It’s a commonly known fact that when every man exits military service, he will grow his beard out. It’s a badge of honor and rebellion! After years of being forced to scrape your face every morning, it becomes almost a nightly fantasy akin to threesomes with exotic women to walk the world freely with your beard at length.

Unless you’re a Spaniard like me and you grow more hair on your chest than you do your face. Thanks, dad.

I’m just assuming that women do the same thing. Probably.

After all, women are allowed in the infantry now, and it’s looking like women will soon be required to register for the draft. I have no choice but to assume that the hair between their legs has attained similar equality to men, post-EAS.

If you don’t know what EAS means, you’re probably new around here, but it simply means “End of Active Service,” otherwise known as the day you get the fuck out of the Marine Corps.

Sorry of the late update, there’s a ton of stuff going on behind the scenes in Terminal Lance land, and it’s been an exhausting week with the book release on Monday. The book has been a huge success, selling out in barely over a day.

If you missed your chance to get The White Donkey, I have some good news for you on Monday… Stay tuned and have a good weekend.

It’s tax time, and while Staff Sergeant can’t claim us all as his dependents, he might be able to claim his alcohol at least.

Once again this is a comic previously published in the Marine Corps Times, and I apologize for not being on top of things lately with the strip, but this book launch has really consumed my life over the last week. The main reason I’m writing this post today is just to update you guys about The White Donkey. The good news is that the book launch yesterday was a huge success! The book sold out in 36 hours after its release and has 100% 5-star reviews. This was an independently published, limited run of books. I’m currently seeking a publisher to pick up where I left off, so we can get the book back in stock.

I want to thank everyone who bought the book yesterday, as well as all the Kickstarter backers that made this whole thing possible. It was a huge project, a labor of love that took 2 years to finish, and I’m happy to see that it was worth it. I received this email yesterday, and while it nearly brought me to tears, it was a somber reminder of why I made this book in the first place.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 4.51.37 PM

The success of any real artist isn’t measured in money, but in cultural and emotional impact. As I mentioned in my interview with Task & Purpose, if this book helps even one veteran, it will have all been worth it to me. I put two years of my life into this book, and I’m happy to see it resonating with people.

Myself and some good friends have been able to get over 1300 books shipped out to Kickstarter backers. If you don’t have it yet, it’s in the mail. If it’s not in the mail, it’s because you haven’t updated your address with me yet.

This is important: if you pledged over $40 during the Kickstarter campaign 2 years ago, you need to email me at kickstarter@terminallance.com and send me your current address. 90% of people have different addresses than I had on my roster 2 years ago, and I will not send out your book unless you email me with a confirmed address (it doesn’t matter if you haven’t moved, you need to confirm it with me). I’ll be mailing out the stragglers for the rest of the week, but I’m also traveling next week, so I won’t be around to sign and mail books. I’m posting this here because I think a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the Kickstarter emails I’ve been putting out.

Anyway, thank you again to everyone that makes Terminal Lance possible, and if you bought the book yesterday, I hope you enjoy it.

In the ongoing struggle between east and west coast Marines, it usually comes down to two things:

  • Mountains on the west coast.
  • Sand fleas on the east coast.

Keep in mind that Marines, especially infantry, take great pride in knowing they had it so much worse than you. Their misery is a point of accomplishment, akin to the medals and ribbons on their chest. As a west coast Marine, I never really bought into the horror of the sand fleas, least not in comparison to the “Alpha Shelf” or “Reaper” hikes that we had to endure at Camp Pendleton.

If anything, the east coast Marine Corps just sounds miserable because it’s a miserable fucking place. Everything I’ve ever heard about Camp Lejeune and the surrounding areas has made me nowhere near interested in taking a visit. The horrors of the sand fleas, the sights and smells of Jacksonville, it doesn’t seem like the kind of place I’d want to be.

So I’ll give you guys that.

The east coast sucks, as a general thing.

In other news, my book “The White Donkey” will be available for purchase on Amazon starting February 1st! We’ve sent out around 1000 books to Kickstarter backers over the last week, it’s been a madhouse here. Trying to send them all out to you guys before the 1st, but bear with me. Speaking of backers, today’s strip features Austin Coulter, a Kickstarter backer that purchased himself a spot in a Terminal Lance comic strip! (I know, it was a long time ago and I’m still finishing this stuff, I’m a piece of shit)

The book will be available here on Monday.

It sucks, but we love the way it sucks! No we don’t.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but in the case of POG’s and grunts, the grass on the POG side would be a fluorescent safety-green (almost like a glow-belt) whilst the grass on the grunt side would look something like this:

1422395_10153797922023608_2778489575429181587_n

We don’t even have grass and we’re not allowed to walk on it. You’d better believe that if one of those Lance Corporals took a step on that barren dirt, a Staff NCO would materialize out of nothingness and shove 3 knife hands in his face over it.

There’s always a lot to say on the subject of POG’s and grunts, but I think the argument often gets twisted into a “combat” vs “non-combat” sort of thing. This is only half of the issue, really. The other half is that grunts, as a general thing, are treated like the lowest of the low on a daily basis even outside of a combat zone. Of course there’s POG’s that do hardcore shit outside the wire, but at the end of the day, they’re not treated like a grunt.

Grunts take pride in knowing they have it the worst, at all times.

In other news…

tumblr_o1ivbxHuRr1r3cu6go1_1280

It is official. Look for The White Donkey on Amazon starting February 1st.

If you were a Kickstarter backer 2 years ago, there’s a good chance the book is already on its way to you, as myself and a bunch of really great folk have helped me get over 700 books mailed out over the weekend.

The White Donkey is the story of Abe, and his surreal journey to and from Iraq. It is the world’s first 284 page graphic novel about Iraq written and illustrated by an Iraq veteran. This book has been a long time coming, over 5 years in the making since the day I started writing it. Believe it or not, Abe and Garcia were written as characters for this book even before they were meant to be in the comic strip. I’m terribly excited and a little nervous to be putting something that has been so personal to me out into the world next week, but I’m also proud of it and optimistic that it is in fact a good book.

You can read more about the book in the special edition article I did for the Marine Corps Times.

I’ve mentioned before that there will be some changes to the site coming soon–they’re already being worked on. My goal is to expand the site so more people can contribute–to kind of give Terminal Lance back to the active duty junior enlisted. If you’re interested in writing for Terminal Lance next month, email me with some writing samples. Active duty Marines are preferred, but not required.

The Marine Corps, the grass is always greener on the other side… even if you’re not allowed to walk on it. Anywhere but here, anything else but this; these are common woes of the active duty Marine… unless anything else is a working party.

Fuck that shit, no one wants to do that.

For you Terminal Lance connoisseurs, you’ve probably noticed that today’s strip was previously published in the Marine Corps Times newspaper. There’s no new, new strip today because of some very big news…

IMG_2234

I got a whole lot of books yesterday, and today I’m going to be shipping a whole lot of them out to Kickstarter backers. If you backed The White Donkey Kickstarter over 2 years ago, I need you to pay attention to your inbox. I sent out some instructions earlier today for confirming your address. Your address needs to be confirmed before I can ship you your book (my roster is over 2 years old at this point). If you have emailed me at kickstarter@terminallance.com between November 15th, 2015 and today, you are good to go.

Yes, you will be able to purchase the book on Amazon if you did not preorder it with the Kickstarter.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about and don’t understand my weird obsession with white equine, Terminal Lance: The White Donkey is the world’s first 284 page graphic novel about Iraq, written and illustrated by an Iraq veteran (yours truly). I started writing it in 2010, and it’s been a very long journey to get to this day.

Look for some new announcements and how to buy it very soon on the official Terminal Lance Facebook Page or Twitter.

That oversized safety pin has been on every gear list I ever had, and I’ve never once actually used it (it’s for laundry, or possibly changing the diapers of giant babies).

Gear lists are frustrating because you usually never actually have whatever stupid knickknack your boot ass Platoon Commander thinks you need to spend 3 days in the rain. You’ll be overburdened with everything from rape whistles, compasses, comically large safety-pins, five pairs of cammies and countless skivvy items.

As you get used to going out into the field all the time, you start to realize you need less and less stuff. How much of anything are you actually going to use on a 3-5 day field op? Certainly not at least half of the ridiculous shit they throw on these gear lists. Not only that, but good luck running to the PX to buy this shit the night before your inspection, because I know you lost most of it on the last field op.

It’s always fun seeing Marines scramble to collect the treasure hunt of items at the PX at 2000 the night before a company field-op.

On an unrelated note, I’m sure some of you noticed I was gone last week. I was going to put up a comic strip on Friday but became swamped at the last minute dealing with this whole graphic novel thing. Books are almost here! For real! Pay attention to your Kickstarter registered email address, I sent out a mass email earlier asking for updated addresses. I ONLY NEED YOUR UPDATED ADDRESS IF YOU’RE GETTING A HARD COPY OF THE BOOK.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Michael Bay’s newest explosive extravaganza 13 HOURS. It was an absolute honor to be invited in the same group as 3 Medal of Honor recipients–Ty Carter, Florent Groberg, and Salvatore Giunta–and it was a great time all around. I want to personally thank We Are the Mighty and Paramount for all the hospitality in Dallas. I met a ton of awesome veterans and had a blast.

I would call it a nice respite, if I got more than a few hours of sleep the whole time I was gone, but it was definitely a good time. In any case, it’s back to the grind here, as I scramble to prepare for all of these books. The next few weeks might be a bit bumpy but I’ll do my best to stay on schedule here.

12400698_780505828747987_4778528556639668373_n

Myself, Dan Caddy from Awesome Shit My Drill Sergeant Said, and Medal of Honor Recipient Ty Carter.

I’m not the type to lament the current state of the “New Corps” in favor of the ever-glorious and omnipresent Old Corps. However, if there ever was an event that could distinctly signify the new, it is the recent news that the Marine Corps will officially be fully integrated and moving toward gender-neutral MOS titles.

The Marine Corps is changing, and you can’t stop it.

This is upsetting for a lot of Angry Facebook Veterans, as you’ve probably noticed over the last few days if you’ve been anywhere near the internet. If you were to believe them, you’d see the integration of females as the end of the Corps as we know it or the Wookpocalypse, as I like to call it, and possibly even being an early sign of the end of times.

213830-apocalyptic-and-post-apocalyptic-fiction-the-road-screenshot.png

Camp Pendleton, CA — After the Wookpocalypse

This is of course nonsense.

I’ll be honest here… I don’t really see this as a huge deal.

Remember that awesome co-ed shower scene from Starship Troopers?

Screen-Shot-2013-06-28-at-13.22.40

Or the badass Vasquez from Aliens?

4tmvsy

Those scenes were never going to happen in real life without dramatically changing the way the military handles females. People keep talking about standards, and it’s because women have never been held to the same standards as men in the Marine Corps. This creates a culture of separation, and a culture where men simply don’t respect female Marines on equal ground–because there has never been equal ground.

If you’re not a Marine and you’re reading this, what I mean is that women have essentially been coddled by weaker PFT standards than men. Women aren’t required to meet the same physical fitness standards as men, and they never have been. The Marine Corps tried to implement pull-ups into the female PFT a couple years back and was met with laughable results; forcing them to double back.

Another study was recently conducted on the viability of women in the infantry by monitoring integrated teams against all-male teams, and concluded that women performed notably worse–with higher risks of injury and weaker performance overall. However, I would argue that this study was inherently flawed from the start, and the data gleaned from it essentially useless. The women in the study were still never held to the same PFT standards as male Marines, yet tasked with competing against them. Had the women been properly vetted as recruits with male standards, you might have seen different results.

If the Marine Corps is willing to raise the standards for women in the Corps to the same as men, this whole thing will be a nonissue. You will lose a lot of females in the Corps, but you will maintain the same combat viability as before and everyone will truly be equal. My assumption here is that this will inevitably happen.

Let’s be realistic here: men already dominate the Marine Corps statistically. The infantry is also a relatively small population, and I assume there won’t be a plethora of women clamoring their clams to be grunts. At most, you’re going to have one or two females in a single battalion, and if they can’t hack it physically they’ll probably just be the company clerk or something anyway.

Hardly a game changer, if you ask me. At the end of the day I don’t see this having a profoundly huge impact. My hope, as well as many others I’m sure, is that women will finally be held to the same standards as men. If you can’t hack it, maybe the Marine Corps isn’t for you.

On a vastly unrelated note, I’ve still got some limited edition 6th Anniversary prints left! These are 11×17 prints, autographed by yours truly.

6_year_TL

 

2016-01-05-6_years_web

We’ve also added a new T-Shirt with the same image on it for a limited time! I haven’t done a print sale in a long time, so if you’re a TL fan you should definitely order one here.

 

 

Six years ago today I launched what is now one of the most popular military comic strips in the world. While still active duty I stayed up late, stumbled my way through building a website, printed out flyers and pasted them up in the barracks laundry rooms and lounges. At the time, there really wasn’t anything like Terminal Lance on the internet or otherwise. The idea of openly criticizing and laughing about the Marine Corps on the internet was somewhat taboo, and it was a risk for me to put it out there while still in uniform. For the first few months, I thought for sure that I was going to feel the wrath of the green weenie for putting this thing out there… But by maintaining an honest point of view, funny jokes, and (usually) decent artwork, I was able to win the hearts and minds of most of the Corps.

Now, with hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe, it’s surreal to look back and see how much work has actually gone into this comic strip of mine. I know some of you are reading this and wondering if I’m going to run out of jokes or get bored. I don’t know, maybe some day, but to be honest I still have a lot more in the works. Actually, I wanted to use this post to talk about what I’ve got coming up in the near future. Sort of my way of doing some kind of State of the Union Address I suppose.

Firstly… Obviously…

MarineTimesCover2_web_wlogo

I was hoping I’d be able to launch The White Donkey today, and unfortunately that’s just not happening. As with every step of the way in the creation of this book, it’s taking the bulk shipment of books a lot longer than anticipated to get to me. I suspect that this was due to ordering them right at the start of the holiday season, but the book should be available this month–I just don’t know exactly when.

I know it’s been a long journey with this book, but just stand by for a bit longer. The early copies I got were only enough to send to various media outlets. If you didn’t back the Kickstarter, the book will be available on Amazon this month for $24.95. If you did back the Kickstarter, keep in mind that I’m not going to release the digital PDF version until books are in peoples hands, that way the story doesn’t get spoiled (there’s some major spoilers).

Stand by to stand by.

drink

Second, I think we’re long overdue for a new website. Building a new website for Terminal Lance will allow me to do a couple of things: firstly, it’ll be more modern and functional; but as well it will allow me to start doing some new things. I had mentioned before that I want to open up Terminal Lance for more content, such as op-eds and the like from members of the active duty and veteran community. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I feel like the current website design isn’t very conducive to more than a comic strip and a blog post. Ironically, expanding Terminal Lance will help take some of the weight off of yours truly so that I can focus on some other things, like developing some new things…


View on YouTube

Aside from these late books, everything else is still on track. On a personal note, the books being so late has really been dragging me down lately. I had all of this momentum and excitement finishing the book and now I’m just stuck waiting. Still, I’m excited to finally release it to the public! I don’t think anyone will be expecting what this book is going to throw at them, in the best possible way.

I’ll still be relocating to Los Angeles in a couple of months, and I am going to be aggressively pursuing creating an animation studio (among other things). Don’t worry, Terminal Lance isn’t going anywhere any time soon. There’s still so much to do, including some things I’ve been working on that I haven’t even announced yet.

challenger approaching_web

I also just want to take a moment to thank all of my readers for sticking with me for so long! You guys are the reason I keep doing this! I was enlisted in a Marine Corps without a Terminal Lance… Can you imagine?

Lastly, expect today’s poster to go up for sale this week as a limited edition print!

There has been an awakening. Do you feel it?

Across the Corps, Marines are awakening to find that they are bored as fuck. Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to see young Marines sent into harm’s way; but Marines and the Marine Corps itself is really at its best when there’s a war to worry about. People are focused, there’s a sense of purpose and something grand to work toward.

A Marine without a war is like a dog without a boy.

As I sit on my perch on the Terminal Lance tree, I’m able to glance and gaze across the Corps like a dark wizard into a Palantir. People send me a variety of videos and photos from across the Corps through my various outlets, and it’s fairly obvious that Marines have been especially bored lately. It’s been an interesting dynamic watching the Marine Corps for as long as I have, seeing it go from a steady war in Iraq and Afghanistan into a sort of odd limbo of peacetime POGatory purgatory.

My enlistment was always about the next combat deployment. When I got to the fleet in 3/3 India Co., we were hitting the ground running for another deployment to Iraq in just 6 months. Sure I hated being out in the field every week, but it always felt like there was a reason for it. Training, so we don’t die in the middle east. I can’t imagine what a Marine Corps without a war is like, but I imagine it’s rather monotonous (then again, so is any enlistment, war or not).

Oh, random note, you have to be 21 to smoke or dip in Hawaii now. Sucks bruh.

Quick book update: still waiting. No word from the printer on when the books will arrive, just got to stand by to stand by. Everyone will know when the books are available for sale. Kickstarter backers will get it first.

Not even First Sergeant can ruin Christmas for these Marines!

Merry Christmas!

I don’t really have a whole lot to say today, it’s Christmas. If you’ve made it this far, get off your phone or computer and go spend time with your family! But really, if you’re home on leave you should try your best to enjoy yourself. It can actually be harder than you think. A lot of the time, people leave home for a reason, and returning can be a lot less fun than it sounds. Often, within days you find yourself either bored or annoyed enough to rather be back in the barracks.

Anyway, have a good Christmas!

And call your mother.