Stu Versus San Francisco, Part 40
Original Release Date: April 14, 2009
In the first draft of this page, I had Mike and Renee recap their entire part in the evening's adventure to Stu. Then, I realized that would be a bad idea--the readers already know everything that happened, so they probably don't want to read Mike and Renee's blow-by-blow on what happened. I either noticed in reading other comics, or read in a how-to book, that in comics, this sort of conversation is usually picked up at or near the end. It sets the scene so we know that Mike and Renee have been telling Stu about their evening, but we don't actually have to sit through the entire conversation. Comics are about only relating the most important information in the most succinct way possible, so depicting this entire conversation would detract from the pacing.
The word balloons in panel four are a mess. You're supposed to read Mike's first, but that's not made clear. My thinking was since it's the top-most balloon, it will be read first, but it's still set between Renee and Stu's words, and it's not that much higher than the other two, so the order is ambiguous. It doesn't help that Mike, the guy who speaks first in the panel, is on the far right. An alternate composition should have been considered for this panel. Or, Mike could have just kept his big mouth shut!
Evil Bad Guy Ninja is cute here. You can tell it pains him to have done the right thing, so he shows up just for the sake of delivering a parting threat to Stu. It seems that he is a good guy at heart; he just allows his disagreements with Stu to run his life. He is a compelling character. I also remember going back and reading all the old comics to make sure Renee and Evil Bad Guy Ninja hadn't actually met at this point, to ensure that her last line makes sense.