Brenda Santa Fe runs Brenda's Clam Hut and is a frequent visitor of Flo's Offshore Diner (possibly since her restaurant does not run into the night hours, like a diner does).
She can frequently be seen in the latter as a customer while Captain Eddie tells his stories.
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 (perhaps the past as well) where Reginald is still alive.
"Offshore" Flo is patterned after the Maine Diner Flo often can be seen with a coffee maker's pot in her hand, though her diner also serves liquor, which is the source of Captain Eddie's tall tales.
Robert "Bob" Pyle is Joe's brother, often seen having a drink with him at a bar.
Originally, the comic was a single panel gag cartoon, similar to Gary Larson's The Far Side.
It grew more political (from a moderately liberal perspective) in tone during the 1990s, to the point where it often became a borderline editorial cartoon.
Before Lars' appearance, Danae came along to see Jeffrey building the spaceship—consequently making her appear in the rest of the story.
Florence "Flo" Pyle is Joe's mother and owns Flo's Offshore Diner in Whatchacallit, Maine.
Miller commented, "I created a series of characters that came from our visits to Maine.
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 categories.
Originally Danae, Joe and "Offshore" Flo were separate characters in their own segments but their storylines were eventually fused and they were billed as being family.