You can prove to yourself that this works by just copying logo.rle to initlogo.rle in your updated boot image and you will see the "G1" screen twice.
The hurdle I'm running into is generating my own images. There is a program called to565 that takes in an image and spits out the resulting image in the appropriate format (give it the -r flag to generate an rle) [edit, correct flag is -rle]. However, everything I generate with this just looks like random colored bars when I boot up (and sometimes at the bottom of the screen I see part of whatever was left in the framebuffer when I shut down). Supposedly to565 takes in a raw rgb888 file, and perhaps I'm not generating those properly. I tried saving to "raw image" from gimp but so far everything is just different variations on colored bars.
I may give up at this point, but I thought others might be interesting in picking up where I left off.