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Lucky Yates and Gideon Kendall unpack the weird and hilarious 'Lester of the Lesser Gods'
Dark Horse

Comic Books

Lucky Yates and Gideon Kendall unpack the weird and hilarious ‘Lester of the Lesser Gods’

Co-writer Lucky Yates and artist Gideon Kendall talk new series ‘Lester of the Lesser Gods’ from Dark Horse Comics.

A beloved new idiot is coming onto the scene this week, and his name is Lester. Our silly little friend, who started life as an idea for animated series, is now very much a comic, Lester of the Lesser Gods. And what a group of friends Lester has to help tell his tale, as writers Eric Powell and Lucky Yates joined forces with artist Gideon Kendall to deliver a story that’s both super silly and totally adult at the same time.

The story itself follows Lester, who despite being the actual son of Odin, is a slob desperately seeking his father’s love. Oh, and he lives in a dystopian future where goblins and necromancers kill and maim for fun. It’s simultaneously radical and unhinged, and it has a visual style that is not unlike Groo the Wanderer and Mad Magazine.

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To peel back the curtain on this absurd story, I had the chance to talk to Yates and Kendall as Lester of the Lesser Gods #1 debuts this week (May 1) via Dark Horse Comics. Read on to further immerse yourself in a story that’s both filled with gags and will make you gag in the very best of ways.

'Lester of the Lesser Gods' Lucky Yates Gideon Kendall

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: Lester of the Lesser Gods has a unique origin story. How did this comic come to be?

Gideon Kendall: I have no idea why this comic exists. But I’m glad I get to draw it.

Lucky Yates: It’s a long and winding story, so I’ll try to keep it zippy. Eric and I have been pals since the early 2000s; he had some kinda TV deal for an animated show and he wanted to do something with this Lester character of his, so we locked ourselves in a cabin in the Tennessee mountains, watched the Thundarr The Barbarian (Alex Toth!) animated series, Ray Harryhausen’s Clash Of The Titans (my second fave film), Conan The Barbarian with Arnold [Schwarzenegger], and some Mad Max flicks, snuck in a trip to Rock City and Fairyland Caverns on Lookout Mountain and ended up with the masterpiece you see before you.

Kinda.

The TV deal ran out before the network even looked at it, so we started chipping away at it in comic book form. Now, look at the masterpiece, mortal!

'Lester of the Lesser Gods' Lucky Yates Gideon Kendall

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: Lucky, did performing as a muppet or acting on Archer help at all when co-writing this story?

LY: I don’t know that you can consider being a bunch of background grouches in [The Adventures of] Elmo In Grouchland performing as a muppet, but the answer is the same: no.

As far as being Krieger goes, of course it helps! Archer is an American institution, and Krieger is everyone’s secret favorite character. Mixed with my time as the Dungeon Master on Good Eats (shoutout to my boy Alton Brown), they’ve helped me tap into my own weirdness and the sweetest niche of cult fame.

AIPT: Gideon, I love your work on the first issue. Is there a sight gag you had a particularly fun time rendering?

GK: Thank you! I can honestly say this is the most fun I’ve ever had making comics. I’ve always loved adding “chicken fat” to my pages and there’s so many opportunities to do so in this book. I amused myself with the  dead mutant zombie with a mouth where his plantar fascia should be.

Lester

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: Lucky, what has the co-writing been like with Eric Powell?

LY:  Every day I have to remind myself “holy crap, I’m writing a comic with Eric F’ing Powell!” And with Gideon’s amazing art, I feel like a con man living a dream life I somehow stumbled into. It’s the best. Eric is the busiest man in America, so he lets me go bonkers and write all kinds of super crazy stuff. I send him a kooky skeleton of a script (plus an absurd amount of extra content because I have an overactive imagination and a lot of time on my hands, plus I really LOVE building the Lesterverse), and he spins my straw into pure GOLD, just like a slightly-more-handsome Rumpelstiltskin.

AIPT: Might you guys explain how this is similar, but also different from The Goon?

LY: The differences are pretty obvious, so I’ll focus on the similarities from my humble POV — The Goon and Lester both live in an “anything goes” world, where you’re not going to see something on the page of either book and think it’s too weird or absurd. Lester, I think, is a lot more extreme and zany, but that’s the point of the book— we want this to be the most-fun comic ever!

Plus, both Goon and Lester are broken dudes with hearts of gold and questionable morals.

GK: We’ll it’s got the same great combination of smart and stupid, but maybe with more stupid. And the art isn’t as good. 

'Lester of the Lesser Gods' Lucky Yates Gideon Kendall

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: Were there any inspirations when crafting this story visually and thematically?

LY: Thundarr The Barbarian, Clash Of The Titans, Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max.

GK: I saw it as Groo meets Mad Max put through a MAD magazine/Heavy Metal meat grinder being operated by a frantic Eric Powell, who was so busy drawing his own books that he had to pawn this toxic slurry off on someone else.

AIPT: How would you both faire in this dystopian future? Where might you end up?

LY:  HE WHO CONTROLS THE WEED (plus snacks) CONTROLS THE WORLD. I’ll be alright.

GK: As long as there’s organic espresso, air conditioning, and Korean BBQ in the end times, I’ll be OK. If not, I’d feed myself to the first hungry demon I could find.

Lester

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: If Lester of the Lesser Gods was a song, what would it be and why?

LY: “Scorpio” by Dennis Coffey. There is no explanation; just listen to it.

GK: I’m sure it would be some kind of prog-metal opus, but I’m a punk rocker. So I’ll say it would be The Minutemen’s cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “The Red & The Black” because D Boon (the lead singer and guitarist of the Minutemen — RIP) was a thicc boi like Lester and BOC is as close to prog metal as I’ll ever go.

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