November 18, 2012

New comic strip hits Eagle pages

Wichita Eagle comics readers, meet Dustin.

Wichita Eagle comics readers, meet Dustin.

Dustin, Wichita Eagle comics readers.

Dustin, an unemployed 23-year-old college graduate, has moved back in with his parents while he decides what to do with his life. The “Dustin” strip joins the comic strip lineup Sunday. From now on, the comic — written by Steve Kelley and illustrated by Jeff Parker — will be a daily feature.

It replaces “The Meaning of Lila,” which has run on The Eagle’s comics pages since 2006. The paper is discontinuing the strip about Lila, a 30-something woman with boyfriend, work and family woes, because its creator, John Forgetta, is no longer producing new cartoons. He announced in early October that he couldn’t afford to continue the strip.

Kelley, a former political cartoonist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and Parker, a cartoonist for Florida Today, began producing “Dustin” in 2010.

It focuses on Dustin Kudlick, a member of the “boomerang” generation. Despite his college degree, he is unemployed and has moved back in with his lawyer dad Ed and radio-host mom Helen. Other characters include Dustin’s overachieving teen sister, Megan, and an exasperated temp agency owner named Simone, who helps Dustin land a series of jobs ranging from meter maid to ice sculptor apprentice. But Dustin prefers to focus his energy on get-rich-quick schemes and dreaming of a career that will keep him out of a cubicle.

The strip runs in about 320 newspapers nationwide.

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