The Stealth Elf began as a string of “Elf on the Shelf” conversations I had with various relatives. I thought my jokes would be funnier with pictures, and the conversations fit the comic characters so darn well. That last panel was invented just for this strip, though.

In the first draft, I just called the toy “Elf on the Shelf,” but this is kind of a mean parody, so I thought a fake name was in order. I’m sure I could have gotten away with using the real name, but a parody name seems more polite to the actual Elf on the Shelf and its fans.

This is the last Urban Underbrush of 2013. Draconis will still run on Monday, then I’m skipping a week to spend time with the family. Urban Underbrush will return on January 2. Happy Holidays.