Chat Transcript: "True Story, Swear To God" Creator Tom Beland

Fri, January 13th, 2006 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Brian Cronin, Staff Writer

Recently, Tom Beland, the creator of "True Story, Swear to God," came to the CBR Chat Room to discuss his comic, his recent Marvel work, the Spidey bowl, the Thor Helmet, his lightsaber, and, of course, boobies. To see how it all ties together, read on!

Brian Cronin: : Welcome, folks, to the Tom Beland Chat!

tombelandtsstg: BUDS

Paploo the Ewok: : Yay!

tombelandtsstg: WOOO-HOOOO

tombelandtsstg: Okay, I may be gone for a couple of minutes. Lily's going to drive by the house and I have to run a purse out to her... it's raining outside.

tombelandtsstg: Sooo.. I'm officially a pussy.

Brandon Hanvey: : So, Tom, what are you working on right now?

tombelandtsstg: I'm finishing the next issue of "True Story Swear To God" #16 (TSSTG).

tombelandtsstg: Next issue comes out in late January.

Sir Tim Drake: I doubt if you remember, but you did a sketch for me at SDCC a couple years ago, in which Lily is asking you if everybody has to dress like stormtroopers...

Sir Tim Drake: ...and you're thinking "I was a stormtrooper once." I want to thank you again for that.

FantomasPR: I'm from Puerto Rico and let me say that we are very proud of Tom's work.

tombelandtsstg: Where in Puerto Rico?

FantomasPR: I'm in Rio Piedras right now and I meet you once at Metro Comics.

Hanvey: When is the next trade of TSSTG coming out?

tombelandtsstg: I think we're getting close to another trade paperback for TSSTG.

tombelandtsstg: I think after #17.

Brandon Hanvey: : So how much input does Lily have on the stories? Has she every told you not to write about something?

tombelandtsstg: No, Lily's very hands off with the storylines.

tombelandtsstg: But she'll fact-check it.

Larry Young: Good ol' Tom Beland!

Brandon Hanvey: : Hey Larry.

tombelandtsstg: LARRY!!!

Larry Young: Hey, Tom!

tombelandtsstg: LAR-BONE!!!

Larry Young: What'd I miss? Questions about what a genius Tom is?

tombelandtsstg: We've questioned my genius a very long time ago.

Brian Cronin: : I think someone asked, "Where do you get your ideas from?"

Brian Cronin: : And someone said, "How do you become a comic writer?"

Brian Cronin: : And then someone said, "How much money is my Punisher 2099 #1 worth?"

tombelandtsstg: Larry.. tell them how drunk I can get.

Larry Young: Tom and Brian's questions are the same. Tom gets really drunk, and then he becomes a comic writer. :)

tombelandtsstg: Being a comics writer is easy. Getting them to notice what you're passionate about is what takes years of work

Larry Young: Tom: or just wave your brilliance under Mimi's snout, and she sees it instantly. :)

tombelandtsstg: Mimi knows the smell of genius.

Brandon Hanvey: : Are you coming to APE?

tombelandtsstg: I think we're doing Wonder-con in 06.

Brandon Hanvey: : Cool. I'll have a table at WonderCon.

Brandon Hanvey: : Would you say that starting with mini-comics is a good way to find your style and voice?

Larry Young: I started with minis, as did Becky Cloonan, as well as Tom. It's an excellent way to get noticed.

tombelandtsstg: I don't think enough people believe in their own work. That's the toughest part of getting started

tombelandtsstg: You really have to be cool with throwing stories out there.

Paploo the Ewok: : Working in comics full time is a daunting task though.

Paploo the Ewok: : I know I feel I'm not ready for prime time.

Larry Young: I can't advocate just jumping in the water more. If you wait until you think you're ready, you'll always be working on your craft and not producing, you know?

Paploo the Ewok: : I'm producing, I'm just worrisome of publishers.

tombelandtsstg: Worried about publishers? Hell, I approached Larry.. and that man looks like a killer trucker who picks up hitchhikers on "Law Order."

Larry Young: I would just like to state for the record that Tom is the coolest guy in comics. He always has time to help you out and, no kidding, is one of the most genuine guys I know. I wish I could let him know, somehow. :)

tombelandtsstg: Awwww Larry... smootches

Larry Young: MANLY BACK SLAPS, and then awkward silence, and then MORE BEER AND WHISKEY!

FantomasPR: Great Spidey story, any more new projects?

Brian Cronin: : You have some stuff coming at Marvel, right? What can you tell us about that?

tombelandtsstg: You guys are going to love the Spidey story in February

Brian Cronin: : Hehe, very nice use of the name of the title.

tombelandtsstg: LOL

tombelandtsstg: I've been getting pencil pages from Cory Walker and man, they're awesome.

FantomasPR: Is the Spidey story on "Spider-man Unlimited?"

tombelandtsstg: No, this will be a one-shot to tie in with their valentine's event

FantomasPR: What Valentine Event? House of MJ?!?

tombelandtsstg: The event is called "I (Heart) Marvel."

tombelandtsstg: They'll have a weekly one-shot featuring a Marvel couple. I landed Peter/Mary Jane.

Brandon Hanvey: : Has anyone ever complained about how you draw them in your books?

tombelandtsstg: Ummmmm no. Not that I know of

Brandon Hanvey: : How do you feel about the current direction of the Spider-Man titles?

tombelandtsstg: I've enjoyed the Spidey titles

tombelandtsstg: I have to admit, I really enjoy the shorter stories overall

tombelandtsstg: The six-issue stories sometimes drag out too long for me. Although I dug "House of M."

Brian Cronin: : I've seen you mention in the past that you never wrote any girlfriends into your comics before Lily. Why the change with Lily?

tombelandtsstg: I think in this instance, the story just came to me and I had to get it on paper.

tombelandtsstg: It just felt right for some reason

Brandon Hanvey: : What books are your current favorites?

tombelandtsstg: I'm into whatever Bendis or Busiek put out.

tombelandtsstg: "Conan" is a book I'm really into.

tombelandtsstg: And Bendis' "New Avengers" is so much fun

tombelandtsstg: Larry, "DMZ" was fucking nuts.

Brian Cronin: : "DMZ" was awesome

Brian Cronin: : "Local" was really good, too

Brian Cronin: : Brian Wood with back-to-back home runs.

Larry Young: Yeah, Bri is crazy!

tombelandtsstg: It was fun to see people line up at Larry's table in San Diego and treating Cloonan and Wood like rock stars. I think I giggled in glee at one point.

Brian Cronin: : Brandon was telling me how cool the clocks were. Any more plans for stuff like that?

tombelandtsstg: Yes, I make those on request at the moment. I did a killer clock for a wedding gift for a friend

Brandon Hanvey: : These clocks rule http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolelee/20176375/in/set-477062 .

RobbieOhio: How cool!! I'd rather have one of those than all of these Amish German clocks around Ohio.

Paploo the Ewok: : Wow! Are those mass produced?

FantomasPR: I was waiting for a meeting when they showed on TV those clocks on a show that Lily appears.

tombelandtsstg: Was that Louisito's afternoon show?

FantomasPR: It was Luisito's show but they broadcast it at mornings too.

tombelandtsstg: Is Desi the hottest woman in daytime??

FantomasPR: Yes she is!

tombelandtsstg: LOL.. Lily knows that Desi is my eye candy. So whenever I go to the set, I always get a nice hug and kiss.

Paploo the Ewok: : Larry, are you guys going to publish more "Quicken Forbidden?"

Larry Young: Yeah, we'll do the next Jax, and the next TSSTG when Tom is ready.

Tom: I vote for inclusion of some Ringo work. :)

tombelandtsstg: LOL... I'd love to have a gallery of TSSTG characters.

tombelandtsstg: So who's been trying to make comics?

Brandon Hanvey: : I have.

tombelandtsstg: And what's so intimidating?

Brandon Hanvey: : Deadlines.

tombelandtsstg: Deadlines.. c'mon man...

Brandon Hanvey: : I'm two pages away from finishing the art on my current book.

Paploo the Ewok: : My production is severely cutback.... I got sick, and then school got in the way.

Brandon Hanvey: : Well more getting into a good work schedule. I sometimes let other things get in the way of drawing. Like WOW.

tombelandtsstg: You just have to do it. I know that sounds pretty stupid or easy, but you're the boss in this.

tombelandtsstg: If SOCOM is more important than getting a page done, you have to ask yourself if you're really being serious in making comics.

Brandon Hanvey: : I banned myself from playing WOW until I have my book done.

Paploo the Ewok: : Sometimes lulls just happen though.

tombelandtsstg: Lulls happen... but you really have to just do it. Even when I'm bored at the drawing table, I'll start sketching a bit.

Paploo the Ewok: : Still, yeah, less goofing off and more comic making is a good idea. :)

Brian Cronin: : If you had to be pick one artist as your biggest influence, who would it be?

tombelandtsstg: Al Hirschfeld. Also Keith Knight.

tombelandtsstg: Keith does the insanely humorous "K Chronicles."

Brian Cronin: : Keith's work is impressive.

Brandon Hanvey: : Keith is the coolest guy in comics.

FantomasPR: I would like to know why you decided to do the Vieques story. It was really great.

tombelandtsstg: Vieques was something that was waiting in the wings for a very long time. But I had to find the right time to tell it. It was childbirth to get done.

FantomasPR: Let me tell you that the Vieques book was the best explanation of the situation I have seen anywhere.

tombelandtsstg: Want to hear something geekishly fanboyingly cool?

Brandon Hanvey: : Sure

Brian Cronin: : Naturally!

FantomasPR: Claro!

tombelandtsstg: I got the check from Marvel for the unlimited story..? Dude, there's this big Romita Sr. Spidey swinging towards you on the envelope.

tombelandtsstg: Then the actual check has a Spidey on it, too... I almost didn't cash it

Cayman: Suitable for framing.

Brad Curran: I probably would have framed it.

Brad Curran: At least the envelope.

tombelandtsstg:The check Spidey is a Bagley

tombelandtsstg:Lily told me to cash it... chicks just don't get it...

Brian Cronin: : Joe DiMaggio supposedly did that a lot in real life.

Wrote checks for everything, as he figured people would be likely to not cash some of them, especially if the amount was small.

Brandon Hanvey: : Ask the bank to cash it and void it so they can return it to you.

Larry Young: Tom, just make a Xerox, and spend the money. :)

tombelandtsstg:LOL.. actually, Marvel has mistakenly sent me two checks. I told them I'd just frame the extra check

Paploo the Ewok: : I got a prize from Marvel once... wish I'd kept the envelope.

Larry Young: I got a no-prize, and I framed that thing instantly.

Brandon Hanvey: : Isn't the no-prize an empty envelope?

Paploo the Ewok: : I got a Spiderman T-Shirt. But it was a kid's large. I got it when I was 15 or so for some Kitty Pryde fan art.

tombelandtsstg:I got a No-Prize, but I lost it. I found a page from FF where Reed's being tossed out of a building and he's stretching all over the place. and when you look at it, reed has three hands and one foot

Brian Cronin: : Speaking of no-prizes, everyone buy "Project Superior" and read Ronnie Del Carmen's "No Prize" story.

Larry Young: Let's just say I did a favor for someone over there and they repaid me with a No-Prize, which was spectacularly more than my small little favor. :)

tombelandtsstg: That envelope would make me a kid in an instant.

tombelandtsstg: I bought a page of art from Sean Phillips from the "Unlimited" book though. The page where Spidey appears at Paul's apartment.

tombelandtsstg: I'm getting one of Cory's pages, too.

tombelandtsstg: It was beyond surreal to see my name on a Spidey cover.

Cayman: Who's the artist for the "I (Heart) Marvel" thingy?

tombelandtsstg: Cory Walker of "Invincible" and "Marvel Team-Up."

Cayman: Cool

Cayman: Was that something you got to choose?

FantomasPR: Can you tell us more about the origin of your Spidey story?

tombelandtsstg: It's Peter trying to find the perfect Valentine's gift. There are some very cool moments in this story. I'd buy it.

tombelandtsstg: And some things about Mary Jane that nobody's explained.

Brian Cronin: : Like how she would think to herself stuff that contradicted the knowledge she was ret-conned later to have? Oh wait...forget that I knew that.

Brandon Hanvey: : I don't know. Would buying a Marvel book revoke my indie cred?

tombelandtsstg: If you like cool little characterizations, this book will have a lot of them.

tombelandtsstg: Oh... I can tell you this much. The Spidey popcorn bowl makes a return in this issue.

tombelandtsstg: Along with another Marvel kitchen item that should be manufactured.

Brian Cronin: : The popcorn bowl can be your "Hitchcock cameo."

tombelandtsstg: I got a ton... ton of emails after "100 Stories" came out, from people asking me where I bought my Spidey popcorn bowl.

Brandon Hanvey: : Spidey shot glasses?

tombelandtsstg: No... this is a beyond-cool kitchen thing.

Larry Young: 100 STORIES: MAR042166 from Diamond. :)

Brian Cronin: : Great call, Larry. People should do that more often. Heck, I should do that more often. Mention codes when talking about a book.

tombelandtsstg: Larry's got a killer iron man helmet.

Larry Young: I love ol' Shellhead.

Larry Young: Re: codes: old habits die hard. :)

tombelandtsstg: http://ait-planetlar.com/tsstg100.shtml

Larry Young: Honestly, depending on my mood, I like "100 Stories," sometimes, more than I like Tom's sustained narrative in TSSTG. Honestly, it's what you're into: pithy bon mots, or a lovely story told 'round the campfire.

tombelandtsstg: I giggle more with "100 Stories."

Brian Cronin: : You've once compared it as TV to Movies, Tom (the different formats). So what do you like better, TV or Movies?

tombelandtsstg: Movies.

tombelandtsstg: I should explain... movies give you much more freedom to explore.

tombelandtsstg: But I do love to nail the joke on a gag strip.

Brandon Hanvey: : So Tom what tools do you use to draw you comics? (Brian made me ask it).

tombelandtsstg: I use blue-pencil to sketch... microns to letter, then I use a staedler mars graphic 300 brush pen for most everything inked.

tombelandtsstg: Microns for some of the shading.

Brandon Hanvey: : How do you letter?

tombelandtsstg: Everything I do on the page is by hand.

tombelandtsstg: I letter by taking a pica pole and measuring one-pica dots down the side of the page, then I letter and ink.

Brandon Hanvey: : For the covers do you color on the computer?

tombelandtsstg: Yes, covers are colorized on Photoshop.

Brandon Hanvey: : You had a Scott Morse cover a while back. Any other guest artist you would like to have on your book?

tombelandtsstg: Michael Weiringo has been approached. If he's not too busy, he'll be doing one.

Larry Young: That cover by your nephew? That was excellent. Fit your tone 100%. Tell us how that came about.

tombelandtsstg: I'll tell him you said so, Larry. He was so cool about it. It was fucking awesome to get him to do it.

tombelandtsstg: I really felt like my Dad when I was working with him on the cover.

tombelandtsstg: So, that particular cover is emotional for me

Larry Young: Those of us following your work thought it was just so... precious. "Precious" with no sarcasm, you know? Just fit it excellently. And then to find out he was a young boy... Gosh, I just melted. And I'm a big scary man, apparently. :) And I thought it was just awesome.

tombelandtsstg: Yeah, I thought that since the initial idea was to have the first four pages in crayon, I'd have a kid do the cover

Brian Cronin: : And yes, that is the problem discussing Tom's work. You have to use words and make sure people know you don't mean them ironically.

tombelandtsstg: No, I'm very cool with precious. I'm not weirded-out by someone using sweet words with my work

tombelandtsstg: I think the readers have a tougher time with it than I do. LOL

Brian Cronin: : Yeah, that's what I meant! Readers and people who go to praise you..

tombelandtsstg: I think it takes a lot to tell someone their work made you cry or laugh, or made you think of someone you loved. I've come to understand that reaction to my work now.

Brian Cronin: : I always feel like saying, "I don't mean this in a bad way!" :)

Larry Young: Absolutely! The world is so cynical, now, everyone assumes Tom's sort of thing has an agenda, or is a post-modern ironic commentary on the schism on gender issues or something... and it's like... "No! It's honest,/I>! and... pire, you jackasses!" "It's a 'True Story! Swear To God!'"

tombelandtsstg: I think I appreciate someone telling me their emotions tied in with my work... more than they can ever understand.

Brandon Hanvey: : Tom, along with a bunch of others, opened my eyes to making comics at APE 2002.

Paploo the Ewok: : It reminds me that there's an entire genre of comics meant to be "soothing/charming" in Japan.

Paploo the Ewok: : I forget the exact term. Whimsy is the best English term.

Larry Young: I wish there was an English term for "soothing/charming." That'd be great.

Brian Cronin: : Let's just make one up right now.

Brian Cronin: : It's choothing.

tombelandtsstg: Well, I think if you're trying to just shovel sweetness to your audience, they'll lose you quick.

Brandon Hanvey: : I don't take offense when people call my work simple since that is what I'm going for.

tombelandtsstg: 'Simplistic" is what my style was originally labeled and I took offense to it. But now I can totally see their point.

Brandon Hanvey: : Is EPSN SportsCenter still your favorite TV Show?

tombelandtsstg: "Pardon the Interruption "is on my list.

tombelandtsstg: "The Office" is my favorite overall

Brandon Hanvey: : The British version?

tombelandtsstg: The new one on NBC is every bit as good as the British version.

Brandon Hanvey: : I like "My name is Earl."

Larry Young: "My Name Is Earl" is my favorite show from this year.

Paploo the Ewok: : I'm only watching "American Dad." Because I watch next to no live action stuff.

tombelandtsstg: My friend from high school is the director for "Drawn Together."

tombelandtsstg: I'm also a Food Network junkie.

tombelandtsstg: I used to watch "Iron Chef" back in the Bay Area when they'd have it on the Japanese station, with English subtitles.

Brandon Hanvey: : Do you like "Good Eats?"

tombelandtsstg: Yes. Alton Brown is my God.

Brandon Hanvey: : I thank Mr. Brown a lot a since Nicole makes a lot of his recipes.

tombelandtsstg: We went to New York and the highlight was eating at Bobby Flay's restaurant "Mesa Grill."

Brian Cronin: : "My Name Is Earl," I think, shares some qualities with "True Story"...

tombelandtsstg: I think "Earl" is a bit like "100 Stories."

Brian Cronin: : Oh, sure, fair point, Tom. "100 Stories" does match better.

Larry Young: So, Tom... who plays you in the movie? Who plays lily? Do a theatrical cast, and A TV cast. :)

Brandon Hanvey: : Maybe Philip Seymour Hoffman as Tom?

Larry Young: Me, I like Bruce Willis for Tom and Penelope Cruz for Lily.

tombelandtsstg: Who's the guy playing Truman Capote..? I think he could play me.

Brandon Hanvey: : Philip Seymour Hoffman

tombelandtsstg: Yes. He'd have to shave his head, but he could do it. Or Terry Bradshaw.

tombelandtsstg: When I had press passes for the Niners/Cowboys game... I was mistaken for Bradshaw by the fans. I even posed with the cheerleaders for a photo.

Larry Young: You were mistaken for Bradshaw?

tombelandtsstg: LOL∑Yes!

tombelandtsstg: Also Jay Buhner from the Mariners

Larry Young: You know Bruno puts the Pabst and the Jack and the steak away like you do... and Penelope Cruz has the regal bearing Lily exhibits without seeming off-putting. You know i am right. :)

FantomasPR: I bet Hollywood would cast either Salma Hayek or Michelle Rodriguez as Lilly.

Brian Cronin: : Or, like, Rita Moreno

Brian Cronin: : "What, I don't care that she's 70 years old!"

Larry Young: You would have no problem interviewing Michelle Rodriguez for the role, no? You would have to ask me to accompany you instead of Lily, though, to you know, ensure accuracy.

tombelandtsstg: Hey Larry.. my lightsaber is still going strong.

Larry Young: I can't believe your lightsaber made it, and the Thor helmet did not.

tombelandtsstg: I know man... the Thor helmet soooooo fucking rocked.

tombelandtsstg: AND it fit perfect

Larry Young: http://www.ait-planetlar.com/resources/thorlar.jpg

tombelandtsstg: I still have the hammer and costume.

FantomasPR: I bet they change the script so that Lilly shoots Tom's Playstation with an M-16.

Brandon Hanvey: : Do you have a TiBo to record US shows in PR?

tombelandtsstg: No TiVo here. but we get all the networks

Brandon Hanvey: : Is "SportsCenter" still on very early in the morning PR time?

tombelandtsstg: Yes. Actually it's also on all morning. They repeat it.

tombelandtsstg: Hey Larry.. what's extra on the "Demo" trade? Sketch pages?

Brian Cronin: : No extras, right?

Brian Cronin: : Just the story, I think Brian said.

tombelandtsstg: Really? Someone told me there were sketches

Brian Cronin: : Sketches would be cool. But the stories themselves are cool, too.

Larry Young: Re: DEMO: no extras. All the extras were in the singles, to sell those. There's a new intro by Bri and Becky, but, other than that, it's just the stories in one place. The extras were a thing we gave the single issue guys. AiT/Planet Lar does everything different. :)

tombelandtsstg: If they could give me Cory Walker, I'd gladly write a team up series after Kirkman left.

Brian Cronin: : Did you answer the one about how you ended up with Cory?

Brian Cronin: : Did Marvel assign him?

tombelandtsstg: Yes, Marvel assigned him. He's been enjoying the story.

FantomasPR: So tell us what's coming up on TSSTG.

tombelandtsstg: The next issue of TSSTG will focus on my first trip to a comics convention with my mini comics.

tombelandtsstg: The major people in this issue are Keith Knight and Joe Ferrrara.

Brandon Hanvey: : Will Larry be drawn into a future issue of TSSTG?

Larry Young: "Will Larry be drawn into a future issue of TSSTG?" Larry wants to know the answer to this, too. :)

tombelandtsstg: LOL.. if it goes that long. Mmmmmm I can draw Mimi.....mmmMMMmmmm...

tombelandtsstg: Maybe it's just me.. but I always feel a bit odd when I'm drawing the boobies of someone I know.

Brad Curran: Strangers are okay?

tombelandtsstg: LOL! You bet!

tombelandtsstg: It's just a weird feeling. I always expect the woman's boyfriend/husband to go "Okay, enough of that."

Brad Curran: Has anyone commented on your drawing of their boobies?

tombelandtsstg: Surprisingly, women love how I draw their boobies.

Brad Curran: They are the final arbiters of boobie opinions.

Brad Curran: I like that you call them boobies, so I can say it in response to you.

tombelandtsstg: There's a comedian here named Raymond who had a TV show locally. He used to have these go-go dancers with body paint on them. My job was to paint on the dancers' bodies.

FantomasPR: Will Desiree be drawn into an issue of TSSTG? That is what I want to know!

tombelandtsstg: Actually, Desi's boobies are not what do it for me. She has great eyes, great smile and a devastatingly sexual neck. LOL

FantomasPR: http://www.desireelowry.com/dl/somos/desiree/index.asp

tombelandtsstg: Okay, everyone click on that link and witness Desi.

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Tom & Lily
tombelandtsstg: LOL.. Lily knows how she affects me.

tombelandtsstg: She'll always yell "hug my husband... he's in lust with you."

tombelandtsstg: And I'm "ummmm yeah, I am." LOL

Brandon Hanvey: : Does Lily have a crush as well?

tombelandtsstg: She loves men of chocolate skin.

tombelandtsstg: That guy from CSI gets her going.

FantomasPR: How does it feel to live in a place full of Latina babes, heh.

tombelandtsstg: Puerto Rico has some amazingly beautiful women here.

tombelandtsstg: I get quick crushes.. Lily knows I'm visual.

Larry Young: Honestly, as I've spoken to Tom about this... I'm real interested in his story-idea of presenting me. Because Tom's said he was a bit intimidated, as he'd thought I was some sort of comic-producin' ogre of some sort... and I'm such a romantic sap I'll fight anyone who says they're a bigger fan of Tom's work than me. So the fact Tom was scared to meet me (and the fact we're such good pals now), is real funny to me in retrospect.

Larry Young: And, of course, I can't wait to see Tom draw my boobies. :)

Brian Cronin: : Draw Larry with horns!

Brandon Hanvey: : And fire in his eyes.

Brian Cronin: : And a devil goatee.

Brad Curran: And the Thor helmet!

tombelandtsstg: LOL

tombelandtsstg: He just had this angry trucker look to him.

tombelandtsstg: Actually, I've seen young mister Young go off on someone at the con. it was fucking hilarious.

Larry Young: Aw, I was mindin' my own business, really. Some dude made assumption based on his interpretation of some postings of mine on the Internet... and then gave me shit about something I said to a "friend" of his. I kinda don't have patience for that. I said nothing to him, and yet he was offended about something I'd said to someone else, once. C'mon. I'm 42. That kinda thing makes me just sad.

tombelandtsstg: LOL.. Larry it was comic gold. I love the "Let's do this " you were saying to him.

Brandon Hanvey: : Flamewar in person? Hmm...I don't know if I could handle that.

tombelandtsstg: It was the "Tombstone" of the San Diego con

tombelandtsstg: I was drawing this lovely romantic drawing in a trade paperback and I could hear Larry yelling "hey, you came to my table... Let's just do this!"

tombelandtsstg: LOL! I was dying!

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Larry Young, the new Thor?
Larry Young: I'm not shy. Someone wants to throw down... let's go. I don't wear this http://www.ait-planetlar.com/resources/thorlar.jpg for nuthin'. :)

Brandon Hanvey: : Tom how much do you read reviews o your books? Do you every try to respond?

tombelandtsstg: Ummm here's how sad I am... I actually Google my name to see what people are saying.

tombelandtsstg: It's pathetic, but I really am interested in what they think out there.

Brad Curran: You aren't alone.

tombelandtsstg: I just don't let it freak me out, positive or negatively.

FantomasPR: I think you are doing great and all comic collectors that I know here in PR think so too.

tombelandtsstg: PR has been sooooooo good to me. They really have. That was part of what was hard about writing the Vieques issue. I was hoping they wouldn't be offended by what I was saying, but they really were positive.

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Or is CBR's Augie the new Thor?
FantomasPR: But you will always be Lily's husband here!

tombelandtsstg: There was a review of TSSTG in Dutch. I have no clue what they were saying, but I got four stars.

Brandon Hanvey: : Have you ever tried Googlism?

tombelandtsstg: Haven't tried Googlism. Explain!

Brandon Hanvey: : It takes Google search results and makes sentences out of them.

Messchird: I googled your name and I got 148 000 hits. Not bad for a cartoonist.

tombelandtsstg: LOL. My brother did that a few years ago and called to tell me I had so many hits.

Brandon Hanvey: : Alltheweb.com says "Did you mean :: timberland" when searching or Tom Beland.

tombelandtsstg: LOL

Brandon Hanvey: : What are the comic shops like in PR?

tombelandtsstg: They're a lot like the bay area ones.

tombelandtsstg: Not as huge, but they have a big fan base.

FantomasPR: What is strange here in PR is that we get all comics from Diamond, but we seldom get comics from South America or Spain.

Brandon Hanvey: : Tom, have you seen the new Comic Relief yet?

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Perhaps it is Tom Beland who wields the power of thunder!
tombelandtsstg: Yes, I was there last year. There's almost too much room now, but I love it.

Brandon Hanvey: : I still need to check out the new Isotope.

tombelandtsstg: The Norma's comic shop in Barcelona is fantastic.

tombelandtsstg: I'm actually pitching an idea to Marvel tomorrow that, if they take it, could be the greatest look at Doctor Doom you've ever seen.

Larry Young: Tom, my good friend, I have to split. My congratulations on the chat, and I've very glad you're getting the recognition for your work you deserve. Your work is just excellent... and.. Making Comics... better. Nice job!

tombelandtsstg: Okay, Lar, thanks! I'll be doodling some Mimi boobies tonight.

Brandon Hanvey: : Later, Larry.

tombelandtsstg: I mean I'll be working on some research for your appearance...

Larry Young: :)

Brandon Hanvey: : Has Diamond been good to you in terms of your self-publishing?

tombelandtsstg: They've been good to me, I believe, because they enjoy the product.

tombelandtsstg: I don't make a book I wouldn't buy. Really. When I finish an issue, I put it away for a day.

tombelandtsstg: Then, when I read it, I pretend I have three bucks left at the comics shop and try to decide if I buy my book or something great like "Fables" or "100 Bullets."

Brandon Hanvey: : Any advice for creators to get their book in Previews?

tombelandtsstg: Best advice I can give you is make it look professional.

tombelandtsstg: If there's a typo.... if something looks weird in the art... if the story jumps too much... don't send it to Diamond.

tombelandtsstg: You want to give them a great book

tombelandtsstg: Okay guys.. I should probably get some dinner. This was very cool to do. Anytime you want to do it again, just let me know.

Brandon Hanvey: : Thanks for chatting, Tom.

FantomasPR: Muchas gracias Tom!

tombelandtsstg: Talk to y'all again soon!!!

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