Sluggy Freelance is a daily online comic that has been around
since August 25th, 1997. It currently receives 9 to 10 million page
views per month and has an estimated readership of hundreds of
thousands and is the best selling series at Plan
Nine Publishing (plan9.org). Yet the author can't seem to make a buck! ;) That author is
me. Here I have put together a few sample strips,
plucked from the archive. What is it doing on a Baen Publishing Promo
CD? Here's John Ringo to explain!
"Back in July of 2001, when I was slavishly at work on When the Devil Dances, one of my acquaintances sent me an innocuous e-mail. Like shaking the hand of a person with smallpox or juggling rats that have bubonic plague, it's always the small things that
get you. The first Sluggy Freelance that anyone sent me was of Bun-bun preparing for Santa's arrival. Without background it was puzzling rather than amusing. Then, later, I got another. That one intrigued me enough to look at some of the early comics. When I got to "Say the N word again and I'll do it to you with a spoon!" I was well and truly hooked. On a rather slow dial-up I lost solid weeks of production time, repeatedly hitting "next comic" like a rat tapping the bar for its cocaine fix. And then...it was over. I was trapped in the fixation of waiting for my daily Sluggy! Wah! But...not quite. The insidiousness of Sluggy had entered my brain. I needed a big tank, I had created the big tank. But it had no life, no fire, no spirit. No...evil... And so, BUN-BUN THE SHEVA was born! "I am created Bun-Bun! Destroyer of Worlds!" So I found myself a Sluggite (the term for serious Sluggy Freelance fans) in the almost unique position to take Sluggy into a new world. And, along the way, infect some of my own readers. I took the opportunity to go to DragonCon and meet Pete Abrams, Sluggy's creator, and get his permission to use the terms in my works. He seemed somewhat
confused, I admit that I probably came across as an obsessed fan-boy, but nodded his willingness despite his bemusement. But when the book came out, the level of correspondence about the cross-over took both of us by surprise. Neither of us saw huge market jumps, but we both received fairly massive commentary on the crossover. It seemed to be successful. Since the next year I was, once again, working on a Posleen book, I met Pete at DragonCon for the second time. In the meantime I had infected my publisher with the Sluggite disease and he had stated that he wanted Sluggy artwork in the next book. From there, Pete created the concept of "What would happen if Sluggy Freelance was in the Posleen universe?" For those of you who are simply bemused by this cross-over, I hope that the books stand on their own. And to those of you who have, like myself, my publisher, his office, various friends and relations and apparently dozens, hundreds, of readers, been drawn off your normal day to day routine to slavishly hit "next comic" until they run out: Sucks to be us, huh? Better to juggle bubonic rats. Thanks Pete. And I hope you all enjoy. John Ringo, Commerce, Georgia December, 2002"