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Dirk-Jan

Dirk-Jan is a comic, the creation of author and artist Mark Retera. It is also the name of its main character.

Dirk-Jan is a loser who stumbles through life in mostly three-panel comic strips. He started out in 1989 as a student at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, where he lived in a typical student house with all the stereotypical side-kicks, such as the frat boy, the beer drinker, the bossy girl who checks if everybody keeps to the house rules, and the tramps who use the heated shared hallway to stay the night. Early Dirk-Jans contained many references to the student life of Nijmegen.

Dirk-Jan was first published in Critic, the magazine for the local union of psychology students. It then moved on to monthly publication in the student magazine of Nijmegen (Algemeen Nijmeegs Studentenblad, ANS). Dirk-Jan became known nationaly when the then only commercial comics magazine of the Netherlands SjoSji (now defunct) started publishing the strip.

With the last move, the nature of the strip changed. Most of the student side-kicks got cancelled and Dirk-Jan left university, first for jail (DJ is a notorious leprechaun abuser) and then to wander the globe and indeed space.

There are five Dirk-Jan albums, tentatively named 'Dirk-Jan 1' through 'Dirk-Jan 5'.

The amateur comics magazine Iris (1990 - 1995) (re)published a number of Dirk-Jan comics, some of which were refused publication in SjoSji.

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