UPDATE! 6.1.10

I meant to mention this earlier, but it totally slipped my mind.  Pavel Zhdanov, citizen of the Russian Federation, has very kindly (and gamely) corrected my Russian on the earlier pages – he sent along a sheet of corrections and suggestions earlier this week.  Boy was I off!  Just goes to show you, with languages, you can very easily fall short of the mark – I was doing my best with a dictionary and a grammar book, and it all came out extremely formally.  Pavel was good enough to lend it a much more colloquial flavor.  So thanks to him for his hard work, which will be added to the print version of the comic (with full credit to him, I might add!) and thanks also to the other Russian-speakers who had already offered to do the same, as well, even though Pavel beat you to it this time.  The help is invaluable, and it’s also especially nice to know that 6-Commando has generated some degree of international appeal!

[Original Post: 5.31.10] Okay, this is my real post.  And if you’re wondering what my “fake” post was, don’t.  It was just a little placeholder that amounted to “Me Tired!  Mathieu Sleep Now!”

This page is the Big Moment.  Rucker has just realized what the heck is really going on.  I like stories where the characters have to cope with really big problems, and where there are moments when the whole world seems to be spinning violently out of control.  Setting this moment just at sunrise is a little visual metaphor that may or may not be a sappy one, but I thought it suited the moment, so I went with it.  I also wanted just one last opportunity to draw a closeup of that bomber.  As I’ve said before, I like drawing airplanes a lot.  Always have.  And the action in the cockpit there echoes the opposite number on the previous page – a series of hard decisions are being made in silence.

So anyway, this being a military comic, I ought to mention for the benefit of non-US readers, that it is Memorial Day in the United States, when we ostensibly take the opportunity to remember all the lives lost in the Revolution and in all the wars fought since to protect it.  It’s an odd thing that the U.S. is a revolutionary country, one of a handful that were so founded without collapsing under the weight of their own contradictions (to paraphrase Marx, which I do ironically).  Granted, we have more than our fair share of problems, but whatever you think of the U.S. as an institution, we have managed to make a go of it as a pretty successful nation-state.  But undeniably, we’ve had to fight a lot of wars to keep it that way, and while we can debate the merits of those conflicts in hindsight, I think it’s a good thing that we have a day to reflect on the fact that we are very lucky that there are people willing to go out onto the battlefield to protect the country when called on to do it.  So, God Bless you, American Soldiers!

On a lighter note, Memorial Day is also the traditional beginning of summer (albeit three weeks ahead of the solstice), and this seems to have much greater importance in common culture these days.  Barbecues, days on the beach, and so forth, are the order of the day.  For me, however, I have to sit down and wade through a mountain of paperwork related to my architectural license.  And it’s almost literally a mountain – the stack is like an inch and a half thick.  No joke.

And this, of course, has led me to the final thing I want to mention: with the approaching end of chapter 1 and the start of chapter 2, I am beginning to consider additional ways to fund not only this website, but also printing costs, advertising, convention fees, etc.  All the extra traffic to the site has been terriffic, lately, and 6-Commando is really starting to get noticed.  However, things like printing comics are expensive, and I’ve already earmarked most of my personal finances for paying licensing fees for my “real” career.  So the dreaded “M” word is rearing its ugly head.  Yes, that’s right – Merchandising!

Sounds so commerical, I know, but among the many options for funding the site, this one is the least offensive to my Capitalist sensibilities.  I would prefer not to put advertising on the site, just because I don’t like the idea of hounding my readers with stuff that does not relate to the comic.  And although the “donation” model some people use might be involved somewhere, that always struck me as online panhandling (no offense, Jason!).  I’d much rather give you something tangible for your hard-earned cash.  I don’t yet know what those things will be, but beyond the typical stuff you’d expect (t-shirts, posters, and all that fun but pretty run-of-the-mill crap) I have a couple of really interesting but as-yet top-secret ideas that I think will really catch your interest.  But as all this is unlikely to happen much before July, I’ll let it go for the moment, saying only that it’s in the works.  However, I will open the floor to suggestions – any particular 6-Commando thing that would really pique your interest? Let me know, and maybe I’ll find a way to get it made!

Anyhow, thanks once again to all the readers and commenters!  It does my heart good to see you all here – keep reading and voting, and pretty soon there’ll be cool stuff available for your trouble!