As mentioned earlier, this particular story was originally intended to see print in a Treasury-Edition-format anthology collection at least twice the size of an Empowered volume, so I drew its pages much, much larger than the comparatively diminutive 8.5” X 11” original-art I format normally use for this series. Moreover, I penciled the artwork on oversized sheets of linen-finish cardstock, the same medium I use(d) for the chapter-break illos; had to special-order that stuff from a dedicated paper store. So, that’s why these pages’ rendering seems far more fine and delicate than the norm, with that distinctive linen pattern you can perceive if you zoom in on the artwork. For long-term readers of my oeuvre—if you’ll pardon the pretentiousness!—this is the same medium I used to draw the conclusion of Gen13 #77 (the end of my run on the series) and the 6-page bonus story tacked on to the end of the colorized Dirty Pair: Sim Hell Remastered miniseries.
Alas, while this larger format looks very nice, it was vastly slower and far more time-consuming a medium than the smaller and much, much faster original artwork used in regular Empowered. As this series is all about embracing imperfection and pounding out pages fastfastfast, I never had any intention of pursuing this pretty but slow format any further.
Panel 4: The multiple images of Ninjette bouncing between walls and flying up towards the camera is, as manga cognoscenti will no doubt have already guessed, an homage to the rollerblading (well, sorta) tricks and stunts often depicted in Oh! Great’s spectacular—if goofy as hell!—series Air Gear. (Cue the sudden blare of Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” from the snowboarding videogame game SSX Tricky, if you’ll pardon an old-school Playstation 2 reference.)