Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Confirmed Badass”

January 13, 2017

So as I’m sure you all heard one way or another, unless you get your news exclusively from webcomics, General Mattis is one step closer to confirmation today by receiving his waiver from congress to be the next Secretary of Defense. This followed his great confirmation hearing yesterday with the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he knife-handed everyone to near-death.

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Luckily no one was injured and everyone walked away with twice as much testosterone according to some preliminary blood work done immediately following.

Okay, this is seriously the last comic I’m going to do on General Mattis for a while. It’s fun but the joke gets old when every military outlet is foaming at the mouth with General Mattis memes and stories. He’s amazing, we all know. I’m really excited to see how the military community as a whole embraces him as their new leader. This is the first time that I can think of where everyone is universally happy and absolutely adores their leader. It’s kind of weird, honestly, but I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

Legends and memes aside, General Mattis is hands-down the most qualified person on earth for the job. So if you’re worried… Don’t be.

Duffelblog creator Paul Szoldra and myself talked about this and some other topics in a test-run podcast we recorded over the weekend, check it out and let us know if you enjoy it (or hate it).

ALSO, the lovely girls over at Pin-Ups for Vets wanted me to tell you that there’s going to be a pretty rad event on January 21st that they’re hosting. It’s free to veterans and active duty, so come on by! I might even make a surprise appearance.

Flyer - The Salute & Boogie-1

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #452 “Defense Mechanism”

January 10, 2017

 

In Abe’s defense, his company First Sergeant hasn’t shown to historically be the most friendly toward his kind.

There’s very few reasons for a Lance Corporal to be in a First Sergeant’s office at all, and at least half of those reasons involve cleaning the floors. Generally speaking, Lance Corporals should never talk to anyone over the rank of Sergeant unless something is terribly wrong. This is why fraternization rules are so important. Why the hell would you want to hang out with a Staff NCO anyway? Doesn’t seem to stop some, but to each their own.

The relationship between Staff NCO’s and the lower enlisted variety is often one of significant give and take. They give you shit and you take it. This leads to one ultimate outcome: you either get out after 4 years because you don’t like taking shit, or you reenlist so you can inevitably give shit to someone else (and enjoy it immensely).

Naturally, I chose the former, which brought us to this webcomic.

Plenty more to come, stay tuned…

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “New Joins”

January 6, 2017

Well it’s finally happened you guys. Yesterday, the first female infantry Marines checked into 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune.

Now they finally get to understand the prestige of being a grunt in the United States Marine Corps. They’ll get to do such intense physical activities as standing by in their rooms or cleaning weapons at the armory for 7 hours for no particular reason. They’ll spend a bunch of time standing around waiting for formations because First Sergeant and the CO are always late. They’ll completely stop giving a fuck about their careers after a couple of years and do the bare minimum to pass PFT’s and ranges because they just don’t care anymore and their cutting score is fucked anyway.

Welcome to being a grunt.

You’ve earned it.

It’s been a long and controversial journey, one that I don’t think is ultimately going to really change much of anything in the long run, despite keyboard scholars proclaiming otherwise. I was in the Marine Corps infantry myself, and I can tell you that it isn’t spec-ops. Not every grunt can fireman carry another 250 lb Marine in full gear. I had a Marine in my platoon that weighed 120 lbs soaking wet, and there’s no way he could have carried me or anyone else out of a danger zone.

However, there’s ten-thousand other things this Marine could have done in that situation, such as operate a radio or a machine-gun. So don’t worry, the gruntpocalypse isn’t happening quite yet, I’m sure.

We’ll see if these changes stick with the incoming administration, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t. But who knows! If you’re with 1/8 and you have some insight on this story, please shoot me an email off the record and let me know how it’s going.

Maximilian

Creator

7th Anniversary

January 5, 2017

I have some good news…

Not only did we all make out of 2016 alive, but we made it to see the 7th birthday of Terminal Lance! January 5th marks the official birthday of Terminal Lance, when I posted the first comic strip. Who would have ever guessed, 7 years ago, that a fun comic about the Marine Corps would go as far as it has, with a massive social media fanbase, New York Times best selling graphic novel, and millions of visitors every month.

I wanted to take a moment to go through the last 7 years and pick my favorite comic strips from each one. I know you all have your personal favorites, but here are mine…

2010-07-09-strip_50_nam_web

Terminal Lance #50 “I’m Putting You Up for One” is still my favorite comic of the original 2010 “Golden Age” TL comics. Back then, I was just starting college on my Post 9/11 GI Bill, Abe and Garcia didn’t even exist yet, and comics about Iraq were still relevant to most of my readers. I love this strip because it does two things particularly well: it has a solid joke (giving NAM’s to anyone like candy) and points out an important issue (giving NAM’s to anyone like candy except grunts).

2011-03-04-strip_110_the_swarm_web

Terminal Lance #110 “Bootcamp: The Swarm” in 2011 was really an ode to the great Normal Rockwell. I’m partial to this comic mostly because it does a great job of illustrating a solid joke, recognizable immediately to any Marine that’s been to boot camp, without any dialog whatsoever. It’s also a good experimentation of panels and layout, something that I always want to do more of. (For anyone looking for a great book that really breaks down comics, check out this book by Scott McCloud, it will change your life if you’re a comic artist).

2012-01-27-strip_175_back_home_web

Terminal Lance #175 “Back Home” came in right at the beginning of 2012, but it’s one of my top strips of all time. This strip really encapsulates a lot of what The White Donkey was about, but in a much shorter form. It addresses the disconnect between Marines and their extraordinary lives with the people you leave behind at home, and how it can be difficult to adjust. As a two-time Iraq veteran, this is something I dealt with myself.

2013-05-28-strip_memorial_day_2013_web

This strip from Memorial Day 2013 really encapsulated (with the help of Chesty Puller’s timeless phantom) the ongoing struggle of much of the veteran community that persists in this heated political environment. As Chesty mentions, both sides are right. While it’s important to honor and remember those that came before us and the struggles and sacrifices they endured, freedom is what they fought for. It’s possible to do both, and I don’t think our fallen brethren would ask any more of us than that.

2014-04-11-strip_316_dress_blue_rip_web

He fucking died, man. Terminal Lance #316 “Dress Blue Alpha Male” from 2014 shows the interesting dichotomy of Terminal Lance–in where I’m making a joke about the Marine Corps but it’s also kind of a humble-brag about how great we all look in dress blues. This is an ongoing struggle with TL, where I have to find the correct balance of shared misery with the pride of being a Marine. The struggle is real. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have done this comic for 7 years if I didn’t, on some level, love my experience in the Corps. On the other hand, I sure as fuck didn’t reenlist. You get the idea.

2015-05-08-strip_378_half_truths_web

He’s not wrong. I love Terminal Lance #378 “Half Truths” because I simply think it’s a perfect joke with a great set up. Obviously it plays into the larger implication that recruiters are full of shit, but I have to reconcile this with the reality that my own recruiter never lied to me at all. He’s right though, you’ll get fucked a lot.

2016-01-08-strip_new_corps_web

I don’t personally believe in nor perpetuate the myth of “Old Corps” and “New Corps.” As they say, Old Corps is whenever you were in and New Corps starts the day you got out for most veterans. However, I think Terminal Lance “New Corps” from 2016 does a good job of depicting the new and sometimes confusing modern society that we live in today. Ultimately, the military is reflective of the times we live in though, and I genuinely think the military has done a better job than most institutions of adapting to the times.

It’s interesting to see how Terminal Lance has changed over the years, and how my own experiences have shifted and molded the comic into what it is today. I make Terminal Lance specifically with the active duty Lance Corporals in mind, and I’ve done it for 7 years now because when I was a Lance Corporal, I wish someone would have done it for me. Before Terminal Lance, nothing like Terminal Lance existed.

Terminal Lance isn’t going anywhere any time soon. In fact… Things are about to get a lot bigger.

Stay tuned, gents.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Goodbye 2016”

January 3, 2017

Congratulations you guys, we all made it out of 2016 alive.

As we enter the new year, please join me in mourning the following things we lost in 2016. Please bow your head out of respect.

marines-desert-marpat

Desert Cammies

 

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Princess Leia

 

harambe

Harambe

Thank you.

The death of desert cammies was a shock to the Marine Corps, and Marines everywhere took it very hard. It’s nothing against Woodlands… They’re cool, I guess… But they just aren’t the same.

In all honesty, 2016 wasn’t a bad year for me personally, despite what the internet keeps saying. I became a New York Times best selling author and got engaged to the girl of my dreams. I expect 2017 to be equally great, as I’ve begun working on a lot of new things–both Terminal Lance and otherwise–that I’m passionate about. Stay tuned, hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be making some cool announcements for some new stuff!

Also, I’d like to apologize for the random redirect ads we’ve been experiencing. Still trying to narrow things down, but hopefully will be resolved shortly.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #451 “Bricks Life III”

December 27, 2016

Just as light cannot exist without dark, OOD’s cannot exist without insane bullshit going on in the barracks to keep them busy. Would there even be a need for an OOD if there weren’t Lance Corporals to fuck with them? No. It is then the responsibility of the barracks Lance Corporal to make sure that government money is being put to good use and give the OOD something to do on Friday nights.

After all, we’ve all had enough 5 hour long PowerPoint presentations on Fraud, Waste and Abuse to know that government resources need to be put to good use.

So buck up, OOD. Just know that we do this to you as a duty to this great nation.

Super late update today, I’m on “leave” myself in Portland visiting family for the holidays, but I’m sure most of you are too drunk on eggnog and PlayStation 4 games to notice. In any case, expect things to return to normal next week.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #450 “Left Behind”

December 20, 2016

It’s that time of year, when Marines find themselves home on holiday leave and somehow busier than they were before they left. What is supposed to be a relaxing stay at home turns into nonstop family dinners, running around visiting everyone, and wishing you would have just stayed back at the barracks.

Of course, no one has to take leave, but when you’re a 20 year old Lance Corporal you don’t really think about it like that. Your first thought is always:

I need to get the fuck out of here.

But staying behind isn’t all that bad, since basically the entire Marine Corps is out for the holidays. You might have to check in with your First Sergeant every morning, if he’s even there, but most likely he isn’t going to give any more of a shit than you do about the plan of the day. The only time I ever stayed back in Hawaii for Christmas leave, I ended up with duty once and we had a single formation of about ten guys. First Sergeant didn’t give a fuck. We all went back to our rooms and played video games while saving up for that delicious Terminal leave.

And never forget… Blue shells are the devil’s cock.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #449 “The Cure-All II”

December 13, 2016

doc pls

Medicine in the military is a funny thing. One great and enticing benefit of serving an enlistment is the free medical.

The bennies bring all the boys to the yard.

Unfortunately, even though we all love Doc, “free medical” usually consists of an all-you-can-eat supply of “Motrin” and straws to suck it the fuck up. If you do get to BAS and make it through the cadre of bored Corpsmen to the point that you actually get to see a doctor, he’ll likely give you a once over, call you a pussy, and send you on your way.

Upon second consideration though, maybe this is how medical care should be for everyone. My fiancee is British and works at the NHS, so I’ve gotten quite the earful of stories of lazy fucks who clog up the emergency room for a common cold to get some free ibuprofen (which is cheap and available over the counter). A random aside, but true nonetheless.

Still though, we love Doc, even though he’s gay.

Doc is always gay.

Anyway, this is one of those strips I wrote a long ass time ago that sat around in my sketchbook. I’ve mentioned it before but I do that all the time. I come up with comics that I’ll never use, because by the time I get around to doing it, it’s no longer funny to me since I’ve already heard the joke in my head so many times.

In other news, did you hear the latest rumors from the Lance Corporal Underground? It’s a new segment here at Terminal Lance. Get up to speed here.

On an admin note, TL is always looking for good sponsors and advertising partners. If your brand is a good fit for Terminal Lance, shoot me an email!

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #448 “The Old Boot”

December 9, 2016

Age is a strange thing in the Marine Corps.

I can’t think of many jobs outside of lottery winner that allow you to retire at the age of 38 with a full pension, but the military is a weird place.

On the enlisted side, most people tend to enter the military at the freshly legal age of 18, right out of high school. This leads to a weird skewing of the perception of age within the ranks, where anyone over the age of 22 is considered essentially an old fuck.

Occasionally, you’ll encounter the few and far between that enlist a little later in life, in their mid-twenties, but the feel so old. It’s disgusting.

Okay not really, but I always wonder what it’s like to be an older guy getting yelled at by some 20 year old that can’t even buy alcohol yet. It makes no sense, but many things in the Corps don’t. At least it’s probably not as bad as being the guy that enlists (as opposed to going the officer route) after getting your bachelor’s degree.

That’s just stupid.

On a random note, if this comic’s artwork looks a little funky it’s because I did it at a cafe on my iPad. Still trying to get the hang of the brushes and such in Procreate, still definitely not on the same level as my fluency in Photoshop. I find I definitely get smoother lines out of Photoshop, but I’m not sure if that’s cause of the program or just the size of the display (iPad is smaller than my Cintiq).

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #447 “Leave Blocked II”

December 6, 2016

Marines accrue 2.5 days of paid leave per month, to a grand total of 120 days of leave for a regular 4 year enlistment. Generally speaking, at least for an infantry company, you can only use those leave days during allowed “leave blocks.” This leads to a natural deluge of requests at around the same time, with everyone waiting anxiously for them to be marked “Approved” on MOL. Of course, the only thing standing in the way of your leave being approved is your chain of command, who always seem to want to make the process as painful as possible.

This becomes tremendously arduous when you’re somewhere like Marine Corps Base Hawaii and have to fly a minimum of 5 hours to get home to anywhere on the mainland. Plane tickets are expensive, and they only get more expensive the longer you wait.

But First Sergeant doesn’t care.

First Sergeant doesn’t give a fuck.

First Sergeant has his entire family on the island and he’s not going anywhere. First Sergeant feeds on the misery of his Marines, it is his lifeblood. He drinks the tears of Lance Corporals as coffee every morning.

Hey, worst case scenario, just spend Christmas in the barracks and save that leave for sweet, sweet Terminal.

In other news, I’m making a conscious effort to get Terminal Lance a little more grounded, back into the menial and every day. I often feel pressured to make every comic strip some grand, sweeping insight over life, rather than just making a funny joke about the every day suck. I suppose that just comes naturally to most creative products, but Terminal Lance is a comic for the Marines by a Marine, and it needs to stay that way.

Stay tuned for more.