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The main cast

Marten Reed

The main, or at least central, character of the strip, Marten is an aficionado of indie music who starts off the story by running into a girl named Faye. A few strips later, her apartment building has somehow burned down and she moves in with him.

Faye Whitaker

Marten's friend and eventual roommate. Inaugurates the strip's shift into Cerebus Syndrome by asking Marten flat-out whether he is attracted to her. Hilarity Ensues, not to mention Unresolved Sexual Tension.

Dora Bianchi (The Other Dora)

The owner of the local coffee shop (Coffee of Doom) at which Faye eventually finds employment. Ramps up the Unresolved Sexual Tension by having a thing for Marten.

Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham

A young lady Marten meets in a bar, who turns out to be his upstairs neighbor. Germophobic, adorably neurotic and born to a Mad Scientist father and a Corrupt Corporate Executive mother, she naturally became a fan favorite.

Raven Pritchard

An employee at Coffee Of Doom, most known for her antics and for matching perfectly the Dumb Blonde stereotype, except for not being blonde. Or dumb. Except when she is.


An "Anthro-PC"—basically a computer in a robot body and with enough AI to be sentient — Pintsize started off as the zany comic relief before evidently getting an overdose of 4chan. Now he's still Comic Relief, but in a more sinister way.

Sven Bianchi

Dora's older brother is a commercially-successful songwriter in the country-music genre, making a decent living writing the musical equivalents of Extruded Book Products, which naturally means he sold out. Also a Casanova of the first degree.

 "I write the songs that make the whole world cringe."

  • Ladykiller in Love: Interestingly, doesn't look like he'll get the girl who changed him, unlike the normal use of this trope.
  • Man Child: "Man Teenager" would be more accurate, since that's the form Sven's immaturity took (he's never acted like a literal child), but up until he got involved with Faye he didn't really have any need to grow up.
  • Multiethnic Name: Mother was of Swedish descent, father Italian. Mother insisted on a name from the old country. hence, Sven Bianchi.
  • Really Gets Around

Marigold Louise Farmer

An anime fan who lives near Dora's coffee shop, and is roommates with Angus. Her room had serious cleanliness problems. Sometimes known as "Mar-bear", which totally isn't confusing when you consider that there's a Marten in the strip already.


Angus McPhee, formerly known as Argument Guy

A customer who goes to Dora's coffee shop just to annoy Faye. He has a crush on her. Currently moving up to a bigger role.

Other important characters

  • Winslow, Hannelore's Robot Buddy. The Apple version of an Anthro-PC, he's basically a sentient iPod with arms and legs. He was very naive at first, but was very quickly corrupted by Pintsize.
  • Steve, Marten's best friend other than Faye. Is a secret agent. Was once dating a mortician named Meena (prior to being Put on a Bus for a short time).
  • Ellen, Steve's former girlfriend, an eighteen-year-old philosophy/marine biology major.
  • Penelope Gaines, a bookstore employee shanghaied into barista duty. Squabbles with Faye a lot. May or may not be...
  • Pizza Girl, the pizza-delivering superhero. Most of the others suspect Penelope is her secret identity. If Penelope in strip 1932 is to be believed, it isn't.
  • Tai Hubbert, Marten's current boss at the Smif College library, perpetually stuck in an all-girl polyamorous Love Dodecahedron. She really Can't Hold Her Liquor. Her Twitter account is "tai_fighter", named after her DJing stage name. Has a crush on Dora, and half-heartedly tried to get with her after she and Marten broke up.
  • Veronica Reed, Marten's mother, a former bondage and fetish model under the pseudonym Veronica Vance. Both Dora and Dora's father have gotten off to her. And mentioned so to Marten.
  • Amanda "Mandy" Whitaker, Faye's ditzy lesbian sister.
  • Natasha, Ellen's roommate and Marten and Hanners' ex-bandmate.
  • Amir, Natasha's ex-boyfriend, Marten and Hanners' bandmate. Is significantly older than most of the cast.
  • Scott, Marten's likeable first boss, a semi-Straight Gay.
  • Jimbo, a trucker-looking barfly who writes romance novels.
  • Wil, Sven's melodramatic poet friend. He is currently dating Penelope. Owns several cloaks.
  • Lydia, Sven's "intern." She's supposed to be learning the tricks of songwriting from him, but instead she's turned into sort of a lab wretch.
  • Momo-tan, Marigold's Robot Buddy. She's friends with Pintsize and Winslow. Apparently has a 97 terabyte hard drive. Originally small and chibi-like, she's gotten a new chassis that looks more like a young human girl.
  • Cosette Hurlbut, a Cute Clumsy Girl who does not benefit from the trope's usual immunity to collateral damage. She was first introduced in 1322 accidentally asking Marten out, and then did not appear again until 1430, when Marten offered to hook her up with Steve. They do get together, but due to an accident and Decompressed Comic time it's not until 1543.
  • Hannelore's Roomba, Hannelore's Roomba. Pintsize has somewhat of a rivalry with it. He and Winslow eventually strapped a rocket to it and sent it out the window, and it came back with a wife and three children. Who also have rockets.
  • Dale, another pizza delivery man (among other things). A member of the Alliance, which makes him the natural enemy of Horde member Marigold. He begins a semi-Friendly Rivalry with her online after she stiffs him on a tip over this.
  • The staff of The Secret Bakery:
    • Padma, who runs the bakery and is prone to Completely Missing the Point. She and Faye like to spar. She and Marten had a brief fling that ended badly.
    • Elliot, a Gentle Giant. In love with Padma.
    • Renee, who Angus used to date. Is apparently a ruder version of Faye.
    • Jim, the owner of the bakery. Is divorced, with a daughter named Samantha. He and Dora went on a date, but decided not to pursue a relationship.
  • Samantha, Jim's 13-year-old daughter. A Tomboy and Pokémon nerd. She's become friends with Momo (who she's a bad influence on) and Faye (who's a bad influence on her).
  • Clinton, Robot researcher with an artificial hand. Semi-stalked Hannelore after finding out who her father was. Poor sense of personal boundaries.

Minor characters

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