Trayvon Martin’s Last Walk, part 1
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April 2nd, 2012

Trayvon Martin’s Last Walk, part 1

Michael Cavna at the Washington Post interviewed me about this week’s Trayvon Martin series of cartoons. From the interview, which ran in today’s Washington Post:

WHAT STRUCK DARRIN BELL first, powerfully and personally, were Trayvon’s eyes.

In them he saw something intangible, the “Candorville” creator tells Comic Riffs, “that suggested to me that he was essentially a good kid, and that one day he’d grow into a good man.”

Bell acknowledges that this perhaps was pure projection, but “isn’t that what we’re supposed to do with kids?” says the L.A.-based cartoonist. ”We’re supposed to find something good in them — even if we have to create it and project it on them — and nurture that. The most tragic part of all this, I thought, was that nobody would ever be able to do that for him; and he would never become the person he could have become.”

This week, Bell delivers a powerful story arc as his “Candorville” character Lemont “talks” with a hoodie-wearing Trayvon in the wake of the recent fatal shooting of the Florida teenager by George Zimmerman. In creating the series, Bell returned to those first riveting images.

“My only goal was to return to my initial thoughts about the tragedy — to return to what I saw in Trayvon Martin’s eyes when I turned on my TV that first morning,” Bell tells Comic Riffs. “I let all the other chatter fall away, and just focused on that, and it flowed naturally.”

Comic Riffs asked Bell to share more of his “Candorville”-channeled thoughts on the Trayvon Martin shooting: (Read the entire interview at the Washington Post)

The Washington Post Interview

And stay tuned for the rest of Trayvon’s visit. You’ll want to see where this takes them.

Discussion (11)¬

  1. […] Candorville’s Trayvon Martin cartoons, and read this article by Leonard Pitts, of the Miami […]

  2. laser plumb bob says:

    @ KBear: mosel tov for your new son … we should remember to always work for a better world (my "take away" from Candorville) … & what better inspiration than from our children … 🙂

  3. KBear says:

    I haven't read the strip for a few months (not due to you; I just had a son, who I hope never has to endure what Trayvon did), so I'm just reading these now. Your War on Women series was excellent (although it is pathetic that such a series was necessary or accurate). I wanted to comment on the Trayvon Martin series before I finished them as his death seemed like such a senseless tragedy. I've heard people try to say it was his fault because he ran back and 'attacked' Zimmerman or that he fought Zimmerman and was winning. I don't see how anyone could place the blame on some teenager walking home and not the adult who followed him (even when told not to). If some strange guy was following me, I'd fight back too if I thought I couldn't run. That poor kid and his poor family.

  4. Marie says:

    You are already getting me choked up, and this is only the first day! Have you ever read Speaker For The Dead? Not that you have a similar character in your comic, but your Final Exit series function similarly. You bear witness to the person. You help us process the loss, as Lemont helps the person in question process. You make us cry and still you make us laugh! Don't stop – they're powerful.

  5. sugarkat says:

    Oh, man. You're going to make me cry, aren't you, Mr. Bell?

    Every time I see his face in the news, I think, "What wonderful eyes. He looks like a nice kid," and then I remember that he's dead. This teenaged boy, who looks like a(s) good (a) kid (as a normal teenaged boy can be), is dead. It's awful. It hurts my heart. And I didn't even know him.

  6. Zirconia Wolf says:

    Like bcmayes, I too was wondering "when" and like ChayaFradle I think a special collection of Lemont's amazing "Exit Interviews" would be awesome.

    (I know I'd buy it, anyway!)

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Thanks, someday I will put one of those together and sell them through Maybe sooner rather than later.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        Remember to title it Volume 1, because there will be more in the future, unfortunately, to be able to be used in the strips.

  7. ChayaFradle says:

    I see a train a-comin', it's comin' 'round the track…. ♬ Like I said, there needs to be a book about the Candorville dream sequences such as this. I believe it would sell like hotcakes!

  8. bcmayes says:

    Ah. Was wondering when.

    Not "if" but "when."