Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when I turn my comic into a birthday card to one of the webcomicking greats. Happy Birthday, Howard Tayler. For those that aren’t reading Schlock Mercenary, let me say that you are missing out on some wonderful storytelling. The humor is great, the art is wonderful, but it’s the storytelling that brings me back seven days a week. If you are at all interested in science fiction or how a web comic should be done, it’s worth your time to check out this strip. And if you visit his store, you can celebrate his birthday by buying some merchandise. I’m sure the News Guy would appreciate it if you did!

Now for some business, the Schlock logo and merch images are lifted directly from Howard’s web site. The character of Sergeant Schlock is the property of Howard Taylor and is used here without permission (it’s a birthday card, after all).

The first year I drew Schlock, I couldn’t do it… at all… no matter how hard I tried, I could not do it, so I traced him (I did tell Howard that I had done so). The second year, I refused to trace and thought that it was a decent effort. Not great, but a start. This year, I actually like the Schlock in the third panel. The fourth needs work, but what can you do? In any case, Howard was one of the inspirations behind my actually doing a webcomic, and I like to take this yearly opportunity to say thank you and wish him well on his birthday (which I believe he’ll actually be celebrating tomorrow). I also like the yearly opportunity to have Schlock pointing the plasma cannon in the News Guy’s face. It tickles me.

In any case, remember that Howard Tayler will be appearing at this year’s Penguicon. Hey, you could probably convince him to sign all that merch you’re about to buy, right?!?

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