Darrin Bell/Stephan Pastis Panel Discussion Video

This is from a couple months ago. Afterward we had a book signing, where I autographed copies of the new Candorville book, and Stephan autographed his new Pearls Before Swine Treasury, “Pearls Sells Out”. Then some friends and I narrowly escaped a dive bar before going to Denny’s, where I ordered extra carbs with cheese and an aspartame on the rocks. Good times.

Candor and Pearls: An Evening of Social Satire from the Comics Pages from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.


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  • ChayaFradle

    VERY inspiring video! Mazeltov.

  • Anybody know in what verse Jesus said

  • Bobbette

    Please tell us where we can buy CDOGFAN bumper stickers. Fast, before they become passe'…

    • ChayaFradle

      I once had "Lemont for President" bumper stickers made, and the funny thing is that I was asked how others could get on the bandwagon. For real!!!!!!!!!

  • By the way, please note that both Bell and Pastis were political science majors.
    Darrin–Any chance you'll put some of those nice words about political science in one of your strips? How about a little product placement for your major?

    • Poli-sci and history are two majors everyone poo-poohs, but which should get a heck of a lot more respect. I think they should be the required double-major for anyone going into law school. Or getting an MBA. They give one perspective, and that's something most law school students and MBA candidates are sorely missing, in my experience.

      I say this as an English major who knows no one is ever going to give her major, nor philosophy, any respect.

      • I've had student do everything from produce their own fashion line to run a NASCAR track. One went back to the ranch to become a cowboy while others won teaching awards. I've had students serve in military uniform and one rollerskate across stage dressed like Tinkerbell in Tokyo Disney.

        Sadly, none have become successful cartoonists.

        • There's always time. The Tokyo Tinkerbell is probably honing a wicked sense of humor right now.

          • Her years portraying princesses in Japan did give her a some insights into the human condition. Tragically, she squandered that and got an MBA in International Business to make use of her fluency in Japanese.

            I hoped that playing Alice (in Wonderland) for tourists in Japan would turn into something a little more creative. However, having a rich ex-student out there might have its advantages.

          • Hey, you don't know. She may be using her power for Good.

            Or maybe you do. If so, bummer, dude.

  • This interview/discussion is incredible. I'm putting it up on Twitter. Why the heck isn't Stephan Pastis on Twitter?

  • Mary Kissane

    Wow! I haven't sat straight thru an online video for over an hr since Randy Pausch's Last Lecture! Best ex. of Darrin's "It doesn't have to be funny, just true" maxim: his discussion of Katrina & its significance. This is exactly what I've been saying! But people who know me are surprised at how emphatic & emotional I (who have never even been to the Gulf) still get about it. I still rant, in almost Darren's same words — Bodies floating in the streets, in the United States of America! Outsiders blaming elderly, infirm, impoverished victims for not just driving their non-existent cars out of town in advance, as if they were some daredevil kids surf in a hurricane. Most of all, a government that couldn't even be shamed by weeks of intense media coverage, to even try to get to the same victims that the reporters were able to reach in hired copters and boats.
    I hadn't discovered Candorville until recently, here in St. Louis, so I haven't seen its coverage Darren discussed abt midway thru this video. So, while it won't assuage my rants, I have finally ordered Katrina's Ghost. May your 50 year outline be too short!

    • ChayaFradle

      Mary, I totally agree. Great posting and analysis.

    • Well put, Mary.

      It may be the Candorville needs to make people a little more uncomfortable a little more often. The Katrina's Ghost storyline (which was great) brought the plight of Katrina's victims to readers in a very personal way. It's easy to forget the real impact of poverty when the discussion is about statistics. Some people find it easy to dismiss the needs of people who live in want or to pretend that they are poor because that is what they want. Americans aren't always good at understanding people they don't see and people like Rush Limbaugh given listeners easy excuses to forget about the people who don't enjoy the prosperity the country produces. Candorville brings some compelling problems to the kitchen table and give some forgotten people a voice. That limits the entertainment value of the strip and I admire Darrin for all he does to slip meaning in between the laughs.

      • Re. Rush's easy excuses [part 1]:

        I recently read a book on 17th-c. European theology/philosophy, and this might be coloring how I'm looking at this, but I think Rush Limbaugh and asshaberdasher extraordinaire Pat Robertson are both in the same boat, philosophically speaking. Neither of them can think of the god they believe in as doing active and unprovoked harm, as that would mean the god they believe in might not be absolutely good.

        In Robertson's case, he's stuck in, like, a stunted 9th-c. theology, in which God only lets bad things happen to bad people, so he twists his mind into horrifying pretzels in order to explain how innocent victims of horrible events are guilty of something which would justify the "punishment." Otherwise, the omnicient God of infinite good and wisdom just allowed people made in his image to suffer horribly.

        • Some context for sugarkat’s reference to Pat Robertson, in light of this week’s devestating hurricane in Haiti:

          “They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another,”
          http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/13/crimesider/entry6092717.shtml

          So, yeah.

          • Anybody know in which verse Jesus said, "They had it coming?" I must have missed that Sunday.

          • SteveS

            That would be Robertson chapter 20 verse 11 I believe

          • You can only find the Holy Book of Robertson if you squeeze lemon juice over certain publishing houses' editions of the New Testament and then hold the be-lemoned page in front of a light bulb. And you'll only see it after you've done a whole hell of a lot of Jesus Freak Crack(tm).

          • The worst thing about this is that there is a kernel of historical truth in the story. The Haitians did make a deal to get out from under French slave rule. They promised to give the French money to buy their freedom. The French holding them to this promise is one of the things which has kept them bankrupt. So, metaphorically speaking, they made a deal with the devil, except that devil was the French (slave-owners and government). That Robertson twisted this sad history of slavery and fiscal oppression into the statement above blows my freaking mind.

            From my experience, the devil is usually just a fellow human being incomprehensibly, horrifically evil. This time, the devil is Pat Robertson, who apparently can't see disaster afflict others and not say the most evil and hateful f@#king thing possible about the victims. After his statements after 9/11, after Katrina, and after the earthquake in Haiti, I think I am fully justified in saying that I will be merrily dancing on his grave when he goes.

          • Don't go dancing on his grave. I think a major life goal should be as un-like Pat Robertson as possible in this respect.

            Don't let him drag you down. That's what devils do best.

          • Horrible responses to 9/11 brought out the worst in me. I thought I was a better person than that, but I'm not. I've been trying to put the grave-dancer back in her box in my subconscience, but apparently it's too late, especially after the horrible responses to Katrina's aftermath.

          • Entirely awesome and apt response to Robertson's verbal diarrhea here: http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/0

      • Re. Rush's easy excuses [part 2]:

        Limbaugh can't wrap his mind around the concept that good, diligent people can wind up absolutely screwed, and that lazy, morally bankrupt people can succeed under the benign reign of Free Market God. In his mind, only bad people suffer the fate of not being successful in the Free Market, and all financially successful people are, by dint of their financial success, good people.

        Neither of them can cope with the idea that Bad Things Happen without the person to whom it's happening being somehow deeply and morally in the wrong.

        I'm not saying this justifies their foul statements in the slightest. I wish we could shut the two of them the heck up. But it think this inability to recognize good in those to whom bad things happen (or to whom good things just don't happen) may explain why they make absolutely no damned sense in the face of obvious, and are so freakin' inhumane. This is a bit like trying to figure out a serial killer: alien, twisted minds explored in order to understand how the heck they could do something so incomprehensibly awful.

        • ChayaFradle

          Rush has a mind? His mouth works so hard, when does it have time to think?

          • SteveS

            Nobody ever said the two were connected, let alone properly filtered. Sometimes I wonder if they got the filter in wrong, as what comes out is what would normally be filtered out.

          • I think he knows exactly what he's doing and saying. Which makes his behavior that much worse.

            C.f., Roger Ebert's letter to Rush Limbaugh: http://bit.ly/7UvhxT

          • I think he thinks this all through. I think he knows what gets his audience going, which is what brings in the advertising dollars and lucrative book deals.

            Sometimes, like when I wrote the two-part post above, I think he's just not able to see what I do. Other times, I just think he's f@#king evil.

      • All that said, I entirely concur with your assessment of Candorville. The mix of clever and sometimes silly humor with a thoughtful consideration of important issues affecting the people and world around us is one of the reasons why Candorville is the only strip I follow regularly.

  • Thanks for posting Darrin, we loved having you in Walnut Creek!

  • Karen Joyce Kleinman

    WOW. WOW. What a TERRIFIC VIDEO! I'm E MAILING this to EVERYONE I KNOW!!!!!!! Wow! Can I say more?

    • Karen Joyce Kleinman

      The responses I got back were amazing! More people are now following Candorville because of this video.