A note about the new character being introduced in this strip, Burt Epstein:
I do not have an older brother. I have two sisters, one two years older and one two years younger. I decided to give Mallorie three fictional siblings (an older brother and twin younger sisters), so that I could warp the characters however I chose. A lot of times comedy requires making everyone look incompetent, foolish, a little dim and often times deeply flawed. This is not how I want to portray my real family and I'm pretty sure they'd flay me alive if I tried it in the name of comedic effect. Burt shares in common with my older sister semitic good looks, a love of books and barely anything else. He is the first almost entirely fictional principal character to enter the story.