Perfect Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: The Tayler Corporation; 1st edition (December 8, 2007)
The first two Schlock Mercenary books were Under New Management and The Blackness Between. However, that's not the actual start. Tayler very sensibly started publishing the series from the point at which he'd become pretty slick with his artistic ability. That did miss out quite a bit of the original story. So here he presents, in a somewhat thicker volume, the first half of the collection that existed before the start of Under New Management. Sometime later this year we should expect the fourth volume (in publishing order) / second volume (in actual strip order), after which he can then get on and publish the new stuff, I trust beginning with the fifth volume / fifth volume.
As a beginning web comic artist, the first strips were comparatively crude. That's compared to his current standard, though, and it was really only his artistic ability that had to evolve: the sense of humour and storytelling verve were there from the start. And Tayler does tell really quite long stories, in terms of just how many strips he takes over them. These are novels, rather than short stories. So long as you don't mind that the polish isn't there yet, this is good. Also, the story here does lay the foundations for much of the later stuff.
(Including the way boss Tagon has a tendency to mislay warships.)
Where Schlock started.