For the second Matriculated arc, "Misplaced Anger", if you guessed strip number 40 was the central strip, you're correct! If you guessed it was number 41, you're also correct! That's because the arc was planned around both strips. Here are commentary on both strips from Phil and Joe.
Matriculated #40: Janette's looking for you...
Phil: A good friend would have warned Steve that Janette was in the room. In my head, Dan and Steve have developed a complex system of non-verbal signals to warn each other of particular things. But in this case, Dan's not being a good friend, he's being a great friend. He knows that Steve and Janette need to resolve their conflict so he does what he can as a friend to help that along... plus he gets the added bonus of the look on Steve's face.
Joe: Yeesh, the art in this one is all off. Dan doesn't look like Dan. Janette doesn't look like Janette. Steve looks awesome. Seriously, this is one of my top ten worst art performances on Matriculated. I'm not sure what personal crisis I was going through that week, but this strip misses on all the major points. The biggest, like i said, is that it doesn't look like the characters. In web comics the characters have to look consistent. Break that and everyone gets confused. After drawing them for 2 years, I feel like I've got a great handle on them now. We'll chalk this mess up to "finding the characters artistically."
Matriculated #41: Confrontation
Phil:While strip number 40 was the starting point for this entire arc, this strip #41 is where the idea for the arc gelled. (By the way, #41 is the name of a great Dave Matthews Band song.) In #40, I knew what the joke was going to be but I didn't know why Janette was going to be mad at Steve. But I love the fact that Janette gets mad at Steve because Steve is mad at her. But Steve isn't really mad at Janette, he's mad at himself. But since he doesn't want to blame himself, he ends up blaming Janette for his problems.
Joe: I'm pleased with the way this one is laid out. The first and second panel especially. At the time I remember i was really trying to break away from typical storytelling. Trying new angles and new points of view is what i was really trying to stretch. Janette came out great in that second panel. Also this story arc was a great turn for Matriculated. it's where we first get a peek at Janette and Steve's complicated relationship. They did go out, but never in the time span of the strip. So what's going on there? Are there any feelings left? Will they ever get back together? I like having that little bit of love drama floating over the strip.
Check back next week for more insight on the Matriculated strips from Joe and Phil!