Rameses’ brother Reed doesn’t appear in this chapter. I had written a scene with him and Noah, but it was cut. If it had been kept in, Reed would have been seen here trying to help his brother.
Flint’s size was something of a tough matter. He needed to be obviously smaller, but I didn’t want him to get to the point where he’d be close to the size of other squirrels. Here he’s the size of an average dog.
The page’s title is a reference to a line in Macbeth. There’s no deep meaning behind it, I just liked the pun.
If I had more space in this chapter, we would have seen Mike and Ainsley in their own subplot, involving the way Flint behaves around them and Mike’s bid for the council seat. Ultimately, I could only bring them back into the story toward the end.
Because parts of this subplot were inspired by my high school experiences, Flint’s junior high looks a lot like the one I went to.
I had named the black-haired kid back on page CLXXIII. Mike calls him Kyle. That was done at the very last minute (while I was making the word balloons) and was not in the actual script, and I never went back to add it TO the script. By the time I got to this page, I had completely forgotten he already had a name, so I named him James.* I failed to fix this mistake before the comic was printed, so his character officially has two first names: Kyle James.
* I named him James because, if this comic ever had a character named after me, he should be someone with qualities opposite mine. After years of self-inserting my own character into comics, I figured it was about time to turn that on its head.
This page’s title is a reference to the film series The Fast and the Furious. I had once considered using the title for the chapter itself, but I felt the joke was too cheap, especially as Phase Two already had its share of movie-title-inspired chapter names.
This chapter draws from my own experiences as a kid who stuck out awkwardly in school and how poorly I handled my enormously delicate social position. Panel 4 was inspired by an incident where I embarrassed myself in front of my best friend and some friends of his and, according to high school rules, made him look bad by association. (Which I didn’t even understand at the time, as Flint doesn’t here.)
Rameses was originally going to already be half-cheetah for the entire first half of this chapter, but I rewrote it to give him a gradual, visible transformation as a treat for readers.
Panel 4 shows a fire drill evacuation. I didn’t include a sound effect for the alarms because the panel was already cluttered. Hopefully it still reads as intended.