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It's extremely difficult to lob verbal insults at U.S. Marines. That's not because it's hard to think of reasons to make fun of them, but because they will absorb any and all name-calling into their own lore. While terms like "leatherneck" and "jarhead" started out as slurs and are now proudly worn by Marines of all ages, no insult ever aimed at Marines has been co-opted and adopted quite like "crayon eater."
A dig at both the literacy and dietary choices of Marines, the would-be insult has spawned an entire ecosystem of related ephemera since its inception. Active-duty and veteran Marines have created crayon-flavored beer, crayon hot cocoa and even edible chocolate crayons that actually color. It's enough to make anyone wonder why it took so long to make a Marine-oriented coloring book.
Leave it to "Terminal Lance" creator Maximilian Uriarte to make one, "Coloring for Marines," that might keep Marines from eating the crayons long enough to actually color it.
"I have a 2-year-old toddler, and he really loves coloring books," Uriarte told Military.com. "He had some coloring books sitting around, and I was flipping through them and thought to myself that this could be a really fun thing to do with 'Terminal Lance.' With the 'Marines eat crayons' meme floating around, it seemed almost too perfect not to do."
"Coloring for Marines" isn't just a coloring book. It comes complete with word searches, mazes and other interactive pages like the ones Uriarte saw in his toddler's coloring books. The illustrations are all originals and can't be found anywhere else in the "Terminal Lance" world, but have the same biting Marine Corps humor fans have come to know and love.
With all the crayon-eating memes and products, it makes one wonder if the crayon-eating joke will ever get old. Uriarte doesn't think it's going away any time soon.
"It's one of those rare memes that everyone can enjoy, regardless of your age or place on the political spectrum," he says. "If there's one thing I've learned about Marines over the years, it's that we love self-deprecating humor. The idea that we're all second grade-level readers that eat crayons will probably never get old."
"Terminal Lance" isn't going anywhere, either, and fans of the comic can expect a lot more fun in the future with Abe and Garcia. Uriarte says there's the potential for an animated series in the future, but for the time being, he's considering a lot of formats that would be easy for Marines to read anywhere in the world.
"I want to do more fun and digestible book content like this. There may be a Volume 2 in the near future, as well as some other shorter comedic novels," he says. "Looking back at 13 years of 'Terminal Lance,' it is strange and confounding to me that I've never done a comedic graphic novel, despite the fact that it remains an active comedy webcomic. I've had an idea to do smaller, manga-style digestible stories in the 'Terminal Lance' universe."
Until then, fans can keep themselves entertained with "Coloring for Marines" and its 32 pages of coloring and other activities.
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