The first incarnation of Truth Serum was as a 7cm x 9cm mini comic, with a full-color cover, cardboard backing and wrapped in tinfoil. Offered for free, mainly via mailorder,there was only one taker (pity-filled family members excluded). In fairness to the lack of consumer response, the ads posted around local towns were fairly enigmatic and mentioned nothing about mini comics.
The second issue had an acetate cover and a fold-out comic. Also free, this proved as undesireable as the previous issue. The third issue was never completed.
Aside from these extremely limited mini comics, the real first appearance of any of the Truth Serum characters was in Jungle Boy Press' Novavolo Annual 2001. In a short story we inked, we took the opportunity to insert Mr. Lipp, Lester and Herschel. Can you spot them in this panel?
In January of 2002 Slave Labor Graphics began publishing the bimonthly 3-issue Truth Serum series. Though it received nothing but positive reviews, sales at no point reflected this.
TRUTH SERUM #1 set the size for this series at 17cm x 20.5cm. The cover, though often referred to as black & white, does in fact have a blueish tone to it. The original unpublished cover was much different, but Slave Labor requested, for the benefit of sales, that it be remade entirely. We obliged.
TRUTH SERUM #2 was particularly popular with its cover, an homage to DC Comics' Blue Devil #1. We'd intended for this issue to be printed at the standard comic size, but Slave Labor opposed this idea. To accomodate this, we redesigned the already-designed cover, reluctantly adding a halftone pattern around the image. The back cover featured a not-so-subtle commentary on our publisher's sales tactics.
TRUTH SERUM #3 is our most favorite of the covers, though Slave Labor took issue with the title resting so low. They requested it be placed higher, even though doing so would destroy the design of the cover. We compromised, agreeing to place their name at the top.
Italian publisher Alta-Fedelta translated and published this collection of the Slave Labor series. Designed and sort of relettered by the author, this featured an exclusive story, showcasing Captain Force's evil twin, Ecrofni Aptac.
It seems likely that a lot of our jokes were probably lost in the translation. But we'll never know.
Not to be confused with our earlier endeavor of the very same name, this 24-page mini was produced exclusively for the 2005 Alternative Press Expo, and was in fact the only item we had for sale at our enormous table. Get a copy in our store.
Our fist item published under the City Cyclops moniker, this 128-page book collects the original Slave Labor series as well as a long-running story that appeared on the Dark Horse Comics website. We also included a fair portion of brand new material.
Now in it's second printing, complete with corrections and fewer miscalculations, this book has been nominated for two Eisner awards - Best Humor Publication and Best Graphic Album-Reprint.
Our second Truth Serum book, this was originally serialized on the Dark Horse Comics site, in a far less impressive form. Through a painful comedy of errors, the original cover stock for this book proved too thick to fold without tearing. Unfortunately this was not discovered until the binding process, leaving us with an enormous stack of printed but unfolded covers. And costing us unsighhtly amounts of money. Good times.
The third Truth Serum book, this one collects the weekly strip, as well as some other things. It's 48-pages, perfect bound, full-color and wrapped with a bellyband. It was produced exclusively for the 2008 Alternative Press Expo, with a limited print run of 150 copies. This was possibly our most trying book to publish, for reasons too lengthy and painful to detail here. Trust us that it's worthy of a pity purchase.