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Marten Reed[2] is one of the main characters of Questionable Content. In fact, as the first person to speak in the comic, it could be argued that he is the main character. He is the only other character besides Faye Whitaker to have appeared in over half the strips in the comic.[3]

He is the human companion of Pintsize, is Faye's housemate in apartment 22[4](or 25[5]). For a while, he was in a relationship with Dora Bianchi, but he is currently in a relationship with Claire Augustus.

Biography Edit


Marten is originally from northern California.[6][7] His parents, who divorced when he was ten,[8] are Henry Reed (a gay nightclub owner) and Veronica Reed (a fetish model and professional dominatrix, known by her stage name Veronica Vance). His step-father is Maurice Duplantier. Marten is an only child.[9] His only other known relatives are an aunt named Jane, an unnamed uncle,[10] and an unnamed grandfather.[11]

Marten was bullied in school[12] and was anxious enough as a child to require a Worry hat. He used to play the clarinet.[13] In high school, Marten was club president of the Dungeons and Dragons club.[14] Even now he has only a few friends, judging from his address book.[15]

Marten majored in music history and critical theory.[16]

When the comic started, he was working in an office job which he detested and which paid only slightly more than twenty thousand dollars per year.[17] He now works at Smif College's Williston Library, with Tai as his boss.

He has no interest in following his mother into the family business.[18]

1–999 Edit

Before the comic started, Marten lived in California and moved to Massachusetts to follow his girlfriend Vicky.[6] For the first several years of Questionable Content, Marten and Faye were constantly the subject of a "will they-won't they" backdrop.

Marten started a band Deathmøle with Amir and Natasha.

Meeting FayeEdit

One of the first things Marten and Faye did together was visit Irony Cafe.

This sexual tension finally ended—supposedly for good[19]—with Faye explaining her emotional issues regarding the suicide of her father,[20] and Marten dating Dora Bianchi.[21] Faye is Marten's best friend.[1]

Dating DoraEdit

Marten and Dora's relationship lasted until strip 1799, when Dora broke up with him.[22]

1000s Edit

2000s Edit

Marten acquired a guitar, a Ibanez RG2228[23] 8-string,[24] which wiped out his savings.

He had a very relaxed attitude towards Tai dating Dora[25]. Marten even calmed down the freaked out Tai after their first date[26]

Dating Claire Edit

—I need pancakes before I can process this.

Martin and Claire Augustus are currently in an established relationship, as of strip 3340.

3000s Edit

Marten discussed Claire's plans for piercings with her, when they went to a piercing salon.[28]

Talk of future prospects lead to Marten's realization about instability of his employment.[29] Claire helped Marten open a savings account.[30]

Current status Edit

He currently lives at 144 Dwight Street, apartment 22[31] with Faye, although his best male friend is Steve.



Marten's religious beliefs have never been mentioned "on screen" but a newspost said "cheerful agnosticism".[32]

Sex and drugs and rock&rollEdit


Marten has so far only been in heterosexual relationships. He is comfortable with and supportive of gay people, and seems free of hangups about gay sex.[33] His tastes are vanilla,[34] but he knows bondage techniques (no doubt due to his mother).[35] He recognizes that Sven has a nice ass.[36]

Despite being surrounded by attractive women, Marten has explained that he does not fantasize about Penelope, Tai or Faye, but does for Raven.[37]

Marten is currently in a relationship with Claire Augustus.


Marten is a regular coffee drinker (his favorite is a large latte)[38] but is no gourmet.[39] Faye accused him of being satisfied with anything hot and brown colored.[40]

Marten is a casual drinker of alcohol, and has been shown drinking beer.[41] He has also been known to binge drink when emotionally stressed, but only rarely.

Marten does not seem to use use any other drugs, neither smoking nor ever having dropped acid.[42][43][44]

Music preferencesEdit

We know some of the concerts he's attended[45] and that Modest Mouse makes him nostalgic, but on the many occasions when he's talked about bands he's not tended to talk about his tastes.

Marten is known to have a Mogwai poster, and on his blog he listed Broken Social Scene as a favorite. He likes David Bowie's Outside or at least admires its depth,[46] and likes The Flaming Lips. He says he appreciates the work of Sir Mix-a-Lot.[47] He has complimented the songwriting of Belle and Sebastian,[48] and is an intense fan of Thurston Moore.[49] He is a fan of American glam metal band Poison.[50] He also appeared knowledgeable of electronic music when speaking with Tai, particularly Ricardo Villalobos' Fizheuer Zieheuer,[51] and has a T-shirt bearing the name of British electronic artist "Gold Panda".[52] He is also a fan of Liars, and possibly William Shatner.[53] He seems to be a fan of "post-post-ironic" music, particularly Deerhoof.[54] His bedroom has a poster for the Texan rock band "Spoon".[55] He has a T-shirt for American rapper Biz Markie and the Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor.[56][57] He is familiar with the music of Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah. He has also met and likes the DJ Ellen Aillen.

He appears to like Society For Creative Rock Anachronism,[58] and a friend believed he would like an Explosions in the Sky album.[59] He, along with Steve and Faye, are also fans of the band Dune and often have conversations about their style and taste. He also mentioned that the Failure album he downloaded was "Really fucking good" and that he felt he had "missed out on them while they were together".[60] There are a few he has complained about.[61]

When asked by Faye about his favorite Toto song he revealed it was "Rosanna".[62] This seems to conflict with Faye's favorite ("Africa")[63] and is completely disregarded by Dora who hates the band with a passion.[64]

His ringtone is "One More Time"[65] and previously was "I am trying to break your heart".[66]

Marten has an intense dislike of the Sex Pistols, with an apparent specific hatred of "God Save the Queen",[67] as well as Metallica's "St. Anger".[68] He would not complain if someone assassinated the former MTV VJ Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery.[69] He seems to dislike drum circles.[70]


He is kind and considerate,[71] but knows when to be snarky.[72] He has a very mild, malleable disposition, to the point of often being a pushover. He is slow to anger,[73] but will react when a friend is mistreated.[74]

Marten may be shy. He is at any rate slow to make friends, if Pintsize is to be believed (hah!). According to Pintsize Marten had lived in Northampton for two years before meeting his first friend there, Steve.[75] Marten now says he has a lot of friends,[76] but his phone address book has only a few entries.[15]

Marten is an underachiever who dreams of a successful band but spends his Saturdays "watching Cartoon Network and moping".[77] On the subject of Marten's apparent aimlessness,[78][79], Jeph Jacques said:

Marten isn't really sure what his goals ARE. I'm pretty sure I've actually had him say something along these lines in the comic, actually. He'd like to have some, but life can be insidious in how you go day by day and suddenly it's been a year and you're still working at your crappy job and WTF happened to all that time.
—Jeph Jacques[80]

At any rate, he knows one thing he doesn't want to do, namely taking over his mother's business.[18] Marten's concept of an ideal life is listening to music and drinking coffee.[81] His favorite drink is a large latte.[38]


Marten is slender, not muscular,[82] and between 5-8" and 5-10".[83] He has black hair and blue eyes. He claims to be incapable of growing facial hair.[84]

Memorable quotesEdit

  • "Hey, that's not fair! The other day I wanted some soup, and there was none in the apartment. What did I do? I went to the friggin' store and got some soup! If that's not taking charge of a situation I don't know what is."[85]
  • "I need to learn some new profanity, 'cause the old standards just aren't cutting it in this situation."[86]
  • "What the hell ass balls?!"[87]
  • "Pfft. Fuck rent, I'm buying a guitar."[88]
  • "Quick, placate the other patrons with your rosy cookie gases!"[89]
  • "What's the best way to piss off an indie rock snob? Actually enjoy music."[53]
  • "That may be the greatest non-sequitur in human history"[90]
  • "There needs to be a word for those brief moments of clarity where you realize how profoundly weird your life is."[91]
  • "I just... tripped over my gigantic wang. Happens all the time. Damn thing's like a malicious ball python."[92]
  • "The hangover is the worst part of Mistake Whiskey, though. Instead of caffeine and aspirin you need distance and perspective and they don't sell those at the drugstore."[93]
  • "...guh?"[94]
  • "It's not my fault I'm a delicate flower."[95]
  • "Mm. Waffles."[96]
  • "...this will be the most efficient way of blotting out the realization that my computer has a more active love life than me."[97]
  • "Seriously, make sure you get off the train at Orgasm-town. The next five stops are all in Bitter-Recrimination-ville, and that's a really bad neighborhood."[98]
  • "Gah, I can feel your hands through my hoodie! They're freezing! I've fucked corpses warmer than you!"[99]
  • "Who needs flowers and chocolate when you've got Hitler's brain in a jar?"[100]
  • "I should really just clonk you on the head right now, but somehow it feels uncharitable."[101]
  • "I make barely twenty thousand dollars a year. I have thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off, and I can barely afford to pay my rent each month and still buy food. I hate my job, but because of this shitty economy, I can't afford to quit and find a job I actually like."[17]
  • "I just spent the night with a hot chick who can quote Poison lyrics at will. I win so hard."[50]
  • "She's a problem for me like a porch light is a problem for a moth."[102]
  • "Man, I'd be the worst praying mantis ever. 'Oh sure, you can bite my head off without mating with me, I understand. You have ISSUES.'"[103]
  • "You try being used as a human shield by a scimitar-wielding monk and see how your bladder holds up!"[104]
  • "Hmm...nope, too late. I'm fuckin' you in the ear just to make sure."[105]
  • "Science Daddy Science Daddy can't you see/sometimes your research just hypnotizes me"[106]
  • "I gave up around where they introduced Irrational Birthday Integers."[107]
  • "I'll have a double racist-grandma on the rocks."[108]
  • "What do you know about Pokemon?"[109]
  • "Am I the one being hazed?"[110]
  • "Lighten up. Life's short, you gotta stop and smell the first-edition Melvilles along the way.[111]
  • "I have no idea why we're playing dodgeball, just go with it."[112]
  • "My girlfriend is cooing over my boss's vulva like it was a newborn kitten."[113]
  • "My life hasn't stopped being completely fucking bizarre since you said 'hi' that first time."[114]
  • "I have the weirdest friends"[115]
  • "Stop talking and let me be happy for you"[116]
  • "Last night felt totally natural. Kissing you felt totally natural. Sitting here with my arm around you feels totally natural, so I think we can just take it as it comes and we'll talk to each other, and figure out what needs figuring out."


Apartment layoutEdit


Apartment layout

This is a general layout of how Marten and Faye have their apartment set up. The area between the two rooms is the closet for each individual room.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Number 1564: Tai's A Secret Girl
  2. 2.0 2.1 Number 1835: The Misfit
  3. Count of character appearances
  4. Number 431: Mama I'm Comin' Home
  5. Number 315: Altruism Is Forever
  6. 6.0 6.1 Number 253: The Two Old Guys From The Muppets
  8. Number 433: Ye Olde Backstorey
  9. Number 2355: Cool Moms Vs. Cool Dads
  10. Number 2378: Road Trip Report
  11. Number 460: Look For It At Barnes And Noble
  12. Number 162: Finishing Move
  13. Number 1989: Hot Cross Buns
  14. Number 134: Awesome Dragon Poster
  15. 15.0 15.1 Number 2062: No Last Names
  16. Number 276: Lady-Classes
  17. 17.0 17.1 Number 37: Misery Loves Booze
  18. 18.0 18.1 Number 1305: All In The Family
  19. Number 1807: The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
  20. Number 500: The Talk, Part 1
  21. Number 564: If You Need Me I Can Always Be Found
  22. Number 1799: Tracking Sounds Alone
  24. Number 2418: Attack Of Conscience
  25. Number 2248: Tai Used To Play RugbyNumber 2262: A Beer, Please
  26. Number 2265: My Last Apartment Was Like ThisNumber 2270: Marten Likes Banana Flavor
  27. Number 2803: Me Too
  28. Number 3037: Or Unicycles, For That MatterNumber 3041: Poof
  29. 3819: Student Loan Entanglement3821: Organs.csv
  30. 3824: On The Same Page
  31. Number 965: I'd See It
  32. Number 645: Reverse Alcoholism
  33. Number 1024: Feeding The Rule 34 Beast
  34. Number 1796: Here We Go Again
  35. Number 1302: Coulda Been A Sailor
  36. Number 1770: Better Than You Can Imagine
  37. Number 1361: Specialsaurus Has Heartburn
  38. 38.0 38.1 Number 1805: Executioner's Blues
  39. Number 1004: More Of An Herbal Tea, Really
  40. Number 1923: Naked And Covered In War Paint
  41. Number 1964: Guten Abend
  42. Number 465: Lego With An Attitude
  43. Number 1541: There Really Are Hot Ones
  44. Number 1279: Weedmaster P Is Her Dealer
  45. Number 332: One-Upsmanship
  46. Number 578: He Swears It Was An Accident
  47. Number 482: Still Awaiting Actual Knighthood
  48. Number 548: Belle And Sebitchslap?
  49. Number 1530: Hey's Very Tall In Real Life
  50. 50.0 50.1 Number 606: 606s Are Pretty Cool Drum Machines
  51. Number 802: Dirty Laundry
  52. Number 1891: External Monologue Issues
  53. 53.0 53.1 Number 550: They Were Wrong So We Complained
  54. Number 56: Also Songs About Cloning
  55. Number 1199: Really More Of An Early Anthrax Fan, Anyway
  56. Number 2614: Laundry
  57. Number 1816: My Heart Is Not At Peace
  58. Number 1173: Like A Warlock, Only He Summons Organs
  59. Number 479: BitTorrents Are Forever
  60. Number 72: Failure Was Awesome
  61. Number 27: No Love For The Emo
  62. Number 1737: Hidden Criteria???
  63. Number 1735: I Bless The Rains
  64. Number 1739: What About A Metal Cover Version?
  65. Number 2974: Millions Of Peaches
  66. Number 2265: My Last Apartment Was Like This
  67. Number 412: Pissing Off The Punks
  68. Number 1107: And Justice For All
  69. Number 401: Just Because You're Paranoid
  70. Number 2616: Djent Circle
  71. Number 1262: New Model Year
  72. Number 371: There Is No Stopping Him
  73. Number 1743: They'll Be A Little Short, Too
  74. Number 1902: Oh God That FACE
  75. Number 2332: Insider Talk
  76. Number 2288: It's More Of A Stadium
  77. Number 11: The Wrong Thing at the Wrong Time
  78. Number 1982: Reach For That Brass Ring
  79. Number 2101: Deed And Title
  81. Number 687: I Would Too
  82. Number 1313: I Will Never Get Tired Of That Winslow Face
  84. Number 76: I Want That Mug
  85. Number 610: From Anxiety To Sarcasm In 60 Seconds
  86. Number 212: Does Thinkgeek Sell Pampers?
  87. Number 646: Hemi Innit?
  88. Number 52: Semi-Autobiographical
  89. Number 73: Clear The Room
  90. Number 1245: From Forward Into Reverse
  91. Number 1666: Present-Shock
  92. Number 676: I Love That Game
  93. Number 788: AKA Tequila
  94. Number 4: Faye Cuts to the Chase
  95. Number 1589: A Rose In A Whirlwind
  96. Number 510: Breakfast of Champions
  97. Number 292: The Hobo Fixes All
  98. Number 1701: Cookie Cthulhu- The Cookie That Eats YOU
  99. Number 772: I Miss Sexy Losers
  100. Number 1165: Not Quite As Good As Rasputin's Wang, Though
  101. Number 744: Poor UI
  102. Number 365: Or Maybe A Bug-Zapper
  103. Number 520: Hlhgbaulh
  104. Number 696: Guest Starring John Woo
  105. Number 1572: Nothing Says Love Like...
  106. Number 2113: Biggie Ain't Dead
  107. Number 2130: Imaginary Christmases
  108. Number 2136: Emotohol
  109. Number 2138: Tensor Tension
  110. Number 2205: Some Sort Of Bizarre Gauntlet
  111. Number 2207: 1851 Vintage
  112. Number 2212: Training Montage
  113. Number 1249: Good Thing They Still Have It
  114. Number 534: Living A Decemberists Song
  115. Number 1419: His Savior
  116. Number 2707: Blah Blah
  117. Number 2947: Let's Recap
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