is a comic strip
created by Wiley Miller
(usually credited as just Wiley)
and syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate
. The strip can be found
online at gocomics.com (although archives are only viewable with an
account), and it is also available via email and on mobile
Translated from Latin
as "it does not follow
", Non Sequitur
, though other times, purely comedic
The strip has undergone many changes through its history.
Originally, the comic was a single panel gag cartoon, similar to
's The Far Side
. It grew more political (from
a borderline far left
perspective) in tone
during the 1990s, to the point where it often became a borderline
. Today, the
comic has become more traditional, with a multi-panel format and
recurring characters. The single panel gag format is still
occasionally used, however.
has been honored with four National Cartoonists Society
Awards, including the Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award for 1995, 1996
and 1998, and the Newspaper Panels Award for 2002. It is the only
comic strip to win in its first year of syndication and the only
title to ever win both the best comic strip and best comic panel
Characters in Whatchacallit, Maine
is a pre-adolescent
girl with a pessimistic view of the
world (but not of herself), often employed in the strip for
satirical purposes. First appeared in the strip in 1998 with her
sister Kate and parents (it can be assumed that this was set before
their divorce), she is the most famous character of the strip and
frequently its leading character.
is the more optimistic sister of Danae.
Often used as a foil
to Danae in
how their personalities and view of the world differ. Her
appearances became smaller with the creation of Lucy, which started
acting as Danae's straight man.
Joseph "Joe" Pyle
is an unemployed former host of
the talk radio
program "NoozTube," often
frustrated by how mass media treats him, and used by the strip to
comment on the media. As the cast of characters grew and merged
together, he became the often-bewildered father of Danae and Kate.
His brother Bob often tries to convince him to take a hold of
professions or become
a cable news show host. The character's name may be a reference to
the confrontational conservative talk show host, Joe Pyne
, but is equally likely to be a tribute to
beloved World War II correspondent Ernie
His ex-wife and Danae and Kate's mother, Jennifer
, is not seen and seldom referred to. She is said to have
run off with a biker while the family was on a trip to New Hampshire.
Florence "Flo" Pyle is Joe's
mother and owns Flo's Offshore Diner in
Miller commented, "I created a series of characters that came from
our visits to Maine. Offshore Flo is patterned after the Maine Diner in Wells.
wanted to capture the essence of Maine people's genuineness -
down-to-earth, good-natured people - and work in the accent... It's
set in Whatchacallit, Maine."
Robert "Bob" Pyle
is Joe's brother, often seen
having a drink with him at a bar. According to the strip of January
15, 2003, he is an attorney
. He bears more than
a passing resemblance to Richard
. He is single and avoids relationships with women.
Uncle Reginald Pyle
is the ghost of an alcoholic
elderly relative haunting Joe's house. Sometimes the reader is
given a glimpse into an alternate world (or perhaps the past) where
Reginald is still alive. In this reality he lives with his brother
Montgomery "Monty" Pyle
in a large, Victorian
mansion with numerous servants including Smithers
the butler. Danae, Kate and Flo are well acquainted with Reginald,
but Joe refuses to believe he exists.
Brenda Santa Fe
runs Brenda's Clam
and is a frequent visitor of Flo's Offshore Diner. She
can frequently be seen in the latter as a customer while Captain
Eddie tells his stories. She has a crush on Joe, but after Joe
showed little interest in her she ran off with another man. She
used to be seen wearing a sweatshirt
had "KPT" on the front. (The acronym was never explained; it was
there for filler.)
Victoria "Vicki" Santa Fe
is Brenda's older
sister, on whom Joe has a crush. She is much more brash than
Brenda, and originally showed less interest in Joe. They began
dating eventually, however, and Joe's family frequently urges him
to propose to her. She works at Brenda's Clam Hut.
is a fairly nerdy
in Danae's class who has a crush on her. In Non Sequitur Sunday
, the author describes how he was inspired by a
reader to create the character.
Lars is a Martian who appeared, beginning in August 2009, in a
series of strips that involved Jeffrey building a spaceship and
going on an expedition to Mars. Lars acted as a helper in building
the spaceship and a guide on Mars. Before Lars' appearance, Danae
came along to see Jeffrey building the spaceship - consequently
making her appear in the rest of the story.
is a captain from Maine (with the
associated accent) who continuously tells tall
of his boating expeditions to anyone who will listen in
Flo's coffee shop. The irony of course, is that many of these tales
often have (more than) a grain of truth to them.
Introduced on September 8, 2002, the Graevsytes bear similarities
to The Addams Family
Graevsytes also appeared in Danae's Halloween
series in October and November 2002. In
the Non Sequitur Sunday Color Treasury
, Wiley Miller
said he decided to stop using them
after some violent images came out of Iraq . However, he left the
door open for future appearances, which happened on Sunday, October
, the father, carries his head on
a plate (he seems to be a ghost of a decapitated man).
, the mother, floats around the
, a teenage boy, bears some
resemblance to Jason Voorhees
the Friday the
is the daughter and a baby.
is a talking pygmy
who, like Hobbes
of Calvin and Hobbes
, plays the silent
observer most of the time. Lucy was introduced in the July 11, 2003
strip, in a storyline that had Danae and Kate going to a summer
horse riding camp. At the end of the summer, Danae became good
friends with Lucy and took her home. Danae, and occasionally Kate,
are the only ones who can talk to Lucy, and all three of them are
fully aware that the conversations only take place in their
is dog of humble origins who has found his
way into Kate's ownership. He constantly lets Rölf get him in
is Brenda's dog and Petey's friend. The size
of his muzzle far exceeds his brain's. He's also a symbol of the
strip and can be seen in the cover Non Sequitur's Beastly
. Rölf has also appeared in a short-lived series in
is Captain Eddie's cat who is always with
Eddie, accompanying him on his various fictional adventures, and
usually sits on his shoulder.
Other recurring characters
The majority of these characters only or mostly appear Sunday
is a superhero
who can't stand the overly obvious or hypocritical. His symbol is
the word "Duh" with a slash through it (No Duh!). Usually appears
only on Sundays.
He has appeared being interviewed by Joe on his radio show.
Obviousman's secret identity is Mark Cohen
California realtor and amateur magician, who has taken on a mission
in life of freeing the people from the curse of mindless obedience
to the dictates of the mass media, and to at least slow, if not
reverse, the dumbing down of America. His arch-nemesis is
In the book Non Sequitur's Sunday Color Treasury
stated that he named Obviousman's true identity after a friend who
had died of cancer in 1999. The real Mark
was a realtor
and an avid
collector of comics and original comic book art. Miller explained,
"This was my way of memorializing him. He was dearly loved
throughout our profession as a great ambassador of comics as an art
An animated short, Obviousman: The Movie
, can currently be
found on the Non Sequitur
website. Wiley Miller voices
is a boy at the dawn of the
takes a journey to the cloud city of Helios. Story ran on Sundays
from February 20 to July 24, 2005. Another story began on September
9, 2007 with a Sunday strip "The Return of Ordinary Basil"
reviewing events thus far appearing on September 2
and concluded on January 6,
(Extinction Level Event
) is a
cynical cat-like creature who lives in the time before man.
Appearing in Sunday strips only, she has appeared in two major runs
— one from 2000 up to July 2001, and one in early 2006.
, called Honor
in his female
incarnations, is the ghost of Homer
from dealing with living in the afterlife has to deal with real
life whenever he returns to earth. He has been an ancient Roman (who barely
escaped Pompeii), a medieval
peasant, a cavewoman, and a female immigrant.
developed into a spin-off
called Homer the Reluctant Soul
, which Wiley attempted to
market online, and featured in a book by the same title.
Pierre of the North
Pierre of the North
(a play off of Nanook of the North
) is a French Canadian
who hates "ze" cold and
finds himself at odds with very clever (and very hungry) polar bears
(that is, Satan
often appears in the strip to delegate hellish punishments, such as
watching reality shows
gates of heaven and has interacted with numerous characters
In numerous strips that deal with the home life of upper
middle-aged couples, a pet bulldog
exaggerated fangs can be seen.
- The Non Sequitur Survival Guide for the Nineties
(1995) ISBN 0-8362-1785-3
- Non Sequitur’s Beastly Things (1999) ISBN 0-7407-0016-2
- The Legal Lampoon: a biased, unfair and completely accurate
law review (2002) ISBN 0-7407-2673-0
- Why We'll Never Understand Each Other: A Non-Sequitur Look
At Relationships (2003) ISBN
- Lucy and Danae : Something Silly This Way Comes (March
1, 2005) ISBN 0-7407-5099-2
- Non Sequitur's Sunday Color Treasury (2005) ISBN 0-7407-5448-3
New Straits Times controversy
Sequitur was published in the New Straits Times, a major newspaper
in the Muslim-majority country of Malaysia, as part of
its weekday line of comic strips.
The comic, however,
generated controversy in the country and its government following
the paper's printing of the syndicated strip satirizing the
protests over the controversial Jyllands-Posten
on February 20, 2006. The cartoon depicts a
"while you wait" with a caption stating that the cartoonist has
finally realized his goal of being the most feared man in the
The New Straits Times
subsequently issued an apology.
Wiley Miller commented on Malaysia's response of the strip, stating
in a February 1, 2007 interview that it is "much ado about
- As stated by Joe's mother in the February 12, 2008 strip.
- Bouchard, Stephanie. "Cartoonist finds Maine a creative
turn-on." Maine Sunday Telegram (Portland, Maine),
February 20, 2005, page G1.