TL Comics

Terminal Lance #330 “Staff NCO Dreams”


I can only imagine the horrors that lay in the dark recesses of a Staff NCO’s subconscious. Marines dilly-daddling with their hands in their pockets, walking and talking on their cell phones, yoo-hoos wearing sunglasses without matte-black frames, devil dogs sporting sideburns and not tucking their shirts in on the weekend, nasties with white socks on a combat patrol…

…And perhaps even…

Un-policed moostache hairs?


These are the things that keep these people up at night.

Make fun of it as I will (and I will), sometimes I feel like it’s all part of the natural order of things. Without Staff NCO’s inevitably policing the smallest of stupid bullshit, Lance Corporals would have nothing to bitch about. Without anything to bitch about, there’s no common enemy, and without a common enemy, camaraderie falls apart. Unit cohesion vanishes and the Marine Corps ceases to exist. What is the Marine Corps without bullshit? What is bullshit without a Staff NCO to yell at you for no reason or for breaking a rule you didn’t even know existed?

This is the law of the land, as the Lord hath intended it.

Much like the lion and the gazelle, we all must take our place in the Circle of Life.

I actually did two versions of this strip. I spent time drawing both of them, so I may as well put both of them up. You can view the alternate version here.

I feel like I don’t really talk enough about the creative process involved in making Terminal Lance. As an artist, most people assume that the comic strip is all about drawing it. It is and it isn’t. I would recommend being a decent artist before doing any kind of visual art endeavor; however, drawing the strip is about 10% of what I do here. Well, I mean, it eats up more time than that, but the other 90% is really all about thinking and writing. The drawing itself is really just the visual expression of the idea, the idea is the more important part really.

With that said, I have literally spent hundreds (if not thousands) of hours throughout my life just drawing. I’ve been doing it my whole life. When I was in elementary school, I was always the “kid that could draw.” In high school, I was the awkward artist kid that sat in the cafeteria hunkered over a sketchbook with headphones on. I’ve filled more books and pages than I care to admit of nude drawings of men and women, all in an effort to improve my understanding of form and gesture.

Then again, maybe I just like drawing dicks.

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

Terminal Lance “Cut from the Score” (Marine Corps Times)

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