The idea of how a major transformation affects someone’s mind has been discussed more outside the comic than inside of it, in the comments sections wherever UTC has been posted. Jen’s explanation about Keris on this page is very close to the original justification I came up with while making Chapter 1.

I always try to stick close to this fiction-writing rule of thumb: “When doing weird sciencey stuff that’s not backed up by actual science, at least be consistent with how the fake science is applied.” From Keris’ first transformation onward, I’d been mindful of how each character’s mental state changes, depending on all of the factors involved in their particular change. This scene mostly exists to canonize some of those explanations.

This is the first page since page CCLII to have a stand-alone title. The previous two chapters had a unifying theme or format to their titles. I didn’t intend to make that a permanent fixture for the series, and since there wasn’t a compelling need to thematically tie this chapter’s titles together, I went back to doing looser titles, which are usually made up at the very last minute.

Starting with this page, I switched to Clip Studio Paint for coloring. Every previous page was colored in Photoshop. I also started leaning into texture brushes, which I had dabbled with in Photoshop at the beginning of Phase Three, but I gave that up quickly because they were a big resource hog on my computer and I wasn’t that confident in how to use them. Clip Studio’s brush features seem more robust, or at least much more user-friendly, and there are a lot of widely available user-created brush sets online.

The location tag calls this place “Undisclosed Laboratory” because it’s a setting we haven’t seen before. It’s not meant to suggest this facility is some double-extra-top-secret lab operating without any oversight. This is a legit, licensed/registered/official location in or close to Genessee Springs. If its actual name is established later on, the tag will be updated.