Original Release Date: May 17, 2011
I did not use Photoshop to replicate the photo of Mike in panel four for re-use in panel six; those are both originals. They are shockingly consistent, as far as I'm concerned.
There's a funny/embarassing story behind the hat photo. When I was a junior in high school, I got my first digital camera, and I was "working" backstage at a school play taking photos. The truth is, I don't think the Drama Club ever saw any of those photos because, even though I was technically a member, I just showed up when I wanted to and was not there in any kind of official capacity, and thus, they never knew the photos existed, and I was too introverted to approach the faculty and say, "Hey, I've got these photos, if you're interested." Really, I was just there with my friend Blake to hang out backstage while he worked crew for the show. I promise I learned a lot about responsibility once I got out of high school, because I obviously didn't know anything about it when I was IN high school.
Anyway, Blake had a very nice hat with him, or perhaps it was a piece of wardrobe for the show. I put it on and asked Blake to take a picture of me in the hat. I felt really cool.
In reality, I was a complete dope.
I volunteer for a theatre company today, and I can't begin to add up everything wrong with my presence backstage that day. Not only was I in the way and a distraction and talking unnecessarily during the production, I wasn't even authorized to be there! I was completely disrespectful and ignorant of all the theatre rules I was breaking. I developed something of an arrogant/egotistical streak in my last year and a half of high school that I look back on now and just shake my head. I was still quiet and reserved and "nice," but I thought an awful lot of myself at the time, and didn't pay the proper respect to a lot of people and school groups who deserved it. It's easy to chalk it up to high school stupidity, but I feel bad for a lot of my actions from those days.
When I got home later, I transfered my photos over to the computer. It took me a few weeks to realize it, but the super cool photo of me in the hat was actually a photo of a big, stupid jerk who really thought he was something. Here, in panel six, Mike expresses exactly how I came to feel about the photo. (Note: Mike looks much better in his hat photo than I did.)