Terminal Lance #554 “Say Again Your Last”

July 30, 2019

Marines are known for many things: their tenacity for war fighting, spirit of brotherhood, and the ability to drink vast quantities of alcohol and still function are just a few. Marines also love to yell. Mostly at each other, but exceptions can be made. Go on to any Marine Corps base and your ears (if they work) will be filled with the distant echoes of asses getting chewed. Marines are taught to yell and to be yelled at as early as they step on those yellow foot prints; a lesson happily given by their Drill Instructors.

One of the most common complaints at the VA post-service is the ever-present, ever-annoying ringing in the ears known as Tinnitus. It’s almost a rite of passage for Marines, at least in the infantry, to say that you’ve entered and exited the Marine Corps with totally fucked ear drums. It means you’ve lived a full life! Full of explosions and loud noises, and you were man enough to do it without hearing protection.

Marines yell because they have to. With more yelling comes more hearing damage, and the cycle continues.

At the very least, you’ll have a few percentage points at the VA to look forward to when you get out.



Terminal Lance #541 “Tone Deaf”

April 5, 2019

If you’re infantry, there are fairly good odds you will exit the Marine Corps with worse hearing than you had. If for nothing else, then the fact that you will fire weapons basically all the time and will wear hearing protection for very little of it. This isn’t usually a conscious choice–though sometimes it is–but more often than not you simply don’t bother to put hearing protection in when you’re firing because it’s a hassle and we’re all very lazy creatures.

That weird tone test at the end of your enlistment becomes the most difficult test you’ve ever taken in your life. Trying to distinguish the 1980’s style digital tones from the backdrop of your constant tinnitus ringing becomes a nerve-wracking endeavor.

Did I just hear a tone…?

I’m not sure…

…I’d better press it…





Press that little button if you dare.

On a side note, this strip was created with the help of the veterans of Spokane, Washington at Gonzaga University earlier this week. I was invited out to Gonzaga as part of their Telling War series, which is a great program inviting guest speakers of veteran artists such as myself to talk nonsense and hang out for a couple of days. This strip was created during a workshop that I led with a small group of veterans on the campus, and every single one of us knew exactly how this awkward hearing test goes.

While I was there I also sat down with KPBX, the local public radio affiliate and had a great conversation that you can listen to here.

I also sat down with a super cool couple of veterans running a podcast out of Gonzaga University about veteran success stories that you can listen to here.

Massive thank you to everyone that came out to show the love and helped make this a great trip! Also huge thank you to the veteran group that helped me whip up this comic!

Stay tuned.