I don’t really need to review True Story, Swear to God v.2 #1. I’ve made my feelings about Tom Beland’s autobiographical, slice-of-life romance comic known time and time again. I adore True Story, and I relate to much of what Beland explores in the book. I’m thrilled that his self-published comic series is about to reach a wider audience with the release of a relaunch through Image Comics. It’s bound to boost True Story‘s profile significantly, hopefully appealing to the cartooning fans of such other Image titles as Liberty Meadows and PvP.
So no, this is not a review of the new debut issue. Instead, I want to explore a question that’s rather unique to this comic series: is True Story the same series that it was when it began? And the truth is that no, it’s not the same book, but it has nothing to do with how Beland writes it now, how he illustrates it or how he markets it.
The change comes in the perspective of some of his readers, namely, those who are aware of the shift in Beland’s life today, as opposed to the past experiences that unfold in the comic. Beland announced this year that he and wife Lily Garcia had split, albeit on amicable terms. Developments in the creators’ personal lives are never a concern when it comes to one’s enjoyment of their comic-book storytelling, but in this case, it does have an effect. You see, True Story is, among other things, a romance comic, and now, the readership knows the ending it was expecting for the autobio title will not come to pass.