First of all: CELEBRATION!

*dances to fun music*

…Erm, where was i?  Oh yes, the comic.  This one was hard to draw, but fun as well because I get to draw my characters growing up.  Graduation hats were invented for the sole purpose to drive amateur artists insane drawing them, I swear…  Jorocks and Holly in Panel 2 were also quite difficult, and I actually had my wife look at several different sketches to help me.  I also had a hard time with Nikki and Ella; at a wedding girls often do something special with their hair, but how to show that without it looking like a different character in my simple drawing style?  Ella in particular; this is actually the first time she hasn’t been drawn upside down in the comic!  Eventually I just went with straight hair for Ella and had Nikki let her hair down and curl it a bit on the end.  The dresses were also difficult; Nikki’s original dress was hard to tell that it was a nice dress and not just what she would normally wear (the fact that you don’t see the bottom made that difficult), so I made it single-strapped.  Matt also almost didn’t make it in the comic (hence why he’s off in the corner) as I accidentally forgot him.  Recall that Holly graduated last year and Chris is a year younger.

Graduation cord info: Nikki and Percy both graduated with honors (the medallion), as they are the two in the group that are the most book-smart.  (Well, and Nikki was an ed major.  And before any of you yell at me, I was an ed major.  It’s a lot of work, but most of my ed classes were completion grades.)  Sally has a stole from Germany; when I graduated, Doane was trying a new thing of wearing a stole from the country you studied abroad in (this would also explain Sally’s prolonged absence in the comics).  I quite enjoyed this, as I studied in Wales and therefore I got to wear a stole with a DRAGON on it.  Academic honor societies: Nikki has the education one, Sally the business one, Matt the physics one, and Percy has the biology one and two academic honors ones.  Jorocks has none, as his academic progress had some problems…  Fun fact: I was supposed to graduate with the education honor cord, but I misplaced the letter saying I could get in and didn’t actually open it until months after graduating.  Oops!

My wife and I pulled Nikki’s trick when we got engaged.  We got engaged shortly before Doane’s Relay for Life event, so we were with our friends for EIGHT HOURS before we finally decided to tell them.  (We were also really tempted to elope while going through the wedding planning process, but what couple isn’t?)

Jorocks in a tux still amuses me.  And I couldn’t resist the top hat.

Finally, if you haven’t read Ayn Rand’s Anthem, go to your library and pick it up.  It’s a good read, and while this final arc is understandable without it, it will carry more significance if you’ve read it.