16 May 2012

'A Sergeant in Motion Outranks an Officer Who's Not'

More than once or twice, I've mentioned my admiration for the work of Howard Tayler, the writer and artist of "Schlock Mercenary." Every day (for free?!), with tongue in cheek and plasma guns set on ominous hum, Tayler explores strange new worlds, intricate plots, and military-themed humor. In the past, I've likened it to a combination of "Hammer's Slammers," "Starship Troopers," and "Red Dwarf."

The title character, the fun-loving and Ovalkwik-consuming Sgt. Schlock, is a little harder to describe. The closest 21st century analogue I've found is a claymation character from a toilet commercial on Japanese TV. Let's ... not go there.

I thought I'd again mention "Schlock Mercenary" on the pages of Red Bull Rising today, if for no other reasons than these:
  • Tayler recently reiterated his Mercenary Maxim No. 2—"a sergeant in motion outranks a lieutenant who doesn't know what's going on"—in glorious Sunday multi-panel comic form. (See inset for excerpt.) In that particular strip, Tayler even suggested this corollary: "If you have to ask whether you're having a Maxim No. 2 moment, then, yes, you're having a Maxim No. 2 moment."
  • I'm obviously a sucker for epigrams and maxims. Remember Sherpatude No. 26? "Humor is a combat-multiplier. Except when it isn't." I rotate a set of 12 Mercenary Maxims—a digital bonus from the Schlock Mercenary 2012 wall calendar (now on sale at reduced price!)—as pictures on my computer desktop. (For the record, May is "Close air-support and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.")
  • It affords me another opportunity to once again publish a picture of Tayler (above), who gamely posed for an Army buddy of mine at Gen Con 2011. Some people go to Disney World when they come home from an Afghan deployment. Others put on their riding leathers and go out on the road. My friends? They go to gaming conventions. Forget combat! Roll for saving throw!
"That tingling? That means it's working!"
    Check out "Schlock Mercenary" today!

    5 comments:

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Charlie. I'm glad those maxims are serving you well. I'm getting ready to start on the next batch, #s 13-24, for the 2013 calendar.

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      1. Another calendar in 2013?! More maxims?! Ominous SQUEEE!

        Thanks for everything you do and make in the world. Keep up the great work!

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    2. An entire batch of maxims, with new maxims 19, 22 and 23!? This news makes me happy.

      BTW: Nice blog. Howard brought me here.

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      1. Roger that! I've often found that Tayler's maxims are the gateway Schlock-drug for my buddies in uniform. Once they're hooked, they're hooked!

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    3. You won! Email schlockmercenary@gmail.com with your mailing address and sketch preference, and we'll take care of the rest.

      Thanks again for the great write-up.

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