Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Lord Mattis IV”

December 2, 2016

Let it be known, thee who mark history, General Mattis has officially been declared the next Secretary of Defense.

And it was good.

Okay I’ll get off the Mattis circle jerk after this one, but it was pretty much impossible for me to avoid the news yesterday that General Mattis was officially declared as the next Secretary of Defense. I mean seriously, like 700 of you assholes sent me articles about it.

It’s incredible though, to be honest, and worth noting that this ecstatic reaction from the military community is for good reason. I’ve seen some naysayers decry this announcement, but on no realistic grounds. Simply put, there is no one better suited for the job of commanding the military than General Mattis.

Very few people are resoundingly and universally loved by their subordinates, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with actual military experience (deployments, real work, that kind of thing) disliking him. It wasn’t until after I exited the military that I was even familiarized with him, but after seeing him speak and meeting him face to face more than once, I can safely assure anyone with any doubts that he is the real deal. The hype surrounding him is not because he is a cold-blooded killer, but because he is a pragmatic, intelligent, and honest man. If you’re worried about the implications of a recently separated general being appointed to a top cabinet position: don’t.

General Mattis is not a “yes man”. He’s a “go fuck yourself” man, and we’re all lucky to have someone like that serving in this upcoming administration.

___

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Hat’s Off”

November 29, 2016

It goes without saying that my hat is off to any veteran of a previous war, even if those hats keep getting bigger and bigger…

I always wonder what veterans of today will look like in 40-50 years. Will we become the distinguished, elderly statesmen of our grandparent generation? Or will we still be rocking Oakleys, full beards and Gruntstyle T-shirts while we call our grand children a pussy ass boot?

No one knows, but I hope it’s the latter.

Anyway, this is an older strip from the Marine Corps Times. Crazy day today dealing with the London US embassy and my British fiancee’s visa. (If you’re at the State Department and want to help a brother out, hit me up)

The green weenie strikes hard and fast, never forget.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Black Friday” Contest

November 25, 2016

Happy Black Friday!

Black Friday is an American holiday following Thanksgiving, where we give thanks to massive corporations and stab each other in the face for a 49″ LG 4k TV.

Today is also the day that active duty tanker with the Army, Kurt Schommer, won a Dell Inspiron laptop for his winning comic strip!

Thanksgiving is always a rough time if you’re away from home, so myself and Paul Szoldra from duffelblog.com decided to take a trip out to Camp Pendleton last night and hit up the 3/5 barracks for some shenanigans and to drop off some free shit. These guys keep it real as fuck, it’s always great to be in a room full of grunts. A Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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I want to give a huge shout out to Dell Camp Lejeune for running this contest with me! Check out their Black Friday deals here.

Below are some runner up strips that were also pretty great. (Click on them to view them in full size)

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Christopher Mulvihill

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Johnny Hair

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CPL Nelson

 

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Alberto Lopez

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Garin Bailey

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Christianna Golden

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Adrian Noble

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Zach Morris

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Christopher Schenk

 

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Lord Mattis III”

November 22, 2016

 

You’re goddamn right.

It goes without saying that literally everyone wants General Mattis to be the next Secretary of Defense. Despite going against tradition, General Mattis is by far the best choice in the history of Defense Secretary for the job. Hell, I would have (and many others) voted for him if he would have ran for president this year. We might not get a President Mattis, but a Secretary of Defense Mattis is the next best thing.

Regardless of how you feel about Trump, General Mattis is as good as they get. Additionally, this would make the Marine Corps very well represented in Washington, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff being former Commandant Marine General Dunford (also known as your friend’s scary father).

General Dunford

General Dunford

The world outside of the military community is just now learning who General Mattis is, despite his legendary status amongst the ranks. If you’re reading this and still trying to figure him out, just know that he’s legit as fuck. He is one of the genuinely most intelligent, well-respected men in the history of the armed forces for being pragmatic, firm and real.

Plus, I’ve gotten a couple of photos with him over the years, and he reads Terminal Lance. (Please don’t murder me for this comic, sir)

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Max and General Mattis

In other news, if you want to win a FREE laptop, the fine folk over at Dell Camp Lejeune have teamed up with Terminal Lance to put on a CONTEST! Here are the official rules:

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COMIC STRIP CONTEST!!!

  • Terminal Lance and Dell are holding a Black Friday comic strip contest for TL!
  • The winning strip will be featured on www.terminallance.com on November 25th, as well as a FREE Dell Inspiron 15 5000 series 2-in-1 laptop!
  • To enter, draw, paint, scratch or create a comic strip and email it to Terminal Lance at social@terminallance.com with the subject “BLACK FRIDAY.”
  • The comic strip MUST be military-related and MUST utilize the prompt “Black Friday.” TL Creator Max will select the winning strip!
  • THE DEADLINE IS BLACK FRIDAY! ENTRIES MUST BE IN BEFORE MIDNIGHT (THURSDAY NIGHT).
  • This contest is open ONLY to American Active Duty, Active Reserve and IRR service members. Open to all ages over 18.

Also, check out Dell Camp Lejeune’s Black Friday deals here.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #446 “Logged”

November 18, 2016

This is 100% true.

Okay, I have no idea if this is true, but I’m being honest when I say that I actually asked some Marines where the duty logbooks go when they’re full, and no one actually knew the answer. It is one of the mysteries of the Marine Corps, like why are boat cloaks still a thing, why does the armory never have any CLP, and where do Gunners come from?

No one knows the answers to these questions, they are and forever will be mysteries impossible to answer.

The logbook is a ubiquitous item in the Marine Corps lexicon. It’s a strange shade of lime green with a cloth binding sitting on the desk of every duty hut across the land. It is where you record anything and everything you see (and feel) while on duty. The practice is strict, it must be filled out properly or be voided.

No one knows why, but we’re pretty sure it’s just to satisfy First Sergeant on lonely nights.

In other news, I’m still looking for some more writers to be featured on TL. There seems to be some confusion as to what I’m looking for here, I’m not looking for ideas. I’m looking for you to write full pieces for the Opinion section of the site. Funny and insightful, I’m looking to expand the voice of the Marine Corps to anyone interested. If you’re active duty and want to be featured on TL, send me an email and send me a sample or something otherwise funny.

As well, I’ll be running a contest with Dell Military here shortly, so pay attention to the TL Facebook page and the official TL Instagram for details soon!

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #445 “Always Room for One More”

November 15, 2016

Even more than the most ardent of Mexicans, Marines can always find a way to fit one more.

Whether it’s one more Marine in the back of the 7-ton or one more piece of gear stuffed into their already-bursting main pack for the field, Marines will always find a way to fit one more. Some say this is a supernatural ability possessed by all Marines and even recruits upon arrival on those yellow footprints. As long as any Marine says to themselves out loud “There’s always room for one more,” you will find yourself able to fit just about anything anywhere.

Ahem.

Anyway, this is a simple strip today but I wanted to do something that would kind of lighten the mood a bit given the widespread looming sense of impending doom over the last week. For all of the bullshit in the world, I take comfort in knowing that Marines never change. This, above all else, continues to make Marines my favorite people on the planet.

I get emails and messages from Marines all the time, as old as my parents and as young as my niece. Often a sentiment that is given to me is that no matter when they were in, all throughout the last 50 years of extensive US history, they reckon that after reading my comic they’re glad to see that the Marine Corps hasn’t changed a bit.

With all of the political fervor going on, I am fond of the fact that Marines are choosing to send me a plethora of awesome ball photos and funny videos rather than some horrendous memes about whatever political spectrum they hate.

In other news, I want to give a shout out to the Marine Corps Exchange over at Camp Pendleton for hosting me last week! Everything went really great, we had maybe 200-300 Marines show up for the book signing and it was amazing getting to meet so many fans of Terminal Lance. People were waiting in line for so long they started and finished my book in the timespan it took to get it signed, taking nearly 4 hours for things to die down. It was incredibly humbling and hopefully I can visit more bases soon!

Stay tuned to TL, there’s a lot of great things on the way! And never forget one thing:

There’s always room for one more.

Maximilian

Creator

The White Donkey: Terminal Lance

November 12, 2016

For as much as I yammer on and promote my graphic novel, it seems like a large portion of my audience actually doesn’t even know what it is. That or they just don’t care about donkeys, which I can respect, but I wanted to take a minute here just to talk about what The White Donkey is.

To put it in the easiest of laymen’s terms, The White Donkey is a 290 page original Terminal Lance graphic novel. It is an original story from start-to-finish, a singular narrative grounded on my own experiences in Iraq and in the Marine Corps. It takes place in 2007 and tells the story of Abe and Garcia.

The White Donkey is my attempt to illustrate, in my own voice, the experience of being a Marine during the Iraq war and the experience going to Iraq and coming home. As an Iraq veteran myself, I wanted to channel a lot of the inner frustrations and observations I was able to make about myself. In this sense, the book was very cathartic for me, but I also wanted the book to be cathartic for others. My intent with The White Donkey was always to be a book for Marines to help come to terms with their own experiences. There is so so much to be said about going to war, and yet so much usually gets left unsaid from those returning home. I figured if I could show veterans a piece of themselves, it might help them in some way with things they may have been struggling to put into words.

Over the years it’s been easy to have a lot of laughs and I speak a lot about some of the absurdities of “veteranisms.” But the reality persists that I am an Iraq veteran myself, and I have personally known 4 Marines to commit suicide since I left the Corps in 2010. This book was my way of addressing the issue, and it is my hope that it reaches the Marines and service members that it needs to.

To this day it is (to my knowledge) the only graphic novel about the Iraq war written and illustrated by an Iraq veteran.

I actually had came up with the idea for the book in 2010. This seems crazy, but this is an image dated December 5th, 2010:

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It’s definitely a good thing that I didn’t make the book back then, I think I improved as an artist quite significantly over the years and was able to really bring the story to life with much more realistic artwork than the regular comic strip.

The book really consists of 250 pages of hand-drawn artwork, 100% of it from yours truly. This was an intensely personal book, so I wrote and drew every single page from start to finish by myself. This and my own stubbornness attributed to the lengthy creation process, but ultimately I was happy with the finished product. The artwork is intentionally much more realistic than the regular comic strip, which has actually gotten even more “cartoony” over the years so as to draw a clear distinction in tone between it and the graphic novel.

 

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It sounds crazy, but Abe and Garcia were actually created for The White Donkey, and not the other way around. Prior to strip #90 or so, Garcia didn’t exist and Abe was an unnamed character (really just me). Once I had solidified the book in my mind, I started writing the characters. Garcia and Abe were born from this, and I inserted them into the comic strip to normalize them in the event that I was able to actually make the book.

Anyway, to make a long story very short, I did a Kickstarter and it was a huge success. It took about a year to hand-draw the book from start to finish working on it full time, and the printing process took months. I self-published the “Kickstarter” edition of the book in early 2016, and it was immediately picked up by Little, Brown & Co within a week of its release. It is now available all over the world in hardback, and was on the New York Times best seller list for over 14 weeks.

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Happy 241st Birthday Marines!”

November 10, 2016

Happy 241st Birthday Marines!

Now I need the oldest and youngest Marine for a blood sacri… Wait…

Well if it wasn’t obvious by the title, today the Marine Corps is 241 years old, which is almost as old as my balls look. November 10th marks the day every year that Marines across the globe drink, eat overpriced banquet dinners and figure out if they need to take their dress blues to the tailor at the last minute because they forgot it still had PFC chevrons on it.

It’s also a time when you find out that you and every Marine in your platoon really don’t know all of the words to the Marine’s Hymn…

For all of the insanity in the US and the world at the moment, it feels good to talk about something that has been around as long as 241 years. The nation may go through turbulence, but the Corps has been here for 241 years and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.

So drink up Marines, and Happy Birthday!

On a side note, I will be spending my Veterans Day on Camp Pendleton! Come say hi at the Oceanside PX from 1100-1300, I’ve got free posters and I’ll sign anything you put in front of me.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and it can be stressful. Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been in Los Angeles, London, Portland, and Austin. For all of the frustration and annoyance of flying to and fro, my absolute favorite thing is getting to meet the people–the Marines–that have supported Terminal Lance over the last 6 years. In Austin we had a huge turnout, it was phenomenal and meant the world to me. As I’ve often said, Marines are and always will be my favorite people on the planet.

With that said, I look forward to seeing you guys at Camp Pendleton tomorrow, and happy birthday!

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “November 8th”

November 8, 2016

I don’t think the eagles are coming to save us.

Of course I don’t think the world is actually going to end today, but I’m happy as fuck to see this election end.

Here at Terminal Lance I have a policy of remaining apolitical, and for good reason. I believe the military itself suffers from political partisanship, as it is not the military’s place to question the democratically elected leaders. As well, it is intensely divisive, and people become exceptionally tribal during these times.

With that said, it’s near to ignore this election cycle. My lack of commentary on this matter has most certainly not been due to my lack of personal opinions on it, but that is not the place of Terminal Lance. What I would like to do is tell you that no matter what happens, whether the orange idiot, or the corrupt madam, one thing will remain true:

We are all Americans, and this country will stand in the aftermath regardless.

There is so much negative and vitriolic spew coming from this tiresome campaign that I think people forget this. I refuse to believe that this country–the greatest country in the history of the world–can be destroyed by either a rapey buffoon or another politician. This country is too magnificent, its citizens too resilient, to be reduced by either of these assholes into weak caricatures.

With a British fiancee, I recently spent time abroad in both London and Europe, and believe me when I say that the entire world is watching right now. They’re watching because they look up to us, and because America still absolutely leads the world. For as much as people like to claim this country has gone downhill or that we are weak, it’s baseless and resoundingly untrue.

Get off your computer, stop reading the headlines, and walk outside. The country isn’t crumbling. The vast and beautiful landscape of the United States is large the same as it ever has been. Are there issues? Of course there are. There always are. Every country has domestic issues. America is no different. There is always room for improvement. But none of America’s problems stop it from being the greatest damn country on this planet, and no matter who wins I will still be a proud American. For all of the faults of democracy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is the best system that there is, and America is absolutely the best at it. It’s also important to remember that the unfortunate truth of democracy is that there is a losing side 100% of the time.

If the person you like doesn’t win: tough shit. Deal with it and try to change it in 4 years.

No matter who wins the election today, we are all Americans, and we are in this together whether we like it or not.

With all of that said… It’ll be an interesting night either way.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Halloween 2016: Costume”

November 1, 2016

It’s that time of year again, where confused veterans aren’t sure if they should give their child a pass on their costume choice of digital camouflage or post his photo to a stolen valor Facebook page and make him famous. It’s hard to be too angry though, at least the costumes you can buy are loaded with authentic details. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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Obviously this is a joke, I don’t really have too much important to add to this. In other news, I returned to America the Beautiful this weekend and immediately became stricken with food poisoning, which has been a fun time on my couch playing Battlefield 1 when I’m not vomiting or shitting my pants.

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Me playing Battlefield 1.

 

I should be better within the week though, which is good, because there’s some cool events coming up this weekend!

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I will be at Wordstock Portland Book Festival on Saturday! I’ll be speaking on a panel and there will be a book signing afterward! Click the image above for details.

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…And on Sunday I’ll be at the Texas Book Festival in Austin! I will also be on a panel there, so come by and say hi! Click the image for details.

Needless to say, it’s gonna be a busy weekend, as I’ll be traveling around some more. However, I’ll be back in California and at Camp Pendleton next week on the 11th! More details on that coming soon.

On a side note, I’m still looking for content. What I mean by that is that I’m looking for writers to write op-eds, not your ideas for comic strips and the like. If you’re interested in really writing something for TL, send me an email and send me something funny of yours.

Stay tuned.