My favorite line from the not-especially-memorable 1994 film Street Fighter was delivered by the particularly memorable Raul Julia, playing General Bison:
For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.
--Raul Julia as Gen. Bison
I've been doing Schlock Mercenary for long enough that I've started to take milestones for granted. I totally missed the fact that on March 17th I'd been doing Schlock for 25% of my life. I'd have completely missed today's milestone if somebody hadn't mentioned it. Today, Wednesday, May 25th, 2011, is the day the 4,000th Schlock Mercenary strip appeared on the web.
This site has featured a new strip drawn by my hand every day for 4,000 days running. We've seen some server outages (like that one time the data center died in a fire), and a few strips have aired several hours late (like last month when I forgot to click a button), but for the last 4,000 days there has never been a single day in which a new installment of Schlock Mercenary didn't appear on the web.
Said that way it sounds like I'm boasting. I don't mean to come across that way. Mostly this just feels inexorable. This is what was supposed to happen once I set my feet on this path. I decided to work in such a way that the comic would always be there, and then I stuck to that decision. It's not Herculean nor is it super-human. It's just a thing I do. It's a thing that ANYBODY can do, provided they're willing to set their feet on that particular path (and provided the Fates don't intervene with any of that pesky, premature thread-cutting.)
The part that is always awesome, wonderful, and miraculous, the part that I never get tired of is the part where people are still reading Schlock Mercenary and enjoying it enough that they choose to fund my career as a writer and illustrator of comical scientifictions.
Over on the Schlock Mercenary Facebook group people have been talking about how they discovered the comic. This entry from Richard Evans is one of my favorites:
Caught the Bug in the Navy during my rehab learning to walk again. Unamed SF guy in bed next to me kept laughing his ass off at weird times at night. Finally found out his wife snuck him a laptop with wi-fi and the hospital had no internal security- so free internet access. From there I was just hooked.
Here is another favorite, this time from Eric Feldman, a former co-worker:
I found Schlock when Howard left Novell (where we both worked) and someone sent out an email letting us know he was leaving to do his webcomic full-time. There were many "He's doing WHAT?!!" responses. After I finally found the site I spent a few days catching up. Regrettably I think my work-output suffered (along with some sleep-deprivation) but Howard made the right choice in giving me this addiction. I think.
So, umm... 4,000.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's Wednesday. That means scripting, a business lunch, four hours of inking, and then an evening with my writing group. I might throw some sort of a party this weekend at CONduit, but only if I remember to.