Molly is a young millennial software engineer stumbling her way through modern life, which means she was practically born deeply in debt. She dropped out of college after coming to the realization that her irreplaceable time was being wasted with studies that brought her no closer to her goal, and decided that real world experience would be far more valuable. Largely self taught, she possesses a tireless energy and work ethic, and derives intense satisfaction from the smallest successes and severe stress from the smallest failures. With the help of her coworker Chuck, for whom she has developed a romantic interest, she is learning to be more of a systems oriented thinker who sees failures as tools rather than setbacks.
She was raised by her Grandparents in their dilapidated trailer, as her mother dropped her off there one day and never returned, and as far as Molly knows her biological father isn’t even aware that his daughter exists. She carries around a photo of a young man who she was told was her father, and her internal dialogue often takes the form of a conversation with this imagined person. She dyes her hair blue to match the one photo she has of her father, viewing this as a symbol of belonging to his “crew.”
First appearance: Eggs
Molly’s Dad (Name unknown)
Molly’s Dad is for all intents and purposes a ghost, existing almost entirely in Molly’s imagination. All she knows is that in the one photo she owns he is roughly in his very early twenties or late teens, and that he appears to be very happily holding up a pirate flag with the legend “We done did it” clearly visible. Molly has adopted that phrase to celebrate successes, and has dyed her hair to match his, though only on one side to indicate that she is not as high a ranking member of his “crew”.
When Molly ponders especially difficult problems, she envisions the process as a conversation with this imagined person, inventing speech patterns and mannerisms out of whole cloth.
First appearance: Building, Part 13
Chuck is a lead sysadmin at Molly’s firm, and is essentially her opposite number on the ops end, having worked closely with her on several mission critical systems. He is the consummate alpha male, in that he is unashamedly himself, and is fully aware of his strengths and weaknesses.
Molly has developed romantic feelings for him, but as far as anyone can tell Chuck isn’t interested in her or anyone that way. He often playfully chides Molly in hopes of helping her to stop worrying about her completely unfounded sense of incompetence.
First appearance: Tickets Please
Greg is Molly’s patient and, some would say, long suffering roommate, often bearing the brunt of her spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm. Seeing her as somewhat of an adopted little sister, he does his best to ensure that she doesn’t overextend herself, though many times his efforts are futile.
As an MMA instructor, his interests couldn’t possibly run more counter to Molly’s, though there is an odd sort of natural comfort to their interactions nonetheless. He is certainly the more level headed between the two of them, and has served many times as a solid dependable rock for her to land on.
He spends a great deal of time with his girlfriend Sam, who has also become close friends with Molly.
First Appearance: Excitement
Sam is Greg’s significant other, and the closest thing to a best girlfriend Molly ever had. Optimistic, positive, and clever, she often keeps Molly on her toes with her off color or unexpected quips or interjections.
She has studied to be a veterinarian, but despite her efforts she has yet to be accepted into any program. She isn’t letting the highly competitive nature of the field stop her, though, and has simply put forth that “Next time, I’m in.” While she patiently applies to various schools, she works as a barista at a local coffee shop.
First appearance: Roommates
A native of Great Britain, Tess was Molly’s Project Manager and direct report for the first part of her career. She has a penchant for horrible puns, often delivered in hopes of making Molly crack a smile; she saw making her young team member laugh as a sort of personal quest.
When Molly initially interviewed for her current position, It was Tess’ tireless and unrelenting advocacy that convinced the company to bring the young, inexperienced college dropout on board, mainly by offering them the credit for the decision if it turned out well and to take the blame if it didn’t.
After a system outage occurred while Molly was at the beach, Tess threw Molly’s phone into the ocean, thus making her unreachable. As a result the outage remained unresolved for nearly twelve hours, costing the company an undisclosed but considerable amount of money. Tess took the blame and lost her job, arguing that Molly was an asset the company couldn’t afford to lose. Through it all, she didn’t lose her unflappable manner.
Her current employment status is unknown.
First appearance: Get Up, Stand Up
Dr. Sofia Elsker
The good Doctor Elsker served as Molly’s therapist over the course of the difficult periods early in her career. She is one of the only two people (the other being Greg) outside of Molly’s immediate family that has seen the picture of her father.
Dr. Elsker has been instrumental in centering the tempestuous brain of the young blue haired engineer and pulling her back from several dark places.
First Appearance: Dr. Sofia Elsker
Grandpa Gus Dufraine
Gus is Greg’s Grandfather, and a retired mechanical and electronics engineer. His casual competence gleaned from a lifetime of hard work draws Molly to his side like a magnet, and Gus has taken on the young one as a sort of consulting apprentice. He has a great admiration for her enthusiasm and desire to learn, and as such he pulls no punches in criticizing her work, using terms like “It ain’t bad, but it ain’t good enough to build.” His guidance was instrumental in allowing Molly to complete one of her greatest hardware projects: A wind and solar power bank for her Grandparent’s trailer.
First appearance: Tongue Tied
“Poppop” Mickey Beans
“Poppop” Beans is Molly’s grandfather, and along with Maggie “Mema” Beans he raised Molly since the age of two in their mobile home. Molly’s mother left her with her parents while she (ostensibly) went off to the military, and over time they spoke less and less until communication dropped off all together. A retired restauranter , “Poppop” was never a wealthy man, but he did all he could to provide for his granddaughter, however little he could provide.
First appearance: Wind Whisperer
“Mema” Maggie Beans
“Mema” Beans served as Molly’s mother figure in the absence of her actual mother, whose current whereabouts are unknown. She is accustomed to hardship and scarcity as the co-owner of a struggling restaurant for most of her life, and her appreciation of the small things has certainly influenced her granddaughter’s worldview.
First appearance: I Love You
Heather can best be described as Molly’s shadowy reflection; Heather is equally industrious and driven but she is right-brain dominant rather than left-brain dominant.
A workaholic painter/illustrator/entrepreneur, she met Molly at a maker faire and the two women were immediately floored by one another’s talents. Since then, they’ve had an awkward sort of friendship that seems impervious to the fact that neither can seem to understand what the other is talking about. Heather was recently hired by Chuck to paint a mural for Molly’s 23rd birthday, with the sole instruction being “Paint her however you see her.” The result was a depiction of Molly hard at work assembling the Slayer Exciter Circuit which initially caught Heather’s eye, a thing Heather still describes as “sorcery”.
Due to a fortunate accident in timing, Heather became unexpectedly wealthy when the Etherium Chuck paid her in exploded in value within seconds. Although she is nouveau riche, she continues to drive a Nissan Versa, still shops at thrift stores, and still dines on Ramen and Chef Boyardee. In her own words, she just isn’t any good at being rich. She is desperate to repay Chuck and Molly for her wealth, and is stymied by both of their insistence that they will not accept money they haven’t explicitly earned. As a result, Heather is always on the lookout for ways to invest in either of their endeavors.
First appearance: At the Maker Faire
Amy is Chuck’s younger sister, and the youngest of his three siblings. While she may bear some family resemblance to the taciturn Sysadmin, the similarities end there. She is as right brained and creative as can be done, and as baffled by anything technical that doesn’t “Just work” as can be done. She is something of a creative polymath, in that she is an accomplished banjoist, trumpeter, and pianist as well as a sculptor, potter, voice actor, and poet. She spends much of her free time at the Bare Bones intentional community making bowls, cups, and jugs out of clay, and occasionally fills in on trumpet for a local ska punk band.
She adores and idolizes her older brother, and has taken it upon herself to play a sort of matchmaker for him and Miss Beans.
First appearance: Good Question
Here are the Patrons who have appeared in the comic so far!
The dashing Cam is a systems architect at Molly’s firm, who has the unenviable task of maintaining legacy systems while simultaneously being responsible for developing their replacements. He and Molly often commiserate over frequently perplexing corporate processes.
First appearance: Joy
Damon is the current owner of BluedanBOB’s, the tavern on the edge of town overlooking the city skyline. The enormous mural of Molly building a Slayer Exciter circuit rests upon the back wall of the bar, along side a streaming webcam intended to allow passerby to communicate ideas and accomplishments.
First appearance: My Work My Way
Clark is a frequent patron of the local game shop, and was responsible for suggesting Squad Leader when Molly requested a sufficiently challenging and complex game to play with her fellow engineers. This led Molly to obsessively study the game, going so far as to author an artificial intelligence capable of playing the game well enough to beat seasoned human opponents. The Ai was since open sourced.
Clark is a devoted fan of the Star Wars Franchise and a connoisseur of gaming arcana.
First appearance: Making It Worse
The man called Terminal owns the land on which the Bare Bones intentional community is based. When on the property, he resides in a rustic log cabin he built with his own hands, and acts as a sort of market and trade facilitator for the residents of the community. Molly met him when visiting the land to survey and plan the placement and layout of a scaled up version of her grandparent’s wind and solar power bank.
First appearance: Call Him Terminal