|Super Haters #263||Le Hunger||Super Haters #265|
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This comic strip was a lot tougher than I expected!!! It's has two fairly distinct things going -- Destruct-O-Tron's character progression (job to no job, introduction of the comics subplot) and Rodney's gerbil punchline. The punchline is connected to the strip's inciting incident in panel 1 -- Mind's Eye pressuring Destruct-O-Tron to foot the bill for RALF's appetite -- but it's completely unconnected to panels 2-4. That made it especially difficult to create a smooth transition from one story beat to the other.
Originally, I left panel 3 blank, and what you see now as panels 3-4 were actually panels 4-5, alluding to time passing as Destruct-O-Tron thought about getting a job. And RALF entered the room as Destruct-O-Tron left in panel 5. But it just didn't look right. So I decided to make panel 5 blank instead, with Mind's Eye standing by herself in silence. But that didn't work for me either.
My final solution was to have RALF's punchline in panel 6 predicated by some noises in panel 5. These sounds represent his actions in the kitchen as he prepares to cook the gerbils. I thought this would create a fun transition between story beats while also giving the joke in panel 6 a bit more payoff. I'd be lying if I said I'm 100% happy with the final version, but it's my favorite of all the iterations of this strip. And I think it does a decent job of building up the joke. I hope it gave you a good laugh!!