The Return of James Pond! (Bet you didn't expect that.) More conflict! Interesting layouts! The Tourist! Are you starting to understand why I love this story?
Pond, James Pond: I actually did the research on his costume for this one. Had to change it, as you can see. The hair is wrong, but that's okay. I'm not copying... completely. My explanation in-universe is that he realised himself that it's wrong, and changed it, embarassed.
Gerbil Fashion: Have you noted that Gerbil is wearing a jacket over his old reliable costume? The weather's getting colder there as well.
Gerbil, More or Less: Originally, this comic wasn't going to feature Gerbil. But when I looked back, that would mean it's the first comic without the main character (not counting the Random Statements), which I decided I should hold back to use for some 'shock' effect. And I like it better this way as well. The story flows better and it's a running gag.