Earlier today a gentleman named Jeb stopped by Flying Colors ask a few questions about an "art object" he had found.
It's a Tom "True Story Swear To God" Beland sketchbook from 1980. I'm still not 100% sure if Jeb wants to sell this book, or whether this is something that would hold a great deal of sentimental value for Tom Beland.
But it's a cool item, regardless, as it gives us a look into the pre-history of a cartoonist and writer that has only found some acclaim in the last couple of years.
Being that this sketchbook is close to 30 years old, it shows where Tom was as a cartoonist at that time--- aping two of the most popular syndicated cartoonists of that time, Lynn Johnston of "For Better or For Worse" fame and Garry "Doonesbury" Trudeau, listening to Kenny Loggins, Dan Fogelberg and Barry Manilow, while also trying to find his voice and style as a gag writer/cartoonist.
The hardcover, plain brown sketchbook is full of maybe 100 or so pages of one-panel gags, poems and/or song lyrics, and random doodles. I know Tom has done many of these over the years, but this one really looks to me like a "cartoonist origin story", some very early stuff that die-hard fans might love, but that Tom might either miss dearly or seriously cringe if he ever saw it again.
(Hey, Tom! Are you reading this? I know you let this book go at one time, but are you interested in having it back again? Or should Jeb put this on the market and see what he can get for it?)