With this most recent update, Schlock Mercenary has run for twenty years.
Daily, with no missed updates, no re-runs, and no guest strips… From June 12th of 2000 to June 11th of 2020, that’s twenty full years. (The twentieth anniversary will be on June 12th, because math.)
The strip has come a long way in twenty years. I’ve gotten a bit better at this thing, and although “keeping it fresh” has always been my goal, I will admit to reusing a punchline or two across the decades.
But Schlock Mercenary isn’t all me. Since the very beginning, Sandra Tayler has been my alpha reader, and since 2006 she’s also been the editor and publisher.
Oh, and do you see that second sig in the June 11th strip? Travis Walton has been the Schlock Mercenary colorist for more than half of the strip’s life, and he’s a big part of why it got better while still maintaining the schedule.
When I first dreamed this thing up, I knew I was writing the comic strip I wanted to read. It’s changed a lot over the years (no surprise, as I’ve changed a lot), but after all this time I’m still the strip’s biggest fan.
I could write at great length about why that is, but for now I’ll just leave it at this: thank you for making it possible for us—me, Sandra, and Travis—to have jobs making comics. I might be the strip’s most obsessed, all-consumed-by-Schlock-Mercenary fan, but my love for it isn’t what actually pays the bills.
Sergeant In Motion: Schlock Mercenary Book 20, is drawing to a close, and with it, we’re wrapping up the twenty-year Schlock Mercenary mega-arc, that huge, daily, serial contiguity I started back in June of 2000.
When it ends, I’ll probably take some time off. That wasn’t the original plan, but these last few months have forced me to strike an uncomfortable balance between productivity and health. It seems appropriate to adjust that balance healthward once the big story is done.
Don’t panic.Schlock Mercenary isn’t going away, and my doctor assures me that I’m not in danger of any immediate terminal decline—at least not beyond the ubiquitous entropic slide endemic to carbon-based life. And hey, life exists by exchanging local order for disorder elsewhere, so I plan to make every effort to keep my molecules nice and organized for as long as possible.
I have lots of stories yet to tell, and the universe of Sergeant Schlock is a fine place in which to tell a great many of them.
Last week’s episode of TypeCastRPG was heist-themed. We stole the sleeping giant Ghubrak from a museum, strapped him up with a sailcloth and a magical engine, and then got ourselves excreted from the gut of Ryncardia.
Tonight’s episode promises to be less heisty. I think it’ll begin with the landing of our extremely makeshift airship, but I don’t know what adventures will face us after we debark¹.