Michael Taylor originally started as a background character in “Durny Fabuwa” a long-running comic strip published in local Central Kansas newspapers in the mid-1990s. The comic for years successfully followed the 3-panel exploits of Durny Fabuwa and his best friend Dusty Meadows as they navigated through the Kansan town of Prairie. Durny Fabuwa generally eschewed the talking head format but would have its characters in the environment of Prairie, interacting with others and commenting on in-universe events. Durny Fabuwa, while comical in nature, did have an over narrative with its characters growing older, developing relationships, and having conflicts that would not be necessarily resolved within the comic. Durny Fabuwa was primarily published in a three-panel format on the weekdays, it would on occasion be in a one or two-panel format.
On Jan 4, 1999, the first appearance of the character that would come to be known as Michael Taylor appeared. He appeared as a background character holding a sign at a basketball game reading simply, “Ansate.” Interestingly enough, ansate was the answer to a particularly difficult 49 across NYT crossword clue two days later. Michael wasn’t named until later in the strip’s history again in the midst of commenting directly on that day’s word jumble. As the strip continued, readers started noting the appearance of Michael and that he frequently would give clues to the word puzzles of the day or comment on the horoscope. Early fan sites online additionally took note and chronicled Michael’s appearances and took a treasure hunter approach to determine what Michael was referencing in each strip he appeared in. Most disconcerting was when several different blogs reported that Michael was referencing different events in their own lives extremely specifically, such as the adoption of a particular dog, a favorite coffee cup getting a crack, or a stain on a shirt. Attempts were made to contact the author of the strip, however, the author was hidden behind a series of pseudonyms with no true author ever being determined. A pivotal moment was in May 2010. A thought bubble appeared from Michael, simply stating “Gadzooks! _______ ate the blueberry pie!” Each reader of Durny Fabuwa saw their own name in the blank space, even if reading the same strip in a shared physical copy of a newspaper. Durny Fabuwa was quickly and quietly canceled. The event was referenced as one of the first “Mandela Effect” occurrences as scores of people have independently recorded their memory of both the strip and the existential turmoil that existed because of it. There are supposedly paperback collections of Durny Fabuwa but when they appear for sale are quickly purchased or the listings are removed.
While the Michael Taylor who works at the Miller lab is probably not the same Michael Taylor that appeared in Durny Fabuwa they share a striking physical similarity to one another.
Michael Taylor has a BS in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and likes food, climbing, working out, and disk golf.
It could all be a disguise to mask his alternative origins though as Michael has never claimed not to be a comic character who completely broke through the fourth wall.