10 Years

As of today, June 12th, 2010, Schlock Mercenary has been on the web at some location or another for ten years. Every day, even. It is older than half of my children. It is older than my car. Depending on how you count, it's the longest I've ever held the same job. I've spent almost a quarter of my life on this. I've spent more than half my married life on this. I've drawn 3653 strips, for a total of around 15,000 panels. There are another 20 strips you still haven't seen (plus a kajillion or so I still haven't drawn.) I've used enough kneaded eraser that the "waste lump" of stuff that is too dirty to erase with is twice the size of my fist, and I've thrown away at least twice that much. I've gone through about 10,000 sheets of legal sized paper. I've gone through about 500 pens. Each of those set me back around $2.50. In all that time I've only used five different mechanical pencils. I still have the first one, the second one, and the fifth one. Enough with all the stuff I have done. Sandra has processed roughly 12,000 of your orders. She's done all the family and business accounting for ten years. No, wait... 17. She gave birth twice while I was cartooning, for a total of four times. She's been a bastion of support, making the last ten years possible. Oh, and YOU. You've read this stuff. If we assume some conservative numbers for how many of you there actually are, and how long you spend on each strip, you people have spent something like a million man-hours (and probably 200,000 woman-hours) reading this comic. Forget the impact to human productivity -- I'm both flattered and frightened at the investment you've made in my peculiar imaginations. Oh, and your investment of actual cash money in books and stuff. Those 12,000 orders? Thank you SO MUCH. The kids like eating things, and are hoping for college educations someday. You're making it happen. Thank you for the last decade. It may have been fun for you, but it's been a riot for me. Let's all raise a glass of Ovalkwik to the next one. Hummm something ommminously, pillage before burning, and don't bother leaving scorch marks. I'm hoping to celebrate today by scripting, penciling, and inking at least three days of comics. I can't think of a better way to honor past accomplishments than by not doing any of that dang laurel-resting I keep hearing about. Oh, and because it's about time for some infrastructure changes, here's a sneak peek at the next version of the Schlock Mercenary website.