Howard Tayler

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Howard V. Tayler
Picture of Howard Tayler wearing a medium blue denim button-up collared shirt. He is looking over the top of his glasses while grinning at the camera.
Born (1968-02-29) February 29, 1968 (age 46)
Florida, United States
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist, author
Notable works
Schlock Mercenary
Awards Hugo Award (2013)
WCCA Best Cameo Award (2001)
WCCA Outstanding Science Fiction Comic (2004)

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/

Howard V. Tayler (born February 29, 1968 in Florida)[1] is the award-winning[2][3] creator of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary.[4] He worked as a volunteer missionary for the LDS Church, then graduated from Brigham Young University.[1] Using his degree in music composition, he started an independent record label.

While working at Novell, Tayler began online publication of Schlock Mercenary. He quit his job at Novell several years later in order to work on the webcomic full-time.[5] Schlock Mercenary has been nominated multiple times and won the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards in two different categories. Schlock has also been nominated four times for a Hugo Award.

Tayler spends time regularly during the week drawing at a local comic book and gaming store,[5] as well as producing a weekly writing tips podcast called Writing Excuses with fellow authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and producer Jordan Sanderson.[6] The podcast has been nominated for a Hugo Award in 2011, 2012 and has won in 2013.

Early life[edit]

Tayler was born in Florida. In 1985 he moved to Utah (where he still resides) to attend Brigham Young University. After studying there for two years, he volunteered to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) before returning to BYU to finish a Bachelor's degree in Music Composition.[1]

Career[edit]

Tayler co-founded an independent record label called Sanctus Records,[1] which was aimed primarily at an LDS market. Tayler also worked for Novell as a project manager,[7] where he co-authored a guide to administering GroupWise.[1]

In 2000, he began publishing his webcomic, Schlock Mercenary. Four years later, Tayler left his job as product line manager at Novell in order to work full-time on the webcomic.[1] By 2009, he was able to make enough from the sales of the compilation books and other merchandise to make ends meet and reduce his weekly workload from 80–100 hours down to 40-50.[5]

He has been a guest of honor at many genre conventions, including Balticon, CONduit, LepreCon, and Life, the Universe, & Everything. His wife, Sandra, is also a published author.[5]

Works[edit]

In March 2000, Tayler coauthored with Ross Phillips and Tay Kratzer the guidebook Administering GroupWise 5.5, written to assist system administrators in managing Novell's GroupWise.

Tayler's most well-known work is his webcomic, Schlock Mercenary, a comedic webcomic which follows the tribulations of a star-travelling mercenary company in a satiric, mildly dystopian 31st-century space opera setting. Since its debut on June 12, 2000 the comic has updated daily, begun to support its author,[7] and been nominated for three Hugo Awards.[8][9]

Tayler also produces Writing Excuses, along with best-selling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson and horror author Dan Wells.[6] Running weekly since February 10, 2008, this 15-minute writing tips podcast has featured a number of notable guests including Steve Jackson, Phil Foglio, Brandon Mull, Tracy Hickman, and Patrick Rothfuss.[6]

Along with best-selling fantasy author Tracy Hickman and his son, Curtis, he illustrated and published XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery, a guide for gamemasters who want to focus more on the fun aspects of roleplaying games rather than the mechanics of counting everything.[10]

List of publications[edit]

  • Administering GroupWise 5.5 (with Ross Phillips and Tay Kratzer), ISBN 0-07-212329-X, March 20, 2000, McGraw-Hill
  • Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management, ISBN 0-9779074-2-2, May 19, 2006, The Tayler Corporation
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Blackness Between, ISBN 0-9779074-3-0, Nov. 15, 2006, The Tayler Corporation
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Tub of Happiness, ISBN 0-9779074-0-6, Dec. 8, 2007, The Tayler Corporation
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Teraport Wars, ISBN 0-9779074-1-4, Oct. 9, 2008, The Tayler Corporation
  • Strohl Munitions Activity and Coloring Book, no ISBN, Jan. 1, 2009, The Tayler Corporation
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance, ISBN 0-9779074-4-9, June 1, 2009, The Tayler Corporation
  • XDM X-Treme Dungeon Mastery (illustrations, written by Tracy Hickman and Curtis Hickman), ISBN 0-9779074-6-5, July 20, 2009, The Tayler Corporation
  • Schlock Mercenary: Resident Mad Scientist, ISBN 0-9779074-7-3, July 2010, Hypernode Press
  • Schlock Mercenary: Emperor Pius Dei, ISBN 0-9835746-0-X, 25 July 2011, Hypernode Press
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Sharp End of the Stick, ISBN 0-9835746-2-6, 10 June 2012, Hypernode Press
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic, 2013, Hypernode Press

Awards[edit]

Tayler won the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards Best Cameo Award in 2001, and was also nominated for Best Comic, Best Writing, Best Other Character, and Best Science-Fiction Comic the same year.[2] He won WCCA Outstanding Science Fiction Comic in 2004,[3] and was nominated for the same award in 2005[11] and 2007.[12]

He was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story for Schlock Mercenary four times: The Body Politic (2009);[8] The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse (2010);[9] Massively Parallel (2011),[13] and Force Multiplication (2012).[14] Tayler, Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, producer Jordan Sanderson, and Mary Robinette Kowal (2011) were nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for the fourth, sixth and seventh seasons of Writing Excuses, a podcast for aspiring authors.[13][14] They won in 2013.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Tayler, Howard. "Howard V. Tayler: Author, creator, and "artist" for Schlock Mercenary". The Tayler Corporation. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "2001 Winners and Nominees". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. 2001. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "2004 Results". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. 2004. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ Mason, Tom (April 7, 2010). "Hugo Awards: Neil Gaiman, Phil Foglio, Howard Tayler and Captain Britain". Comics 411. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Rigert, Michael (February 11, 2009). "Orem cartoonist a rising figure in Web-comic world". The Daily Herald. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Writing Excuses Episode 1: Brainstorming". February 10, 2008. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Gardner, Alan (February 12, 2009). "Howard Tayler's journey to profitable webcomics". The Daily Cartoonist. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "2009 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. August 10, 2009. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "2010 Hugo Award Nominees – Details". World Science Fiction Society. April 4, 2010. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ Lewis, John (July 16, 2009). "XDM X-Treme Dungeon Mastery: A DM’s Review". Roleplaying Pro. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "2005 Results". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. 2005. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ "2007 Results". Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Committee. 2007. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Hickerson, Michael (April 25, 2011). "Hugo Nominees Announced". Slice of SciFi. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Strock, Ian Michael (April 7, 2012). "2012 Hugo Award Final Ballot". SFScope. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ http://www.thehugoawards.org/2013/09/2013-hugo-award-winners/

External links[edit]

Media related to Howard Tayler at Wikimedia Commons