Is it weird that the omelets I had in the Marine Corps were the best omelets I’ve ever had? Seriously, I’ve been out for a while now and I have yet to find anywhere that makes omelets as well as those Marines in the chow hall. If nothing else (which is usually the case), chow hall Marines make the best damn omelets you’ll ever have.

Breakfast food in general at the chow hall is usually quite good. Even as far back as boot camp, breakfast will be–by far–the best meal you’ll get out of the day. Whether it’s fresh pancakes, perfect waffles, thick French toast, or a loaded omelet, you won’t be disappointed…

…Until lunch comes around. Your adoration of the perfect breakfast is quickly washed away by the garbage food that replaces it not only a few hours later. Fit for a prison, you’ll find yourself barely able to stomach that pale Taco Tuesday concoction that was lopped onto your plastic tray in a hurry. Dinner doesn’t fair any better, with spaghetti noodles labeled as “chow mein” and god knows what labeled as “food.”

At least there’s always tomorrow morning.

Speaking of tomorrow, don’t forget that I’ll be at Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica for our official The White Donkey launch event! Come say hi!

It’s not his fault, Staff NCO’s actually naturally communicate at higher decibel levels.

They say the loudest weapon organic to the infantry is the SMAW rocket launcher, but that’s only sort of true. The standard issue Staff NCO actually has a natural speaking voice louder than the Assaultman MOS classic, but he’s not classified as a “weapon” technically (though his knife-hands actually are). If there’s one thing to be said about the Marine Corps in general, it’s that yelling in general is some pretty common shit. In boot camp, you actually get so used to people just screaming in your face for no apparent reason that you become pretty desensitized to it by the time you leave the Depot.

I apologize for the recycled comic (if you read the Marine Corps Times, anyway), it’s just been a crazy busy last couple of weeks with the book launch and everything going on around here. Hopefully things will calm down after this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, I will be at Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica on Saturday at 7pm! There’s a special VIP hour for Kickstarter backers only starting at 6pm, so come by and say hi!

The Marine Corps is an organization of many customs and traditions. It values and reveres the courtesies and rich history of those that came and served before them. Some traditions take the form of dress uniforms and various greetings of the day. Others are just confusing, like the one that says that the trucks always have to be comically late to pick you up from the armory prior to a field op.

There’s plenty of other traditions too, such as the motivated new lieutenant that thinks he can change the platoon and improve morale, or the one guy that will always lose at least one piece of serialized gear during your 3 day field op, forcing your platoon to stay for another 7 hours later than you were supposed to.

These traditions form the foundation of the Marine Corps, and your senior enlisted hold them dear to their hearts. This can lead to frustration amongst the junior enlisted Marines, but the ones that stick around and reenlist will eventually carry on the torch. They will rise to the occasion and make sure things stay exactly as they are.

It is tradition.

On a personal note, I feel like this comic strip goes back to a kind of classic Terminal Lance form. A comic about the little things and the absurdity. I’m trying to get back into that mode, as I feel like with the strip’s massive success, there’s a lot of pressure to make every strip the most profound and meaningful literary masterpiece of cultural critique that is impossible to live up to. Terminal Lance is about the life of the grunt, which is a life ripe with the littlest of things.

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HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS ITS HERE!

Today is April 19th, the official release date of The White Donkey (again)! You can find it in stores everywhere starting today!

This book was a long and arduous journey to see to completion, and I’m immensely happy to be working with Little, Brown & Co. in putting the book out to a broader audience. I have no one else to thank other than the fans of Terminal Lance that have kept coming around here twice a week and reading my rambling, and especially those that backed the Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. The book wouldn’t be where it is today (everywhere) if it weren’t for you guys, so from the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your support over the years, even when things were dragging on substantially.

No one has ever made a graphic novel like this.

This is the first and only graphic novel about Iraq and the personal journey of going to war, written and illustrated by an Iraq veteran.

My experience in Iraq wasn’t the kinetic action experience that so many Marines hope to live up to before they get there. The tales of Phantom Fury permeated the backdrop of arriving in Fallujah in 2007, and while the buildings carried the haunting ghosts of war in their tattered remains, actually being there was nothing like I was expecting. In The White Donkey I don’t seek to tell an action story, because that wasn’t an accurate reflection of my experience in the middle east. Instead, I wanted to explore the personal journey and the existential crisis of the experience of the Marine Corps itself. The White Donkey is the culmination of not only my short, single-term enlistment, but my observations as the creator of Terminal Lance itself–a rather privileged position at this point.

The White Donkey is the story of the Marine grunt. It is not heroic, action-packed or glamorous. It is the mundane, the funny, the horrifying, the beautiful, and the torturous.

I hope you enjoy it.

Buy The White Donkey here:

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I’m just gonna come right out and say it: pull-ups are harder for us tall people.

Yup.

That’s right.

Suck a dick.

When I was in boot camp, our platoon guide was a 300 PFTer, which is why he was guide, because running a 300 PFT is obviously indicative of your leadership abilities. Never mind the fact that he UNQ’d on the rifle range twice (I would argue shooting things is a valuable skill that Marines should be good at), but he could crank out 40 or 50 pull-ups without batting an eye.

Of course, he was about 5′ 5″ and 150 lbs of raw muscle. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that, more power to him and his physical prowess, but when you’re naturally tall and lanky, it’s frustrating to try and measure up to something that is literally impossible for your body type. That’s not to say that tall people can’t do 20 pull-ups, it just means that the ratio of muscle, weight and training is much harder to accomplish. I’m the type of guy that has to actively work on keeping mass or else I actually get thinner. It’s a blessing and a curse, as I will most likely never be obese, but when I skip the gym I end up losing what little gainz I can accomplish.

All of this is to say that pull-ups as an exercise are a really great measurement of upper body strength to weight ratio. The only issue is that, when you’re over 6 feet tall, you need enough muscle mass to “pull-up” around 200 lbs. A shorter person that can do twenty pull-ups is actually pulling up exponentially less weight than someone that is taller.

Strangely, I can do more pull-ups now than I ever could when I was active duty, but that’s beside the point. Yeah, I just spent an entire comic and blog post bitching about pull ups.

Deal with it.

In other news, if you’re in Santa Monica on April 30th, we’re throwing an official launch party for The White Donkey at Hi De Ho Comics! I’ll be there! It will be fun! Come by! There’s also a special VIP hour for The White Donkey Kickstarter backers. If you backed the Kickstarter a few years back, show up an hour early for the exclusive festivities.

Speaking of, there’s still about 300 of you that haven’t updated your address with me. I will not mail out your book until you do so, and I can’t hold onto these books forever. If you pledged over $40 and still haven’t received your book, you need to email me at kickstarter@terminallance.com so we can get you sorted out!

Lastly, don’t forget that the book officially launches on Tuesday! April 19th! Order from any of these locations:

Clearly, this is a case of the cock-watch getting his sweet revenge.

They say that the only certainty in life is death. I would argue that for Marines there’s a few more, such as mind-numbing boredom and a mandatory urinalysis after your return from a leave block. With that said, it always blows my mind when Marines actually do “pop” on the urinalysis (positive for drugs). It’s not like it’s a secret, everyone knows that within a few days of returning home you’re going to be tested.

It goes without saying that the Marine Corps and the military at large has a zero tolerance policy for drug use, which you’d think would be common sense, but I’ve personally witnessed a Gunny get busted down to Lance Corporal for cocaine use in Hawaii. Obviously there’s lesser drugs to worry about as well, and while the nation scrambles to figure out the legalities of a certain one, it could still end bad for you if you’re caught.

Still, the mandatory urinalysis is an event in its own right. Marines gather around the company office, standing around and waiting to pee in a cup in the presence of their beloved NCO’s. The worst part is that they always seem to spring it on you right after you’ve already taken your morning piss. You’ll see Marines pounding water down, trying to build up enough liquid excrement to adequately fill up the cup.

No one actually knows how full the cup is supposed to be, but don’t be the one that can only squeeze out a few drops, or else you’ll be sent to the back of the line to try again.

Terminal Lance has a policy on remaining apolitical, especially during these tumultuous election seasons. If you pay any attention to your Facebook feed, you probably noticed that your friends are fervently tribal lately, like a seasonal form of rabies that only comes around every 4 years. People are staunchly divided amongst party lines, with the only candidates to choose from being a socialist, bigoted billionaire, religious fanatic, and a corrupt politician.

The population of the United States is around 320 million individuals, and you’re telling me there was really no one else more qualified?

I think there is, and plenty of people agree. If there’s one person who can unify the country and bring balance to the force, it’s General James Mattis.

Of course, General Mattis has no intention of actually running, because he’s an intelligent and good, normal person with common sense. There’s a certain level of sociopathy and ego that I think is required in order to fully embrace the belief that oneself will and should be leader of the free world.

I don’t care what side you’re on and who you’re voting for, but we can all agree on one thing:

General Mattis would be a kick ass President.

If you sat down with any Marine in the Corps and asked them the story of how they came to enlist, you would surely and eventually be met with the ubiquitous sentence:

“Fuck it, I’mma join the Marine Corps.”

This is the story of every Marine, past present and future. I realized this as I was chatting with another Marine the other day on how he ended up in the Corps. Those were his exact words, and usually are the exact words of every Marine you’ll ever talk to about it.

Enlisting is an intensely personal experience, and it’s one that you must come to terms with on your own. Of course there’s the typically cliche responses like “I wanted to serve my country,” and “bitches love Marines,” but I would argue that most Marines enter into the Corps as part of a much more intense, personal journey. There’s much mental deliberation and anxiety involved in the decision to talk to a recruiter, but eventually, everyone always comes to the same conclusion…

Fuck it, I’mma join the Marine Corps.

The rest is history.

Terminal Specialist? What’s going on?

Sorry I didn’t mention anything about this sooner, but I wanted to keep this a surprise.

A few weeks ago I was approached by some PAO reps from the US Army, and they asked if I’d be interested in making a comic strip about the Army. I told them that was weird, and that I didn’t know anything about the Army, but they insisted and offered me a lot of money. Well, I took the money, and am now going to be doing a comic strip twice a week called Terminal Specialist!

I don’t really know anything about the Army, so the strip will more than likely revolve around totally unrelated shit like the new recurring character, Shamrock Shammer! He’s Irish as fuck.

I’d also like to announce that I’m working on a new graphic novel called “Terminal Specialist: The White Guy.” It’s a more serious tone than the webcomic, but I think you guys will really like it. Look forward to the hardcover version soon!

Happy April 1st, and look forward to more Terminal Specialist on Tuesday!

Hooah!

From the desert sands of the west, to the dusky mires of the east, Marines and service members everywhere feel the presence of the great Green Weenie. The Eye is always watching… Waiting… None can escape its wrath… Its terror… Its malice.

Even after your EAS date, the Green Weenie continues to loom its shadowy shaft over your life as you try to claim your VA benefits. Whether its registering for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, or trying to claim a disability with the VA, or even just trying to make an appointment to see a doctor… The Green Weenie will be there.

In all seriousness, the VA (Veteran’s Administration) is notorious for its problems. You know things are pretty bad when veterans are literally lighting themselves on fire outside of a VA clinic. It’s a truly unfortunate reality that every veteran faces when they separate from active duty, as their benefits are locked behind a wall of bureaucracy and convolution that makes many not even want to bother with it. Even something as simple as a suicide hotline is often inept and useless. To make matters worse, people at the top are often too busy jerking off to actually try and change anything.

For what it’s worth, I think myself and most veterans understand that it’s certainly not the fault of the everyday employee at the bottom. This is an ongoing issue that is much larger than that, and needs to be dealt with from the top, with actual legislation and improvements to the VA itself. Unfortunately, Congress would rather make cuts to VA programs that are designed to help veterans, like the Post 9/11 GI Bill, instead of improving it.

You may only be active duty for 4 years, but the Green Weenie will stay with you forever.

On a lighter note, I’m really, tremendously excited to announce that The White Donkey will be available for purchase at MCX and AAFES retail locations across the military! The book is due out on April 19th in hardcover, stay tuned to Terminal Lance for more details about book signings and such!

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You can preorder the book at Barnes & Noble, Hastings and Amazon now!