In 1996 I entered Vassar College. Late in my freshman year I started drawing a strip for the campus newspaper, the Miscellany News. It was called "The Ratio," and it was a slice-of-life college strip with no aliens whatsoever. Boring, I know.

For reasons that seemed funny at the time, every male character in "The Ratio" was named Dave. Below is the first appearance of the Dave to whom I was to become most attached. Grotesque, isn't he?

The strips didn't have much continuity, but this Dave gradually developed a relationship with Sara, one of the other recurring characters. Originally their affair was conducted strictly online.