At this time in the evolution of the strip, I decided to have Mike’s friend, Gordon, be a bit of a negative force. In my mind, all of the auxiliary characters were becoming clear and defined, and it seemed right for Gordon Mayes to have some baggage. Something in his life made him cynical and tougher than the other kids, but I hadn’t yet figured out what it was. It sounds unbelievable, but these characters evolved on their own. In a way, they told me who they were and how they lived.