Original Release Date: April 22, 2000
This page is ridiculous and awesome. There are three different instances of me making fun of my own artwork. Real talk, folks: that's not a deformed arm in panel 5, just improvised dialogue based on how poorly the art came out. Same thing again in panel 7. I wish I could remember how I planned these panels--I have no idea how I would even do it today without penciling everything out first. How was I able to adjust the dialogue on the fly like that? Was I writing this panel-to-panel? The perfectionist within wants to throw up just looking at some of this stuff.
Anyway, there are some really funny things happening in this comic, too. First, there's Mike's dialogue with the goon he hires; I like how he gives the option to beat up OR kill, but leaves it up to the goon. Mike's goon proceeds to destroy the other goon with a crowbar to the FACE. How violent! I like that panel 8 is a repeat of a panel from page 2 (and that Stu realizes it is pretty good, too, I suppose). Also, Mike and Stu running screaming from the building is subtle, but it tickles me.
Lastly, the exchange between the goons at the end explores the "25 cents per five minutes" policy of the Hired Goon Association. Once time is up, they're done with their task, regardless of if they completed it or not. I'm really not sure how the HGA stays afloat with rates like that, but they're corrupt, so they must have found a way. This exchange is based on the old Sam Sheepdog and Ralph the Wolf cartoons from Warner Bros., in which Sam and Ralph are friendly to one another as they clock in, try to murder each other all day, then clock out and are again cordial to each other as they part ways for the night.
I remember after finishing this page, I printed the first four pages and put them together in a little book and shopped it around at school. I'm sure I did this to try to drive traffic to my website, but also to try to get some feedback. Opinions ranged from "eh" to "I liked it." That's not bad, right?!