As the year comes to a close, I challenged my colleague here at Marine Corps Times, James K. Sanborn, to accompany me in picking out the best “Terminal Lance” comics of the year.
This was no easy feat, and we spent some time chuckling over the 50-plus emails we received from “Terminal Lance” creator, Maximilian Uriarte, this year with each week’s strip that would grace the opinion page of the paper. We filled Max in and asked him to comment on our top five picks to give some background to our readers on how he came up with each.
So here they are — it was a tough decision, but we selected these as our five favorite “Terminal Lance” strips of 2012. See what prompted Max to create them below.
No. 1: “Drawdown” by Maximilian Uriarte
Original run date: June 11
Max: The reality is that many Marines enlist for the sole purpose of deploying to a combat zone. I wouldn’t say I feel bad that Marines don’t “get to” go on a deployment to the Middle East, but I’m sure it can feel pretty lame to be stuck in the rear for four years.
No. 2: “Run-in with an Old Friend” by Maximilian Uriarte
Original run date: June 4
Max: This strip is almost completely true. I actually did run into my recruiter when I was in Iraq in 2009 — in Sahl Sinjar, of all places. I was stuck there on a layover going out to a FOB and happened to stand behind him at the chow hall. Small world.
No. 3: “War Stories” by Maximilian Uriarte
Original run date: Nov. 19
Max: I remember watching “Chosin,” the documentary about the Korean War by Brian Iglesias, and thinking to myself, “These guys are hardcore.” I can’t imagine going through the brutal stuff these old timers had to.
No. 4: “Part of Me” by Maximilian Uriarte
Original run date: April 2
Max: For what it’s worth, that song is pretty catchy. I actually didn’t hate the video as much as I thought I would, but it might be because I enjoy seeing the beautiful Katy Perry dance around in just about anything.
No. 5: “The Social Network II” by Maximilian Uriarte
Original run date: Feb. 20
Max: Recent studies have shown that infidelity rates have gone up as a result of Facebook and other social networking sites. I don’t know if that’s true at all, but it’s hard to keep a secret when your entire life is online these days.
The twitter strip gets me, because I’m sure that is a normal circumstance behind our late formations at least once a week.