It’s the first appearance of Howard!
Howard is another of my oldest characters, originally created alongside Joe and Danny when I was in elementary school. All three were based on myself and my friends, and Howard was the doppleganger of a friend who was a year younger than me. That’s why he doesn’t show up until the second year of Roomies!. He was also originally named “Mike,” but I had two Mikes (the other you should probably be aware of if you’ve ever read my stuff) and so one of them got renamed.