Interview about Candorville’s “Robin Williams” Tribute

Michael Cavna of the Washington Post interviewed me about this past week’s Robin Williams tribute.

Having seen friends suffer from a range of difficult symptoms as a result of Parkinson’s, hearing [that Mr. Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s] helped me imagine a little more clearly what Mr. Williams knew he faced.

Yet every fellow cartoonist and comedian I spoke with couldn’t shake that sense of just how humane and sensitive and life-affirming Robin’s comedy and performances had always seemed — and how caring the man himself appeared to be, not only behind his comedy, but also through it.

Then, last Friday, I found a balm in seeing this week’s “Candorville” strips. In reading creator Darrin Bell‘s six-day tribute, I recognized a fellow traveler — another cartoonist who had studied and deconstructed most every stage of Williams’s compelling career.

The relationship between Williams and visual comics was longstanding and organic. When friend and colleague Tom Shales interviewed a rising Robin Williams in the late-’70s, he noted that the comedian had Zap comics in his carryall bag. Williams famously frequented comic shops, always seemed to have a new favorite graphic novel and new manga toy, and of course wrote the foreword for one “The Far Side” collection. (And on a personal note, acquaintances told me he read my ’90s comic strip in L.A. and S.F.)

So something about Williams doing a posthumous cameo in “Candorville” feels right and respectful and deeply informed.

Comic Riffs caught up with Bell to learn more about how he created this inspired week of strips:

You can read the interview at the Washington Post’s website.


  • Lawrence Cargnoni

    what are the 2014 “Robin Williams tribute” dates (per the WP interview comments above)?

  • That is what I like the most happy and you

  • Nice stuff, thank you for sharing with us.. thumbs up

  • LP Hornthal

    The strip today moves me to ask questions on my mind for a long time: is Lemony gay? Or just very low in testosterone?

    • He's a single father. So once he discovered Susan doesn't want kids, he sort of wrote her off. That was about a year or so ago.

      • GlassFull68

        Hmm. Come to think of it, I never did see Susan interacting with Lionel at all, ever!

  • That was a great read. Thanks for the link!