Schlock Mercenary turns 17


  • Impossible Mission - B

    From the author's blog post on the subject:.

    On Monday, June 12th of the year 2000 the very first Schlock Mercenary strip appeared on the web.

    Yesterday, Monday, June 12th of the year 2017 marked the seventeenth anniversary of that start date—seventeen years of uninterrupted¹ daily² updates here at schlockmercenary.com.

    That I am now in my eighteenth year of doing this stands as evidence of ongoing good fortune. I’ve enjoyed seventeen full years without any sort of debilitating injury or crisis preventing me from working for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I’ve gotten sick and been injured, of course, but I keep getting better with sufficient time to spare.

    At some point this streak will end. That point lies in the mists of a hopefully-distant future, and is not today.

    Today I am making comics.

    (Just as soon as I finish this blog post.)

    I remember running across it back in 2004 and thinking, "wow, he's been doing this every single day for four whole years? That's awesome!"

    Well, somehow it's managed to stay awesome for a lot longer than that. :D



  • I'm still shocked that garfieldminusgarfield is going on 10 years old now, still active. I'd have been committed to a mental institution by now had I accomplished that feat.


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    From the author's blog post on the subject:.

    On Monday, June 12th of the year 2000 the very first Schlock Mercenary strip appeared on the web.

    Yesterday, Monday, June 12th of the year 2017 marked the seventeenth anniversary of that start date—seventeen years of uninterrupted¹ daily² updates here at schlockmercenary.com.

    That I am now in my eighteenth year of doing this stands as evidence of ongoing good fortune. I’ve enjoyed seventeen full years without any sort of debilitating injury or crisis preventing me from working for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I’ve gotten sick and been injured, of course, but I keep getting better with sufficient time to spare.

    At some point this streak will end. That point lies in the mists of a hopefully-distant future, and is not today.

    Today I am making comics.

    (Just as soon as I finish this blog post.)

    I remember running across it back in 2004 and thinking, "wow, he's been doing this every single day for four whole years? That's awesome!"

    Well, somehow it's managed to stay awesome for a lot longer than that. :D

    truly it's a feat to aspire to.

    it makes you wonder how many other webcomics could be that great if they just set themselves the goal of doing so and actually held themselves accountable.

    we'd have a lot fewer dead piro days from our favorite artists if they did that. :-P


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @accalia said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    dead piro days

    ???


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @accalia said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    dead piro days

    ???

    megatokyo reference.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @accalia Oh. Is that still around?


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @accalia Oh. Is that still around?

    it's not exactly updating at a blistering pace, but yeah it is.



  • @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    Oh. Is that still around?

    Even when it was around, it wasn't around.



  • Superosity is in its 19th year and has been updating daily the entire time (barring a few emergencies, I believe).

    Almost nobody reads it but I'm not sure if that makes it more or less impressive.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @CreatedToDislikeThis said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    (barring a few emergencies, I believe).

    Yeah, that's the thing. Schlock has never missed a strip, ever.

    Not even the one time when a transformer explosion took out half the data center where the server housing the website was located. Howard Tayler had an alternate server up and running within a few hours and a new strip for that day. He's like the Terminator of webcomic artists: nothing stops him.



  • I recall one of them American hurricanes preventing Superosity from updating for a couple of days.
    So I guess Mr. Schlock is luckier.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @CreatedToDislikeThis I suppose living in the middle of Utah helps with that. No hurricanes that far inland! :P

    But as I understand it, the real secret to his success is maintaining a sizeable buffer, with the servers set up to automatically post from. He could get sick and be in the hospital for a month, completely unable to draw, and the audience would never notice the difference. (Unless the server farm exploded while he was sick. Then there'd be trouble, I suppose.)


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    the real secret to his success is maintaining a sizeable buffer,

    this is indeed his secret to success.

    for a long time i was a subscriber to his android app thingie (does that still exist?) and if you paid him a bit a month you got access to strips as soon as he uploaded them, it was fun to watch the buffer grow and shrink as he did his stuff.

    i never did see the buffer drop below two weeks worth of strips in all that time, and most of the time he was more than a month ahead.



  • @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    But as I understand it, the real secret to his success is maintaining a sizeable buffer,

    Not much of a secret, that's the only way to keep a tight schedule.



  • If you would like to celebrate the beginning of Schlock Mercenary’s eighteenth year, you might consider sharing the strip with a friend. But whatever you do, don’t send them back to the very beginning. That would be cruel. Start here, with Book 12.

    Funnily enough, over the last month or so I've discovered the comic and read it from the start; finally caught up with it last weekend.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @CarrieVS Yeah, he's said that various times over the years. You've probably noticed that the art quality has improved considerably (you might not if you just binged the whole thing, but look at the most recent strips and then go back to the start and look at the first few) and from some of the comments he's made I kind of get the impression that he's embarrassed about the raw look of some of the earlier strips.

    Regardless, I do recommend people start from the beginning. The early ones had some great gags, including two of my all-time favorites: the "conflict of interest" one with the lawyer drones (plus the subsequent "Schlock, fire our lawyer!") and the "How do you stop an elephant from charging?" strip.



  • @CarrieVS said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    If you would like to celebrate the beginning of Schlock Mercenary’s eighteenth year, you might consider sharing the strip with a friend. But whatever you do, don’t send them back to the very beginning. That would be cruel. Start here, with Book 12.

    Funnily enough, over the last month or so I've discovered the comic and read it from the start; finally caught up with it last weekend.

    I started from the beginning a few months back. I'm currently in Oct 2006. I tend to read it in spurts...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @CreatedToDislikeThis I suppose living in the middle of Utah helps with that. No hurricanes that far inland! :P

    But as I understand it, the real secret to his success is maintaining a sizeable buffer, with the servers set up to automatically post from. He could get sick and be in the hospital for a month, completely unable to draw, and the audience would never notice the difference. (Unless the server farm exploded while he was sick. Then there'd be trouble, I suppose.)

    After the explosion incident, he has people who deal with things like websites and apps. Big believer in specialization and core competencies. He writes and draws and signs his name and generally takes care of the D-list nerd celebrity gig. His wife businesses. Hell, he even pays another guy to color the comic. I'm not aware of any other web comics with a dedicated colorist.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Weng said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    I'm not aware of any other web comics with a dedicated colorist.

    I know a few, mostly because when something goes wrong they go up in black and white. Uh... I think Girl Genius is one, off the top of my head?



  • @Yamikuronue said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @Weng said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    I'm not aware of any other web comics with a dedicated colorist.

    I know a few, mostly because when something goes wrong they go up in black and white. Uh... I think Girl Genius is one, off the top of my head?

    Pretty much, yeah.

    Although, it's worth noting that Girl Genius also doesn't have a backlog as far as I can tell.

    Granted, the current colorist (Cheyenne Wright) did go back and color the first part of the comic that was originally in black and white. Which was basically the first three issues back when it was a print comic or the first volume once they switched to Omnibus editions. It's also why the colors suddenly shift at the start of the second volume because Cheyenne Wright wasn't always their colorist.

    Edit: Also, if you go to buy the first Omnibus, make sure you buy the color version.


  • Fake News

    @powerlord said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @Yamikuronue said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @Weng said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    I'm not aware of any other web comics with a dedicated colorist.

    I know a few, mostly because when something goes wrong they go up in black and white. Uh... I think Girl Genius is one, off the top of my head?

    Pretty much, yeah.

    Although, it's worth noting that Girl Genius also doesn't have a backlog as far as I can tell.

    Granted, the current colorist (Cheyenne Wright) did go back and color the first part of the comic that was originally in black and white. Which was basically the first three issues back when it was a print comic or the first volume once they switched to Omnibus editions. It's also why the colors suddenly shift at the start of the second volume because Cheyenne Wright wasn't always their colorist.

    Edit: Also, if you go to buy the first Omnibus, make sure you buy the color version.

    The interesting bit is that the garish colours of the second volume actually fit with how colours flood in and out starting from this page. And the other colorist did the reverse at one point long before Cheyenne Wright colored the first volume.



  • Penny Arcade has been around longer, and while they're not quite daily I don't think they've ever missed their schedule.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @CarrieVS said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    If you would like to celebrate the beginning of Schlock Mercenary’s eighteenth year, you might consider sharing the strip with a friend. But whatever you do, don’t send them back to the very beginning. That would be cruel. Start here, with Book 12.

    Funnily enough, over the last month or so I've discovered the comic and read it from the start; finally caught up with it last weekend.

    I need to do that again sometime. Last time I was caught up was the "zoo" in the middle of nowhere, or thereabouts, I think.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Yamikuronue said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @Weng said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    I'm not aware of any other web comics with a dedicated colorist.

    I know a few, mostly because when something goes wrong they go up in black and white. Uh... I think Girl Genius is one, off the top of my head?

    That was my first thought, too.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Dreikin said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @CarrieVS said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    If you would like to celebrate the beginning of Schlock Mercenary’s eighteenth year, you might consider sharing the strip with a friend. But whatever you do, don’t send them back to the very beginning. That would be cruel. Start here, with Book 12.

    Funnily enough, over the last month or so I've discovered the comic and read it from the start; finally caught up with it last weekend.

    I need to do that again sometime. Last time I was caught up was the "zoo" in the middle of nowhere, or thereabouts, I think.

    Wait, no, much further than that. At least when Kevin and wassername have been together for a while.

    I can't even remember anymore.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Today we got the funniest new Schlock in quite a while. (Spoiler free)


  • BINNED

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    funniest new Schlock in quite a while

    If that's the funniest, doesn't look worth my time to start reading it



  • @jaloopa said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    If that's the funniest, doesn't look worth my time to start reading it

    I started at the beginning and am quite enjoying it... (up to Aug 2008 now)


  • SockDev

    @jaloopa said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    @masonwheeler said in Schlock Mercenary turns 17:

    funniest new Schlock in quite a while

    If that's the funniest, doesn't look worth my time to start reading it

    schlock isn't one you read for the jokes (though it has them) it's one you read for the story.


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