Captain Landon and Maxim 35

With the March 8th update we see a return of the uplifted Polar Bear, Captain Landon of J.S.C. Internal Affairs, and I was happy enough with the picture in my head that I laid it out in a manner that would allow for easy conversion to a wallpaper. Within minutes of the strip going live there were people on the Schlock Mercenary Facebook group asking for the wallpaper, so I felt pretty good about my instincts.

I feel pretty good about Travis's coloring on this, too. It's kind of amazing, don't you think?

I've used this image to create three different 1920x1280 wallpapers exclusively for Schlocktroops Patreon supporters. Here's an 800px freebie for everybody (it appears at 500 pixels wide here so that it'll fit.)

We're going to be cutting away from Captain Landon on Monday, but I promise that he'll put in another few appearances before the end of this month. I do NOT promise that those appearances will be wallpaper-worthy, but I still think you'll like 'em.

If you become a Schlock Mercenary Patreon supporter you'll find more than just these three wallpapers at the Schlocktroops (USD $2.50/mo) level of support. Lots of people don't have room (or even a burning desire) for the merchandise we make, but do want to support us in the creation of Schlock Mercenary. Patreon is a simple way to do this, and we offer digital goodies as gifts for our supporters, along with coupons, and early access to new merchandise.  

If every Schlock Mercenary reader became a Schlocktroops patron our society would immediately enter a golden age in which internet comments were safe to read and micropayment models supported entire economies. Also, I would pinch myself and abruptly snap awake. 

Chappie

With ChappieNeill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) delivers a very sweet story about sapience set in a very violent vision of Johannesburg.

The film takes some of the usual shortcuts where movies with lots of computer jargon is involved, but even without making allowances for that stuff I had a great time.  I don't know how the effects were done, which meant that early on I stopped looking for the line between the practical effects and the digital effects, and just sat back and believed in the robots.

One of my favorite aspects of the film was the location shooting and the audience's immersion in South African accents and dialects. Having been to Joberg several times myself, it sounded exactly like I remember it.

Chappie comes in #2 for me so far this year, easily clearing my Threshold of Awesome

(cross-posted from howardtayler.com)

Libriomancer

My friend Jim's best-selling book to date, Libriomancer, is on sale for $1.99 at the Amazon Kindle Store. This particular sale looks like it'll end quickly, so if you're interested, jump on it now.

I can't vouch for it yet, but I've loved Jim's other books, and the sample in the Kindle Store, in which our protagonist takes on three sparkling vampires, was enough to sell me on the whole book. I don't ordinarily post links for things I haven't personally consumed, but since the sale looks to be a short one, here we are. I have my copy now. You might wish to grab yours. Two bucks.

First one to reach the end of the book gets to not post any spoilers. 

Project Update: Lots of Irons in this Fire

I'm back from a four-day jaunt to Chicago during which Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells and I were able to record a dozen or so episodes of Writing Excuses, including two or three with Wes Chu, and one with a librarian from a local Junior High School. Per Twitter, I could tell when we were done because my talk-brain was empty and my listen-brain was full. 

On my plate right now: Inking comics, putting some finishing touches on the Challenge Coin PDF (a project that got waylaid by a number of factors, but which has NOT been forgotten,) and working on the tabletop RPG we're creating for the Schlock Mercenary universe.

The RPG project is especially exciting, because the way it's shaping up I think the only artwork of mine that will appear in the book will be the icons used for bullet-points. Why? Because we've got artists sending in the first round of pieces now, and their visions of the Schlockiverse show a lot more detail than mine do. I'm just the art director for this one, and my goal is to provide players with an immersive experience, not another book of comics. The artists have been doing a great job of looking at my art, reading my descriptions, and then creating the locations, ships, characters, and gear that I've been rendering via a cartoony shorthand. 

(I say I'm "just the art director." I'm also writing tens of thousands of words of world-book stuff for designer Alan Bahr to wrap stats and adventure seeds around.)

Nothing to show yet, however. Watch this space...
 

A Birthday Present from Me to You

My birthday is coming up, so I thought I'd get you something in order to get me something. Or something like that. 

We are having a one-week sale, 20% off in honor of the fact that I no longer attempt to lie about being anywhere near 20 years old. Just go to store.schlockmercenary.com and use the code BIRFDAY15. Whatever you put in your cart will be discounted by 20%.

Additionally, we're knocking 40% off of international shipping for any order over 6 pounds. This discount will last until I'm no longer 46, or through Saturday, February 28th, whichever comes first*. Yes, this will discount the shipping on full sets of books, which is exactly what many of you folks on the other side of oceans from me have been asking for.

(*Note: Because leap day, and no loopholes.)

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