Terminal Lance 3.0
October 2, 2016
After many months of concept and development, I’m ridiculously excited to finally unveil the new Terminal Lance!
You’ll notice that this site not only features a brand new design, but also a brand new section dedicated to featured Opinion pieces. This is a small, but important shift in the way Terminal Lance will be operating from here on. My goal with the new Terminal Lance is to offer, in addition to the comic strip, original features from voices all over the Marine Corps.
Terminal Lance, since its inception in 2010, has always stood as a voice of the junior enlisted Marine. The three panel strips I put out twice a week here on this site have stood the test of time to become one of the most iconic, trendsetting brands in the military community.
Since I have no intention of contacting a prior-enlistment recruiter any time soon, I wanted to continue the tradition of being an insider glimpse of the Active Duty Marine Corps lifestyle. Terminal Lance is essentially expanding, to include views, opinions and insight from Marines and Sailors across the globe. This new site allows that to be possible.
Before any of that begins though, I wanted to give you guys a brief history of the design of Terminal Lance since its creation in 2010.
Terminal Lance 1.0
Terminal Lance 1.0 was an exercise in internet learning for me. Back in December of 2010, I was still active duty aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. I had never built a website before, and with my Lance Corporal paycheck, there’s no way I could have hired someone to do it for me.
Even so, I knew I wanted to build a webcomic about the Marine Corps and I knew that no one was going to help me do it. I stayed up late and Googled my way through WordPress enough to piece this original site together. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it worked well enough for Marines to enjoy it and that’s all that really mattered anyway. This was based on an old theme called Comic Press, which was sort of ready-built for webcomics and you see it often around the internet if you know it.
Terminal Lance 1.1
Terminal Lance 1.1 was really just a refinement on the original, with some fancy LCPL chevrons added to the top menubar to give it some graphic variety. My stepfather, a programmer, helped me get those in there. This look stayed all the way up until 2013…
Terminal Lance 2.0
Terminal Lance 2.0 was a brand new redesign done professionally by the folks over at Usability Dynamics. I designed it myself and was able to use funds from the vastly successful Kickstarter campaign for The White Donkey to get it done. It was a huge upgrade at the time simply because it was responsive and adapted to the size of smartphones dynamically. Of course, this is obvious in 2016, but back then it was still a pretty new concept. It also had a pretty neat custom Twitter feed featuring one of the “POST” characters.
This theme was still based on the more or less outdated “Comic Press” theme I was using since day 1.
Terminal Lance 2.1
This is the most recent design, which was simply a refinement to the 2013 design. It got rid of the textured background and added some room for ads. This design was what was on Terminal Lance for the last two years. It served its purpose well enough, but problems mostly arose from it being based on a very old WordPress build and the old Comic Press theme. It simply wasn’t designed for many of the modern (standard) features of WordPress at this point, and it was extremely inflexible to add new features to it without extensive programming involved.
Terminal Lance 3.0
You’re looking at it.
This new Terminal Lance is built from the ground up around a completely new core
(pun intended), and is faster, more flexible, and allows for featured articles in a way that the previous theme could never do.
Huge thank you to Alexander Orr, a Marine and Afghanistan veteran, for developing this new site.
For the most part, the design is more or less a combination of Terminal Lance 1 and 2, but with new framework and modern design elements. However, the biggest addition is the Opinion section, which will feature new pieces such as this throughout the week.
I’m thrilled to finally arrive here!
As a Marine with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines… 3 tends to be my lucky number.