True Story, Swear to God #16

The latest issue of this true-life romance comic takes on a new but equally inspiring subject: becoming a comics professional.

Tom is attending his first convention as a professional with his first three minicomics. The experience is a life-changing one, running a gamut of emotion. It’s a wonderful portrayal of all the best parts of the comic business, including the way he’s welcomed into the community.

Keith Knight (The K Chronicles) mentors Tom from the next table over, demonstrating the helping hand of an established professional to a newcomer. He shares some clever tips and more importantly, the need to commit and treat this as a business.

Tom becomes part of a community much bigger than he is, and in only 28 pages, he covers a gamut of emotion: fearful anticipation, commitment to his art, positive envy, being starstruck, and the wonder of having someone believe in you. He makes it all real to the reader because it’s real to him.

An aspiring or new comic creator could do a lot worse than to read this issue. It sums up a lot of hard-won lessons in an entertaining fashion. You probably won’t wind up being invited to share drinks with Frank Miller and Jeff Smith, but you can learn from the experience of those who go before you.

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