This strip was a difficult idea to restrain within three panels. It’s not an elaborate joke, but the setup and punchline seem to require far more space. It really relies on the wording and images then to deliver the joke in a small space. The strip seems to work fairly well, but it did go through a couple of drafts.
STEVE: Sir, that seems a little harsh.
CZAR: Perhaps something to soften the blow?
CZAR: Now, when he flips on the lights we jump out and yell, "Surprise, you're fired!"