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  • Writer's pictureMichael Jacoby

The Sbuirrels #1 - "Self-Checkout" Talkback

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Original Release Date: March 1, 2017

An early version of Ed finally gets fed up with the self-checkout machines.

The debut issue of The Sbuirrels came from my time working as a cashier at Lowe's, where I worked at at the time. Like Ryan, I mainly worked at self-checkout and on Sundays, it got incredibly packed and busy. It would be great for business, but not so much for us cashiers who would have to handle the massive amounts of customers getting checked out. Ed's encounter with the self-checkout machine was basically how your average Lowe's customer dealt with the self-checkout machines in the store.

Ed and Mary are American red squirrels, but appear brown here because of a color I had picked from a photograph of such a squirrel on Photoshop. I ended up not liking the color and later opted for a vivid red-orange color, since it looks more like American red squirrel and has a more interesting appearance.

Lowe's is a hardware store, meaning the interior is a gray warehouse. The danger of this in this issue is the main character, Ryan, is an Eastern gray squirrel, and could blend in easily with the background. To alleviate this problem, I colored the background of the store rather luridly.

This issue used to be 13 pages, with page 7 being this:

The original "Eventually" page that was posted online and would have shown across a whole book spread if published.

As the final orientation of the portfolio gallery (used on the comics' Wix Code master pages to show the pages) is portrait and the old page 7 was landscape, there was no way it could fit, so it had to go. I was rather ambitious and planned the early comics as if they would be published in a book much, much later and the original page 7 would take up both pages on the spread.

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