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Mike Du Jour debuts in syndication today

Mike Du Jour

**Mike Lester’s ** Mike Du Jour debuts today. It’s one of the better strips to launch in a while. It’s zany and refreshingly honest. I had my wife read through the sales kit samples. Remember my wife enjoys cartoons, but rarely allows herself a out loud chuckle. Mike Du Jour got a couple of audible chuckles from her.

The strip is drawn in the classic loose Lester style – which is perfect for his type of humor. In the interview below, Mike describes it as a strip that Larry David would write and I couldn’t agree more.

Alan: “Mike Du Jour” has existed outside of syndication. For those not familiar with the feature, tell us where it’s been before now and how it came to syndication.

Mike: First, thanks for the write up. I hope your audience enjoys MDJ and become readers. MDJ first appeared as a five day / week animated business cartoon for the wsj.com (Wall St. Journal) Along came the dot com bubble and so the content was re-purposed as a comic strip. Amy Lago and the WPWG picked it up and here we are.

A: Have you always wanted to take the feature into daily syndication?

M: I’ve been an illustrator for most of my career, confess, I’m not a comics fanatic and really never thought I’d be doing a daily strip. But I didn’t see anything like MDJ in the market and thought it might find an audience. The strip is purposely wide open. If Larry David were to write a comic strip, it might be MDJ.

A: Your feature is only the second feature to launch this year. How has the sales effort gone thus far? Is it where you expect it to be at your launch date?

M: According to E&P it’s the only feature to launch this year but I / they could be mistaken. I launch in 6 papers Mon. Sept. 24 including the Washington Post, Miami Herald and Seattle Times. Sales are out of my control of course but we’re excited about the response.
Editor’s note: Norm Feuti’s Gil launched earlier this year (January).

A: In your cartoons and online communication you come across as a America-first kind of conservative. Given that I’m perplexed by a French title for your feature. How did your arrive at the title “Mike du Jour”?

M: First, MDJ is not a political comic strip. It’s just a comic strip. The name “MIKE DU JOUR” was copyrighted in 1997 and is a triple entendre’: it’s the name of the main character, it describes the strips frequency and the authors first name. Nothing more. But if you start reading MDJ and suddenly feel the urge to balance your check book, so be it.

A: How would you describe to a features editor how “Mike Du Jour” differ from other strips on the comic page?

M: A common complaint from editors is an inability to attract younger readers. It’s hard to do that w/ dated content. Correction, it’s impossible. MDJ content is pop, cultural and social commentary for the most part. Human failure is the one thing you can count on for consistent amusement.

A: Your drawing style is loose and your lines are pretty uniform in width. What do you use as far as paper, pens, etc.?

M: I still draw and paint traditionally but that’s on one side of the room and the computer, photoshop and a wacom is on the other where I put out MDJ. For the younger cartoonists reading this, don’t go electric to start. I recommend buying a ream of paper at Staples, a bottle of permanent ink, some nibs, a bottle of GOJO to get the ink off your hands and mechanical pens. Everybody’s got a million bad drawings inside them and the sooner you get them out, the better. Bonjour!

You can read Mike Du Jour on GoComics, on Washington Post Writers Group website, or Like the strip on Facebook.

Community Comments

#1 Aaron Taylor
September/24/2012
@ 11:56 am

Mike does great work. Good luck to him and the strip.

#2 Tom Falco
September/24/2012
@ 12:52 pm

I love the drawing style.

#3 David Jones
September/24/2012
@ 2:08 pm

It is so good to see more and more cartoonists getting pushed up to GoComics!!!! Good luck Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#4 Stephen Beals
September/24/2012
@ 2:45 pm

Good for Mike. Love the drawing style, too.

And his last bit of advice is an old standard that needs to be said more often. My amendment is that the million bad drawings don’t happen all in a row. They can pop up like old age acne.

#5 Ann Telnaes
September/24/2012
@ 3:15 pm

Mike is incredibly talented. Don’t tell him I said that.

#6 Dave Stephens
September/24/2012
@ 6:40 pm

Great art, attitude and humor = GREAT start. I expect nothing less from the marvelous Mike Lester.

#7 Joe Vissichelli
September/25/2012
@ 8:46 am

And did you have to torch your arms to become the year’s only artist to get syndicated?

In any event, good luck.

#8 keith poletiek
September/25/2012
@ 11:45 am

Welcome to Gocomics (Not that I’m the official greeter). Great stuff! Congrats. Can’t wait to follow along!

#9 Tom Stemmle
September/25/2012
@ 12:15 pm

Mike, simply put, is one of the funniest cartoonists ever. Therefore, I see no reason why his new feature shouldn’t become
one of the funniest comic strips ever! Go Mike!

#10 Darryl Heine
September/25/2012
@ 2:00 pm

No Chicago paper has picked up the new Mike Du Jour strip for now, but the recent Chicago changes were:
* In the Chicago Tribune comics – Big Nate is out of the Comics Carousel and replaced by Reply All.
* In the Chicago Sun-Times comics – no new entries towards replacement for the ceased Cul De Sac but Lio moved into the former C.D.S. slot.

#11 Karyl Miller
September/25/2012
@ 5:19 pm

Maybe this strip is great, but what arrogance for the cartoonist to state “If Larry David were to write a comic strip, it might be MDJ.” If I were David I would bristle.

#12 Rich Diesslin
September/25/2012
@ 9:33 pm

Good luck Mike.

#13 Stilton Jarlsberg
October/1/2012
@ 9:07 am

@Karyl Miller- If I were David, I’d be flattered. But really, Lester is just trying to give people a reference point for the style of humor they can expect.

I think this is the freshest and funniest strip I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a pleasure to now have it as part of my daily routine!

#14 Gary McCoy
October/1/2012
@ 1:29 pm

If all you expect from a comic strip is a fresh, innovative drawing style and funnier than crap gags, then sure, Lester may fit the bill. But I’ve got higher standards. I want to see some talking reptiles that speak their own English. That’s innovation, people!

#15 Glenn McCoy
October/1/2012
@ 2:04 pm

Mike Lester makes me laugh and I’m not just talking about his wardrobe. Mike Du Jour adds much needed spicy flavor to the bland comics pages. I look forward to cutting out his future cartoons and taping refrigerators to them.

#16 Marc Davidson
October/1/2012
@ 2:59 pm

@David Jones. Pushed UP to GoComics? This wasn’t exactly a Sherpa strip that needed to be shoved uphill.

#17 Dave Stephens
October/1/2012
@ 5:39 pm

@Karyl Miller
Those bristles are great for scrubbing Larry David’s back hair.,,

And now I’ve made myself a little queasy. WORTH IT!

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