True Story, Swear to God Moves to Image

Newsarama (link no longer available) is reprinting a message board post from Tom Beland that states that his series True Story, Swear to God is moving from self-publishing to Image Comics.

Key facts: Issue #17 will be the last under Beland’s Clib’s Boy label. The series will restart with a #1 issue at Image by August. With the additional publisher support, Beland hopes to bring the series out monthly.

Regarding the collected editions, Beland says (at the message board thread) that he will not be renewing his contract with AIT/Planet Lar (currect publisher of the trade paperbacks). Instead, he wants to do an omnibus collection (in similar format to an Essential) of issues 1-17 with Image.

That means that those of us who like the book format will have to rebuy the material from the first two collections in order to get issues 12-17 with a spine, which makes for two strikes against this idea. Aside from the additional cost, I prefer sturdier, smaller volumes over mammoth, hard-to-handle omnibus books.

14 Responses to “True Story, Swear to God Moves to Image”

  1. Joshua Macy Says:

    I like omnibus editions, and since I didn’t buy either of the first trades, this sounds like good news to me.

  2. Ray Cornwall Says:

    I’m also an Omnibus fan, so I’ll buy this. However, it’s never a good mood to piss off the fans that brought you to the big dance (or in this case, the Big I). I suspect a problem with AIT…

  3. Johanna Says:

    Joshua, sure, and part of Beland’s reason for moving seems to be hoping to attract many new readers like you. As Ray points out, though, there can be a perceived issue if series seem to be chasing new readers to the point of mistreating the old ones.

    The bigger question does seem to be “just what is going on with AIT, with so many books leaving?”

  4. John Says:

    Darn, I was really looking forward to the next volume of TS:STG, and hoping it would be out soon! My comic supplier doesn’t handle the comics, so I really look forward to the trade paperbacks.

    I am not a fan of the omnibus editions, either. I love Calvin & Hobbes, but there was no way I was going to buy those monstrous editions.

    As for AIT, I am not surprised at all…

    Have a nice day, JOHN :0)

  5. Barry Says:

    The omnibus format is always a little iffy. It’s nice when it collects a series like Watchman or hopefully Darwin Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier. But in this particular instance you feel like kind of a sucker for buying the single issues AND the trades and then hey, here’s another thing you should spend your money on if you want a trade of the last few issues.

    In any case, I’ve kinda lost interest in the series, so I may just buy until the last issue of the current run and drop it from there on out .

  6. JennyN Says:

    Hmm, this sounds a bit like the comments I posted on the re-release of CASTLE WAITING a week or so back – that is, having to buy a new and expensive collection/edition/whatever in order to get a very few extras.

    I seem to remember that someone then commented they didn’t mind spending – I think it was around $20 – for something they enjoyed. May I say here, that only holds good in the US (if we’re talking about US comics). Those of us in further-flung regions have to consider shipping charges and exchange rates, which can more than double the local price of a given item. Which in turn can lead to not buying said item…

  7. John Says:

    Good point, Jenny!

    Shopping on the web is easy, and selling on the web is a necessity for some of us, but those shipping rates ad up. If you are only buying one book, the shipping rate is mentally added to the price of that book, and that can really hurt.

    Shipping rates are supposed to go up soon, and I’m already wondering how that will affect this business.

    BTW I read the full report from Tom Beland. Is he really that humble :0)

  8. Johanna Says:

    Barry, if you haven’t picked up #16 yet, and you’re thinking the series is in a rut, you should do so. It’s a stand-alone about the magic of comics that really inspired me.

    Jenny, that’s why I also pointed out that I don’t like the phonebook format in general — in the other case you refer to, it could be seen as “trading up” to a hardcover. Here, though, I’m concerned about what the paper quality and binding will look like. Beland compared what he’s aiming for to the Jack Staff 12-issue book, and with that, if I’m remembering correctly, the pages were a little flimsy.

    You’re right, of course, about exchange rates and shipping not being favorable for the non-US fan.

  9. JennyN Says:

    Re CW – Johanna, you’re right, I’d forgotten it’s a hardback. I might pick up the paperback version if one ever comes out.

  10. Tom Beland Says:

    Two TSSTG trades will be shipping this year from Image.

    The first trade will be collecting issues 1-6 of the Image series.

    The second trade is paperback, which collects 1-17 of my self-published series. I don’t think we’re messing with the readers for this reason. While there ARE two trades out there collecting issues 1-11… these two trades have been nearly impossible to find in stores. I can’t tell you how many retailers were asking me where they could find CHANCES ARE, for instance. I’d get an email about that book and all I could say is “contact the publiser.”

    When we looked at making a trade for issues 12-17, we truly felt we should give those readers who can never find those trades to have the opportunity to have those books all in one trade. The retailers have given us great feedback, since they’re the ones who are trying to supply books to readers that are difficult to find.

    As far as the quality of the trade… I have several trades of Essentials that are in great shape. Of course, I’m not real tough on books, so I’m not sure what the test IS for books like this. The price, I believe, won’t be exceeding $20. Considering readers are picking up 17 issues (21, if you take into consideration the first four issues were 48-pages each), I’m not sure how it is I’m mistreating my core readership.

    Issues 12-17 should be available on backorder from Diamond… so if you’re looking for those issues, you have no more than ask your retailer.

    I’d never do anything to jilt my fan base… but you should also take into consideration that many of my oldest readers felt jilted when I went from the comic strip mini-comics to a comic book series… lol. So, I can’t make every decision and fear my audience is going to freak-out by those decisions. All I can do is take into consideration what my full audience is trying to find and supply a product that will make the majority happy.


    -Tom Beland

  11. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, Tom.

  12. Tom Beland Says:

    No problem! I’m really excited about this trade.

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