bunny in camouflage sneaking through carrot patchIt’s that time again. Howard Tayler’s got pre-orders open for The Sharp End of the Stick. You can read the story on the web here, but the book will offer less waiting and the ability to read more than one strip at a time.

So: What would you do if you were a small squad of 31st-century mercenaries trapped on a hostile planet with no assets besides pointy sticks and a 500-pound ambulatory talking poop ball? If you’re Kevyn Andreysn, you find a way to win. Even if you have to deal with carnivores, losing your clothes, forest fires, and the occasional zombie uprising. There’s a lot to like in the story—metric tons of humor, plenty of action, and romance. What makes the story stand out from the other comics in its class is Tayler’s writing. Schlock Mercenary has always had foreshadowing, details mentioned offhand being really really important a few strips down the road, social commentary, arc words, and more bad jokes than you can shake a small mammal at. And somehow, Tayler makes it all work together, and makes it mostly make sense. Because of that, I’m going to buy myself a copy.

For what it’s worth, there’s a contest going on where if you write a blog about the book, you could win a free copy. Yeah, full disclosure, I’m participating in that contest. I’ve been reading Schlock Mercenary since roughly July 2000, I’ve bought a bunch of the books, and I’ve never regretted spending a minute or so every morning reading the comic.