October 16, 2020 is the date I picked a long time ago to kick off this wild string of unlikely genetic misadventures. The mid-October start date was required because even from the very start, I wanted to do a Halloween story. I also wanted Halloween to fall on a Saturday, so as the time approached to actually draw the comic that would become “Terror of the Jackal,” I looked up which years would work. The choices were 2009, 2015, 2020 and 2026. 2009 had already passed by this point, and it was clear I was still going to be working on the comic beyond 2015. 2026 seemed way too far into the future to be plausible. So I chose 2020. I actually believed I would be finished with UTC by then. How naive!

What made 2020 extra appealing at the time was what I learned when looking up what phase the moon would be in on Halloween (so that I could draw it accurately during “Terror of the Jackal”). Serendipitously, it turned out to be a full moon. That cemented my choice of year.

Now 2020 is a reality for us. It’s a different world than what Cass and Flint are living in, but at least the dates match.

If you’re so inclined, you can follow the gang’s adventures in real time using this continuity calendar. The stories that have transpired so far span from Oct. 16 to Nov. 30.

As I write each UTC story, I carefully chart the dates to make sure the continuity flows properly. It’s been especially helpful for chapters that overlap with other established events (particularly “Fur Will Fly”). My official document is a text file and looks quite boring, so I made this snazzy calendar just for you.

“The Mother Trilogy” continues Monday!