Cartoonist: Two Big Cancellations Will Not Stop ‘Candorville’

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By: E&P Staff

Darrin Bell is upset that the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune have dropped his “Candorville” comic, but he doesn’t think that means the potential end of his strip.

Bell had previously wondered, in a note posted on this Sunday, if the loss of the two Tribune Co. papers might lead enough other “Candorville” clients to drop his comic — and perhaps endanger its syndication status.

“Candorville” — which offers social and political satire from an African-American perspective — runs in about 55 newspapers via the Washington Post Writers Group.

Part of an e-mail Bell sent last night to E&P: “While I’m disappointed with Chicago and L.A., and my disappointment was reflected in my initial comments to BradBlog, mine is an otherwise growing list, and I have no intention of quitting, not until I die or the newspaper industry goes under — whichever comes first. …

“‘Candorville’ attracts the same demographics as ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ — two extraordinarily popular TV shows that, not coincidentally, focus on socio-political humor. This is what my generation wants from their entertainment. We want hard-hitting, funny satire that takes issues on directly, not just mindless escapism. …

“That ‘Marmaduke’ and ‘Blondie’ are safe in L.A. — a city where the majority does NOT look or live like Blondie and Dagwood — says more about the L.A. Times preferring blandness to excitement and wanting to disengage from readers rather than making them think and keeping them entertained with material that’s relevant to their worlds.

“Thankfully, most papers we deal with recognize the value of using edgy, diverse features to attract a younger demographic. Those papers are looking out for their futures rather than catering to their past, and as long as those papers are out there, I’ll be around drawing ‘Candorville.'”

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