Yeah, I didn't feel like doing a huge vertical splash page. What I wanted to accomplish could not only be done with less space, but would also reduce the amount of total pages the comic needed by one. Believe me, saving that page was a sanity-saver. I'd imposed a deadline on myself for the end of the year (still falling within the 10 year mark), and I would probably not have made it otherwise.
I didn't thumbnail page ten because I wasn't sure if there would even actually be one. It was either that, or an offhand, unillustrated joke at the bottom of page nine, but I decided that I could swing a small, extra panel. Anything for a pants gag.