TL Comics

Terminal Lance #186 “Omitting Details”


Everyone wants to be Recon.

It doesn’t matter what the relationship was, if someone had anything to do with Recon for even a few minutes, they will tell people they “worked with Recon,” or even they “were with Recon.” For every one actual Recon Marine I’ve met, I’ve probably met about ten Marines that took some kind of claim to fame surrounding their experience with Recon. This is of course subjective to what that person actually did with Recon, I’m sure there are attachments and augments that actually do some cool stuff (I really wouldn’t know, I never worked with Recon, ever), but please don’t try to convince people you were “Recon” when actually you just sat in the smoke pit with one for 20 minutes.

It’s only natural, I suppose. Recon is, after all, the most “badass” element of the Marine Corps as far as the infantry goes. But, please be wary of those who make this claim. These two to my right and left are real Recon Marines:

“Raw Saw” and Rudy Reyes with a small regular grunt in between

No, those aren’t small babies that Rudy is smuggling, those are his biceps. Of course, not every Recon Marine looks like these two, I’m sure, but the point remains the same.

In other news, I posted this on Facebook, but if you didn’t see it feel free to check out this new zombie time lapse sketch that I did this week:

I like to give people an idea of how my drawing process works, because I always like to see how other artists go about solving these problems. I also did a little walk through on the process of creating this strip.

The first thing I do is think. I sit and think, I often pace around my apartment like a mad man while my dog glares at me. Sometimes thinking of a joke is immediate, other times it takes an hour or two. It just depends on how hard it is for me to conceptualize it visually. After all, I do make a comic, which is a visual medium. Once I’ve more or less figured out the joke, I do a thumbnail sketch in my little sketchbook–it’s a small Moleskin book I keep in my back pocket at all times.


As you can see, clearly I stow away my art penis when making these thumbnails. No one else is meant to see them, so they don’t need to be clear to anyone but me (or well-drawn for that matter). It’s about getting the idea down and figuring out the pacing of the dialog and images.

Then I do a rough pencil layer in Photoshop, basing it off of the thumbnail sketch.

Blue Pencil Layer

This layer is really rough, but that’s typically how I work any way. I’m not the kind of artist that meticulously pencils before inking–I suppose I just prefer a little more immediacy in my inks.

Once that layer is in, I basically just draw over it in black (in Photoshop, using my WACOM tablet), and add the text.

Text in progress

From here it’s just a matter of arranging and adding the speech bubbles. You’ll notice the first panel’s line, “Yeah, I’m an Assaultman. What about you?” was changed in the final strip, because it just wasn’t working as it was with the composition of the strip (or at least the first panel).

Anyway, I’m sure this is all terribly interesting. In any case, it’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun.

Have a good weekend, and don’t tell any bullshit stories about how you were Recon. The End.

Infantry Marine turned Combat Artist turned animator turned bestselling author turned dad.

Terminal Lance #185 “Experience”

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