Page 183
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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon First off, I'd like to tell everyone who wrote in asking if we're really ending the comic that we're not. It was a late April Fool gag (the date on the sidebar was "April 1, 2006" and the title bar read "A Miracle of Science: The calendar obeys us, not the other way around!"). And the page number was 399, although you wouldn't have noticed that unless you were sneaky and checked the properties on the comic image.

I wrote the short script for the comic you saw and sent it to Mark as an April Fool gag on him, never expecting Mark to do anything with it other than laugh. He fielded the curve ball magnificently, drawing the comic and sending it back to me as a surprise. After he did that, how could we do anything other than pass the goofiness on to you folks?

On to today's comic. We see Dr. Haas spoofing the source of his call in an attempt to fool anyone who might attempt to track him back to his lair. I could go into a technical discussion of this sort of thing, but those who care already know and those who don't know really don't care...

Last item: Of course, it would almost certainly be different times on the Moon and on the part of Venus where Dr. Haas resides. The Moon takes a full month to rotate, so there's no reason for multiple time zones like we're used to here on Earth - the entire Moon would be one big time zone. Venus, on the other hand, has been made by Martian technology to rotate roughly once every 24 hours and so would have Earth-style time zones. However, Haas could have been polite enough to check his computer to make certain he wasn't calling in the middle of the night.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Eheh, sorry about all that. If we'd been more timely with the April Fools' we'd probably have given fewer people heart attacks, but like Jon mentioned this all pretty much happened as a last-minute thing! Don't worry, MoS will continue right up until the very day on which the story ends -- an ending which, contrary to my insinuations on the April Fool's page, Jon has had planned out from the very beginning. (What's the ending? you ask. It's a secret to everyone! But I'll give you a hint: the very last shot is Jon himself shutting down the electricity on the space station, as it is blown up and deorbited into the atmosphere of Epsilon Three... no, no, I'm kidding, just a little joke, please put down those pitchforks...) If you missed it, the April Fool's page will be archived in our extras section, well, it shall happen very soon, anyway.

Also note that since we were just funning, that means there isn't going to be a Martian hot springs sequence after all. It's fair to say that I'm as disappointed as you are. As recompense, I've uploaded a version of today's page without word balloons here. Contrary to popular expectations, Panel 2 is my favorite of the lot.

Further addendum: Dang. Those JPEG compression artifacts are nasty.