Panel 1: Overdialoguing Alert! Looking back, I should’ve cut Emp’s second balloon outright, and rolled with a trimmed version of the more critical third balloon.
Panels 4-5: Sound the Overdialoguing Alert again! Or Overdialoguing Alarm, maybe, as that arguably sounds a bit better. I should’ve either stretched out the fairly key dialogue here over more panels and onto the next page to reduce text density, or cut panel 4’s Spooky word balloons outright and moved (trimmed) portions of panel 5’s dialogue over here. That way, panel 5 could’ve more strongly featured only the critical lines, “And this year, Emp… You’re the joke.”
The issue, here, and one that runs throughout this wholly dialogue-based chapter, is the tension between having a lot of important points to cover in the characters’ conversations, but not wanting to burn too much pagecount in the process. The temptation becomes, “Well, don’t wanna use a whole ’nother page, here, so I’ll just cram all the text onto this page.” Gotta avoid that temptation, though, folks. You wind up with two choices—either do use up more pagecount to disperse the dialogue into more palatable, bite-sized chunks, or trim the speechifying down to only the most essential elements, so you’re not barraging the reader with an onslaught of word balloons. (Or extend the pagecount and reduce the text, most ideally.)
Another approach? Use more panels and break the dialogue up across ’em, so you avoid having single panels with five g-d word balloons, like poor ol’ panel 5.