Sibling Rivalries (Series run: July 8, 2013 - Present) is a comic series created by GTA Nerd. The series centers about an Irish-American family moving to Wisconsin from Vancouver, Canada, and meeting new people, but they also make enemies that want to get rid of them for good.
The series debuted with "Hello, Wisconsin!" in July 2013, and since then has become quite successful. Three prequels were released in 2014, each explaining the events leading up to the first comic of the regular series.
The series abruptly ended in April 2016 when GTA Nerd abandoned his comics due to personal issues, although the franchise briefly continued with the sequel series titled Sibling Rivalries: The Next Chapter, which had a short run from July 13 to November 21, 2017. Following the failure of TNC, the original SR series has returned with a sixth season in June 2018.
As of the comic "Kate and Mark's Mall Madness" in August 2018, SR has become the longest running series in the T.J. Productions Comic Universe in terms of series run, at the time being five years and one month old, thus beating out the simple five-year run of the Cletus Comics series. After a hiatus after the sixth season at the end of 2018 and throughout 2019, the series has returned with a seventh season in March 2020, and continues with Seasons 7, 8, 9, and 10 (coming soon) during this same year. With GTA Nerd going into college, he hopes to keep the series going but has fears on how much time college will really take from him.
Early Development (Prior To July 2013)
While playing video games in 2013, GTA Nerd had found his favorite characters in Grand Theft Auto IV: The five siblings of the McReary Family. He wanted to make a comic with characters named after the family. He had several different ideas on how to make the comic, such as a Cletus Comics special named "Meet The McRearys". In the said comic, the McRearys were depicted as very different brothers, and Kate was not made as a character.
Eventually, this comic was scrapped, and later GTA Nerd tried making them teenage humans in a series resembling That '70s Show. Their ages were then lowered, and the final idea was a comic series titled "Sibling Rivalries". The characters became a young human family of siblings, and Kate was included.
The first comic of the series, "Hello, Wisconsin!", was released on July 8 this year, and when it was finished, GTA Nerd saw the series as an instant hit for himself, and continued making comics. SR made him very happy and became so successful that it caused him to forget about his previous flagship series Cletus Comics, existing three years before.
Throughout the first season, the characters took their first adventures from them attending their new school, to a camping comic where a scary story was told by the fire.
A few supporting characters debuted alongside the siblings in Season 1, from the main antagonist Joel Gonzales, to a best friend figure to Packie named Angel Chacon. "San Salvador", a popular teenage character, was also created as an older friend to the siblings but he only appeared in the last two comics in a small role. Season 1 totaled up to a perfect total of 10 comics, with the season running from July to September 2013. GTA Nerd considers the first season to be okay; none of the comics were perfect but can be excused since it was his first experience with the season and he was also quite young when he was writing.
Season 2 arrived in November 2013, but GTA Nerd does not like this season very much; Season 1 was not the best, but 2 was a lot more mediocre. The second season brought multiple new characters such as Salvador Ventura who becomes a friend to the McRearys straight away, though he may have caused Angel's role to be reduced. With Salvador came the inclusion of his own set of friends: his three best friends Eduardo T., Claude Tena, and Pablo Torres, Pablo's sister Zoe Torres, some other friends of Salvador include David Saldivar, Josh "J.J." Jackson, and Joe Hill (all characters sans Zoe originating from the first series prequel titled Sibling Rivalries: Salvador V's Adventures which began work in late 2013.
The introduction of so many characters at once may have contributed to poorer comics as GTA Nerd admits as a kid, he thought adding new characters was so fun. The season did recover a bit near the end, but 2013 certainly ended pretty rough for the series.
The second year of the series was mostly at the same level of quality as 2013, with the series still not reaching an amazing level of quality. Just like the year before, many comics had plots which did not reach their full potential, some siblings were becoming flanderized, however their friends have perhaps improved as characters.
2014 saw the end of Season 2 in May, and start to Season 3 in July. Some memorable comics include a argument with Francis, Gerry, and Derrick to see which brother Packie loves more, a non-canon crossover special with Cletus Comics titled "Meet The Robots!", and Packie running for school president. After "Patrick McReary: School President" in September, the series took a hiatus until the end of the year. In addition, the series saw the release of three prequels which have new adventures set before the series, titled Sibling Rivalries: Salvador V's Adventures, Sibling Rivalries: Vancouver Stories, and Sibling Rivalries: The Introduction, which GTA Nerd also admits was not his best work as the prequels, as well as the series, struggled with finding their grooves. However, the series soared high with more comics which continued to kill Cletus Comics.
GTA Nerd considers 2015 to be the first time the series actually found some quality. In this year, Season 3 completed, the entirety of Season 4 was completed, and Season 5 debuted at the end. The series begins its third year with it's debut comic "House Party" in January. After a five-month hiatus (due to some personal issues with school and depression), GTA Nerd returns to the series with the second comic of the year, "The Pool Date".
The series' second special comic, "Like Father, Like Sons (And Daughter), was released at the end of July 2015. The comic introduced a new addition to the main cast, Hector Wilson, the love interest and eventually the second husband of Maureen McReary. Hector would become the new father of the five McReary siblings - since the death of their biological father in July 2006. Later in 2015, the siblings would gain a new baby half-brother from Maureen and Hector, named Aiden Wilson (however, Aiden was later retconned and was not continued after Season 5).
Memorable comics include the aforementioned "Like Father, Like Sons (And Daughter)", and other hits like "Portrait of a Football Player and "One Tough Break-Up" from Season 4, and a heartwarming Christmas special in Season 5. As mentioned before, the series finally hit its best level of quality with better focused stories, heart, and some likable characters. Not to mention, GTA Nerd was aging and becoming smarter with his stories.
Cletus Comics was finally cancelled this year (although it was not until 2017 when he declared the series to be over since he thought he would find interest again in 2016, but nothing came).
2016: End of Original Era
2016 saw the end of Season 5, which GTA Nerd considers the best season yet, including the third and fourth specials "Straight Outta Green Bay" and "Straight Outta Green Bay" (the former being the longest and focusing on a McReary family vacation). The series hit its peak in quality in 2016, but when the last season comic ("ApRiL fOoLs DaY: wIsCoNsIn StYlE!") was completed in April, the series was left in a weird place because no other comics were released for the rest of the year. GTA Nerd was finishing eighth grade around this time, and would attend high school the following fall season. This was not a factor that caused the series to be abandoned, and the real reason was due to more personal issues causing depression on him. The year 2016 hit him hard, and SR was sadly forgotten about, just as the series was at the top of its game. No word was given about the series being cancelled, just a lengthy hiatus that ended up lasting over a year.
2017: Cancellation Confirmed and Sequel Series
No SR comics were made in 2017; GTA Nerd had plans to return, but they never became a reality. He was still unsure if he wanted to call the series "cancelled" yet. Things did not look good when the hiatus went over April, being a full year since Season 5 completed.
The series officially ended due to the announcement of the sequel series Sibling Rivalries: The Next Chapter in the summer. which will follow the same continuity as the original series and follows a new storyline. Also, this new series features the characters having aged by four years (now matching their present day ages as of August 2016). The series focuses on Packie (aged 14) and his adventures as a freshman through high school. Rather than featuring only the McReary siblings, this new series will simultaneously feature two sets of main casts: the original siblings, and Packie's group of new high school friends, though the latter takes center stage more.
TNC was ultimately a failure, and only ran for six months from July 13 to November 21 (totaling nine comics and one season; the ninth comic was actually going to start a second season, but when the series was axed, it was all put under Season 1). The plots were pretty good and GTA Nerd was able to balance comic writing with high school for a short while, but the series crashed and burned.
2018: Revival Era
TNC was confirmed to be cancelled on March 18, 2018, and on that same day GTA Nerd announced his plan to revive SR with a sixth season, which made its debut on June 13, 2018. It has been over two years since he worked on a comic, but Season 6 was pretty successful in his eyes. Improved drawings and storytelling breathed life back into the series, but it could be considered a downgrade to Season 5 with comics having less heart and more violence in some instances. The last two comics of the season, "Wisconsin's Greatest Hero" and "Brothers For Life", were the worst of the series in his eyes. The story of Francis saving Packie from a car accident, Francis getting injured, and Packie using that to get famous as the "brother of Wisconsin's greatest hero", is very depressing and character-damaging to Packie. GTA Nerd later declared these comics non-canon, and his depression was resurfacing this year which factored into worse writing than what Season 5 and even TNC had to offer.
Following the conclusion from the sixth season, GTA Nerd had abandoned the series again, for personal reasons. Getting back into the series continued to be difficult after Season 5 ended in 2016.
2020: Second Revival Era
SR returned in 2020 with a complete seventh, eighth, and ninth season (with a tenth season about to begin). GTA Nerd has made more comics faster due to being at home from the real-life COVID-19 pandemic closing schools and restricting most other activities. He does have interests for continuing the series for a while longer and giving the series a proper ending when it is time, but for now, 2020 has been the first successful year for the series in many years. He does have personal issues and depression that he still battles, but it has mostly been the increased timeframe which allowed comics to be higher quality than Season 6 (enough to rival Seasons 4 and 5), and have heart once again. Once more, his use of higher quality drawings and better character usage contributed to the best use of these assets. GTA Nerd is a young adult now, so comics may have more mature themes behind them yet can still be read by younger audiences since he still leaves VERY explicit themes and swear words out.
Sibling Rivalries features an entire human cast, because of the author eventually learning how to draw humans in his comics. Although humans appeared in earlier GTA Nerd-written stories and comics, their designs were improved for this series. Humans in SR look similar to the humans seen in the cancelled franchise The Brotherly Bond, although they were given necks which most humans lacked, due to young GTA Nerd not giving much detail.
To keep characters simple to draw, all humans pretty much look the same, with clothing and hair being the only ways to tell a character apart. Each human has their own set of trademark clothes that they wear in mostly every comic that they appear in (with the only exception being Salvador Martinez, who is seen with a different outfit in each of his appearances). Tony Gonzales is unique for always being depicted with crutches, something which involves more patience to draw every time.
While the series is relatively close to a cartoon in feeling, SR characters have five fingers as opposed to the usual four. When GTA Nerd did attempt to let a character get away with just four fingers, he thought it was weird and just kept five fingers, since the hands are not that difficult to draw. In rare cases after Season 7 during a character close-up, characters are drawn with a backwards 3 in their ears; a design choice used in Phineas and Ferb.
Everything in the series is drawn by hand, with designs and comics themselves looking sharper over time with GTA Nerd aging.
Despite the series being born in July 2013, the timeline of the series begins in October 2013, after Gerry's 10th birthday as the family moves to Green Bay. Comics progress in real life time and always set in the same year, sometimes around the release date of the comic. Years go by as they do in real life, but despite this, characters never age, and their ages are frozen to 2013 when the series began. This is similar to how long-running shows like The Simpsons also have years go by, as seen by new technology appearing or mentioned, yet characters never aged. The Simpsons does get around keeping characters' ages static to how old they were in 1989 (when the series began) yet true with the present time by changing birth years of the characters; for example, Maggie Simpson was one year old in 1989 thus she was born in 1988; however, while the series is currently set in 2020, her birth year may be changed to 2019 as the writers wish, although there has been 31 years since the birth of the series. Birthdays are seen several times although the ages of characters don't actually change.
As for SR, characters never age, nor are birthdays ever mentioned (except for non-canon comics) although years go by as normal, and elements stay more or less the same except for modern technology coming up.
GTA Nerd keeps the series at a G rating, with no profane language or explicit content. However, sometimes the series may cross into PG territory, with some comics having more violence or explicit material. Since the "revival era" from Season 6 onward, more comics could be considered PG. Some of those comics include:
- Season 5
- "Straight Outta Green Bay" (violence and fighting scenes)
- Season 6
- "Get Rec'd!" (a somewhat violent scene where a character wearing "hypno-goggles" is shocked in the eyes with a taser as he screams, but these only damage the goggles and he appears unhurt)
- "Attack of the BeastDroid" (the movies that the siblings want to watch appears very gruesome)
- "Wisconsin's Greatest Hero" (violent scene of drunk driver hitting Francis with his car, and Packie brutally beating up other siblings and friends out of pure anger; comic is non-canon)
- Season 7
- "Torres and Tribulations" (Pablo shoots Angel with a paintball weapon and the scene plays out as if it was a murder)
- Season 8
- "My Fair Slav-ee" (use of paintball weapons portrayed as if they were actual weapons)
- "Barking Up The Wrong Tree" (sexual intercourse indirectly mentioned and portrayed)
- "Pack To The Future" (one use of mild language and a brief fighting scene)
- Season 9
- "The Mighty J!" (continued use of a real pistol threatening to kill other unarmed characters, near-death situations, and a dark backstory of a murder)
- "McReary TV" (violence and comic mischief)
- Season 10
- "The McRearys' Halloween Special II: Re-Horrorized" (comic violence and scary elements)
The series consists of eleven active primary cast characters. There were six initial main characters plus the main antagonist, four added as the series continued, and one discontinued character. Angel and Salvador are hardly labeled as main characters, and neither is Joel.
Note: S stands for "season" and C stands for "comic".
The five McReary siblings were the only characters in the franchise to appear in every comic. Among this, Packie and Gerry were the only siblings to have a speaking role in every comic.
GTA Nerd's Opinions
GTA Nerd considers Seasons 1 through 3 (2013 to 2014) to not be so great, but this can be attributed to his young age and not being able to write as well.
He describes many comics as doing their plots very poorly and feeling very unfinished compared to what he can do now. He feels that he picked up in quality after Season 4 (2015) with better written characters and plots, and Season 5 (2015-2016) being his personal best work with not a single comic there that he hates.
After a long hiatus, GTA Nerd began and completed Season 6 in 2018. By this point, he has matured very much, and the plots can still be strong albeit at this point, many comics did not have as much heart as those from Seasons 4 and 5. GTA Nerd's job and school, as well as depression, were factors that brought down his mind. The last comics of Season 6, that being the "Wisconsin's Greatest Hero"/"Brothers For Life" special were described by him as "abysmal", with a strong plot yet poor writing especially on Packie as a character. He has apologized to himself for writing these comics and deems them non-canon.
As of 2020, Season 7 has been completed in two months and Season 8 is halfway complete. GTA Nerd feels Season 7 has the best writing and because of an increased timeframe, he can truly flesh out the characters and stories the way he likes it; thus it is an improvement from Season 6, and enough to rival Season 5 in some cases. Even while continuing to deal with depression and stress which has hurt him since at least 2016 (after the first five seasons of the series), he is able to bring better comics and has learned ways to avoid damaging the characters. Although some plots aren't always perfect and may hit duds, they can remain a pleasant reading experience better than the first few seasons.
GTA Nerd may even take those concepts from older comics such as "Yearning to be Young" and "Field Trip Gone Wrong!" and make them much better in the future. It is not a rehash if the newer version improves on the original.
Instances of Fourth Wall Breaks
Fourth wall breaks is when characters or other elements in a series acknowledge they are simply in a piece of fiction and not the real world. Due to the series being constructed to be more realistic and slice-of-life (yet still being relatively close to a cartoon), GTA Nerd rarely ever does fourth wall breaks, but here is a list of occurrences:
- Season 3
- "Like Father, Like Sons (And Daughter)": When Ma tells the siblings they can have friends over while she goes on a date with Hector, Packie says "Sure! Our friends come over in, like, every comic anyway!"
- Season 7
- "Packie The Prankster": Packie is having trouble thinking of a prank for Kate. He also directly talks to the reader and says "Boy, she's more complicated than us other characters!"
- Season 8
- "Opposite Day": Joel tells Jose that he never wins and defeats the siblings, due to the status quo of the series always getting him defeated instead. Jose scoffs and thinks the idea of a status quo is ridiculous, and also comments "What are we, in some kind of series?" At the end when defeated, an angry Joel mutters "the status quo is God".
- Season 9
- "McReary TV": Packie tells Winston Martella that despite the name of the series itself, him and the other siblings never fight. He also shows Martella the inside right side of his coat, with the "Sibling Rivalries" logo and reading "Official Sibling Rivalries Licensed Character!" GTA Nerd also put his real signature at the bottom.
- "How The Cookies Crumble": In a completely random fashion, Angel mentions he has not yet had a comic specifically about him. Gerry tells him to be patient, and how it took "seven seasons for San Salvador to get his own comic".
- "Wi-Fi Gone Awry": After a narration of some events of the comic occur, Packie tells the Narrator to stop talking since they do not need him anymore. The Narrator asks if he will still be paid, to which Packie says yes. Later, the Narrator asks Packie if they can explain what happens near the end of the story, and Packie tells him to "knock yourself out".
- Sibling Rivalries: Salvador Real's Adventures, "Like Father, Like Sons (And Daughter)", and "Satellite Screw-Up" all hold the record for longest prequel (62 pages total), longest special comic (30 pages total), and longest normal comic of the main series (22 pages), respectively.
- Despite the name of the series suggesting otherwise, in the actual comics none of the McReary siblings fight with each other, and they all seem to along. There are, of course, several comics where the siblings are seen arguing with each other (such as "Best Brother").
- Most of the characters in the series are shown to have brothers and/or sisters.
- This is GTA Nerd's first series to have an entire human cast.
- SR is also notable for being the only series besides Cletus Comics to survive for more than one year. Although it is the second longest-running comic series, it still has never beat the 73 stories that "M-O, WALL-E, EVE, and Chiquita" (GTA Nerd's very first series) had. CC surpassed this with its 74th comic "Blackout!", on December 1, 2012.
- The McReary siblings were originally going to be teenagers, but GTA Nerd changed them to kids (although Francis is 14).
- Although times and dates still go by like they do in real life, none of the characters will ever age, and will stay the same age they were in 2013 for the rest of the series. This is a complete contrast from Cletus Comics, as characters from that series still age.
- Tony Gonzales, a character that had broke his foot prior to the series starting in 2013, still wears his crutches in 2015, even though by now his foot will have already been healed. However, DR4L did not want to change the character, because having him walk around with crutches made him unique to the franchise. This means Tony will still wear his crutches and have a broken foot for the rest of the series.
- From Season 3 on, the series had a new logo, compared to the original "bubble letter" design that was used in Seasons 1 and 2. Season 4 also introduced an improved logo.
- The signature color of the series is blue, compared to that of Cletus Comics which has yellow. The color blue is used in the new logo, and in the artwork for MTR. Also, the three prequels also have their own unique signature color that is used on their title pages.
- Sibling Rivalries/List of Cancelled Comics
- Sibling Rivalries/Ideas For Future Comics
- Sibling Rivalries/Rules