Original Release Date: January 19, 2006
Be amazed by the most detailed shot of Mike's hands in the entire series! My style was in an intermediary phase where I wasn't sure if I wanted things to be very cartoony or more realistic.
As the biggest fan of video games in history, I was dying for an opportunity to fit some more video game references into the comic, and a truck stop was the perfect opportunity to insert an aging game room with wood-paneled walls. The designs of the Frogger and Ms. Pac-Man machines are based in reality, but I couldn't find any pictures of a Berzerk machine on the internet at the time, so I had to improvise on that one.
Mike's inner monologue is based on my own. Much of my inner monologue, especially from this time in my life, consisted of me calling myself an idiot, so this is true to form. I've come a long way when it concerns not feeling a need to destroy myself with every mistake.
This was the first comic I drew after moving away from home. I was living in a duplex with my friend Andy. It was gross and spider-infested and quite thoroughly a bachelor pad, but it was my first home away from home, and it was great. I remember watching a Bengals-Steelers NFL playoff game while drawing this one on the living room floor. The Bengals were in the playoffs for the first time in 16 years, and then Carson Palmer got injured and was never the same. The Bengals could have still won the game without him, but they blew it. I have no idea why I remember that, but it's stuck in my head.