiration? Who got you into doing comics?' I'm very excited about being part of the project.
"I'm also working on a children's book, written by Lily. It's called 'Who Stole the Moon and the Stars?' It'll be in Spanish and hopefully out by next year."
"True Story Swear To God" #4 is out today in shops, is 48 pages black and white and costs $2.95.