Original Release Date: November 23, 2002
Can you tell I just discovered the "Lighting Effects" menu in Adobe Photoshop? Because I did, and I used it a lot on this page. And, much like two pages ago when I decided I would add a splash of color to the comic here and there, with this page I decided that the comic would be in full color from this point forward. That didn't happen, either. I eventually settled on making every fourth page full-color (I equated it to full-color Sunday newspaper strips versus black-and-white daily strips).
This is actually the second version of this page. The original version was totally finished, but I scrapped it because I didn't like the direction it took the comic. In the original, Mike and Stu realize the world is suddenly in color and make a big deal out of it. It used a lot of meta humor and would have required another one or two pages of goofiness before getting back on track. I think at this point, I had a better idea of where the story was going and was beginning to drop some of the meta humor. It's still there, including in this strip and a few more future instances, but it will largely be phased out over the next several pages.
Some readers thought the animal in the last panel was a deer, but it is clearly a dog! You see, Evil Bad Guy Ninja was hurled into the side of this mailbox by the outlet store explosion, and dogs like to pee on things like mailboxes and fire hydrants. So it implies Evil Bad Guy Ninja is about to get peed on by this dog. Because he's stuck in the mailbox. It's funny, don't you think? Ah, forget it.