Posts Tagged ‘Candorville’

Chauncey Bailey Assassinated in Oakland

When Al Gore ran for the presidency, his opponents mocked his military service, because he had carried a journalist’s pen, not an AK-47, through the jungles of Vietnam. But the mounting death toll of journalists serving in Iraq should serve as a reminder that being a journalist in a war zone is a service every bit as dangerous. Some war zones are closer to home.Oakland Post reporter Chauncey Bailey was struck down by a masked assassin on a busy intersection in broad daylight this morning. I lived in Oakland for 7 years and I only met Chauncey once, in 2004 at the New California Media convention. He was an Oakland Tribune reporter at the time. What a character. A no-nonsense “just the facts” kind of questioner, but at the same time, his writing showed a person eager to point out the larger picture facts sometimes obscure. That probably describes most journalists, but with most journalists I know, that’s the hat they put on when they go to work, or else it’s just one tool in their trade. With Chauncey, it seemed from our brief meeting and the e-mails that followed, that that was who he was. A reliably double sided coin: all business, but on the flip side, all compassion.Chauncey was a race-conscious writer – a man who obviously wanted to use his talents to encourage the black community in Oakland and California to confront uncomfortable truths and to participate fully in society rather than remain balkanized and demoralized. Sometimes I disagreed with the conclusions he drew in his writing, but I never disagreed with his motivation or his idealism.Chauncey became interested in helping Candorville gain the attention of the Oakland Tribune. It isn’t easy for a new strip to break into new markets, even when it’s your hometown paper. Oftentimes, editors won’t look past the cover of the sales brochure, let alone read far enough to realize the cartoonist lives just 28 blocks from them. Chauncey gave my wife the publisher’s phone number, and we called and introduced ourselves. About a year later, the ANG, which owns the Tribune, added Candorville. This was after my syndicate’s editor flew out to encourage ANG to take a good look at the strip, but I don’t doubt that Chauncey’s help played a role.He profiled me in 2004 and wrote an article about my work for the regional black press. Actually, he sent my wife Laura a list of questions (I guess he knew who the efficient one was), I gave her my answers and she e-mailed them back to him. I never did see the article, because we were out of town when it ran and I didn’t want to bug him for a copy. But Laura and I looked through her old e-mail file and we still have the questions, and my answers. These pretty much sum up my impression of the man. Each question is concise, no-nonsense. All business. In that, you see Chauncey’s mind. But if you look at the subtext, you see the man’s heart.

===== Comments by (Chauncey Bailey) at 6/09/04 3:08 pmI can do a feature on (Darrin) for the regional black press. tell me (50 words or less per question)1. His background.Darrin: My father’s black, and my mother is Jewish (white). I was born in South Central L.A. and raised in East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. I was bused 40 miles per day to magnet schools. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a BA in Political Science in 1999, and chose to stay in Oakland.2. How he got started?Darrin:I edited my high school paper and continued pursuing journalism in college. I drew editorial cartoons and comic strips for the Daily Cal, and when I felt I was good enough I started faxing them every day to the LA Times, Oakland Trib and SF Chronicle. They all eventually started running them.3. Why?Darrin:I want to show a more developed view of Blacks and Latinos than I’ve seen in the comics pages. They’re either angry about injustice 24-7 or they’re the Cosby’s. Reality is a mix of all that. I want to show minorities with a wide range of thoughts and goals.4. Successes?Darrin:To my knowledge I’m the first and only Black cartoonist to have two comic strips in syndication, and the youngest (of any race) to do so. At 20 (in 1995), I was the youngest editorial cartoonist to be published regularly inthe LA times. My work’s been on CNN, and other television news broadcasts. I won several awards in college.5. Setbacks?Darrin:My first comic strip, “Rudy Park,” focused on the dotcom revolution until that revolution crashed in 2000. Most of the magazines that ran the strip went out of business. Then it was syndicated. Editorial cartooning setbacks came when papers began using more syndicated work and less freelance work. “Candorville” hasn’t had any setbacks – yet.6. Goals?Darrin:To reach as many readers as possible and present them with an image of African-Americans and Latinos that doesn’t gloss over the downsides of life, but that never loses its appreciation for the good in life. I want to show you don’t have to be angry to be passionate. You don’t have to be disrespectful to get respect.7. Tips for young Black artistsDarrin:Practice. Have something IMPORTANT to say and figure out how best to say it, whether it’s visual or performing arts. But don’t wait for someone to discover you. You’ve got to take initiative. Enter contests. Even if you don’t win, you’re getting your name out there. Submit your work in a professional manner to as many people as you can. Network – meet people in the industry you want to be part of, and do not be afraid to ask them for advice. Usually, they’ll be glad to help you.

What I want to know is, what was Chauncey working on, what had he already written, or what else was he involved in, that may have gotten him assassinated? But this is Oakland. Who knows if the investigation will go farther than a fruitless sweep of the East side and a shrug of the shoulders.

Candorville’s back in Santa Rosa!

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat pulled Candorville a couple months ago to try out some other strips. Thanks to readers who wrote in and asked them to return Candorville to the comics page, it’s back as of yesterday. Papers rarely hear from readers when they do something the readers agree with, so you might want to write to them and thank them for returning it to the page.

Bat signal: Calling all BOSTON Candorville readers!

Boston readers have written to let me know they’ve been missing Candorville the past few days. Apparently when the Herald replaced “Brenda Starr” with Keith Knight’s “The Knight Life,” people were outraged. So they decided to bring it back. In order to make room for it, something had to go, and that something was Candorville. It probably had more to do with Candorville being one of the most recent additions than with the usual “too many black strips” problem. In comics, the last strip to be added is usually the first to go next time there’s a comics page shuffle, simply because it hasn’t had fifty years to become a security blanket to the people who grew old with it.

It seems like for every four steps forward, there’s one step backward. Over the past few months, Candorville’s been filling in for the vacationing Doonesbury in several papers. Almost all of those papers decided to keep Candorville after Doonesbury returned because readers liked what they saw. The San Francisco Chronicle, thanks to hundreds, or maybe even billions, of letters from readers (some of you sent me copies, and they made my year), has decided to make room for Candorville. They’re going to run a poll next month so readers can weigh in on which other comics they want the Chronicle to add IN ADDITION to Candorville. Reader feedback is essential.

Candorville’s been dropped several times around the nation, and in nearly every instance from Detroit to Seattle to Los Angeles and more, those of you who live in those cities made your voices heard, told them what you wanted to see, and the editors listened. If you live in or around Boston or you somehow read the Herald and you want to see Candorville back in your paper, now’s your best chance to make that happen. Write to the Features Editor, Linda Kincaid, at, or call her at 617-426-3000.

Be polite, don’t bash other comics, but do tell them what you want to see. In newspapers, as in life, you can usually get what you want if you’re persistent.

North Carolina readers: Vote for Candorville!

Warm up for the upcoming elections by voting for Candorville in another reader poll! If you live in North Carolina or you read the Raleigh News & Observer, go to the News & Observer’s website and vote for them to KEEP CANDORVILLE.

If you don’t care about the other strips they’re mentioning, then only check the Candorville box.Candorville didn’t have an easy time getting into the N&O, since the week it debuted in that big Southern paper, we were running a pretty blunt “Closeted Gay Republican Hypocrites” series. The readership was bitterly divided in the N&O forums, but a perceptive editor realized that meant people would read it every day; even if only to have something to complain about.

But over time, editors sometimes tire of the hate mail controversial comics generate, so they need these polls and any positive comments readers feel like sending to remind them why they originally thought it would be worth the trouble.  If you want to see Candorville remain in the Raleigh News & Observer, you’ve got to remind them now.

You & your family can vote up to five times per computer.

Candorville trial in the Sacramento Bee

If you live in or around Sacramento, or somehow read the Bee, be sure to let them know you want them to keep “Candorville.” They’re trying it out over the next four Sundays as a Sunday-only replacement for “Opus,” which ended last week. They’re asking readers to leave comments (saying whether they should permanently add Candorville) in this thread on their discussion forum. I’ve had a Terminator-themed strip ready to go for the past couple years, but didn’t want to run it unless it would appear in California’s capital. So help get Candorville into Governor Schwarzenegger’s paper so I can finally publish it!

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The Seattle Times is cancelling Candorville as of November 22. If you’re a Seattle Times reader and you want Candorville to stay in your paper, you’ve got to contact them NOW by writing to Tell them why you want it to stay, what Candorville means to you, and get all your Seattle-area friends, enemies, and exes (now I’m just being redundant) to do the same.

This is just Lemont’s luck: every ten steps forward, he runs into one giant leap back. Candorville’s added more than a dozen new papers in the last two months, but losing a voice in Seattle, the largest urban area in the Pacific Northwest, would be awful.

Sometimes papers cancel a strip to save money because they think readers won’t miss it. If nobody complains, it stays canceled. If enough people protest, they change their mind and return it. Other papers have canceled Candorville in the past, but almost every time, reader response has caused them to restore Candorville to the comics page.

If you want that to happen in Seattle, WRITE TO THEM NOW!

SEATTLE READERS! The TIMES cancels Candorville. Write in NOW

The Seattle Times CANCELED CANDORVILLE TODAY three weeks ahead of schedule, as part of a redesign. If you’re a Seattle Times reader and you want Candorville BACK in your paper, you’ve got to contact them NOW by writing to Tell them why you want it to stay, what Candorville means to you, and get all your Seattle-area friends, enemies, and exes (now I’m just being redundant) to do the same. Don’t procrastinate, write to them now because now is when they’re paying attention.

Papers cancel a strip to save money because they think readers won’t miss it. If nobody complains, it stays canceled. If enough people protest, they change their mind and return it. The Times canceled Candorville once before, but overwhelming reader response caused them to restore Candorville to the comics page.

If you want that to happen again, WRITE TO THEM NOW!

Candorville Returns to Seattle!

GOOD NEWS, SEATTLE READERS: We’ve just learned that because so many of you wrote in to ask for it, Candorville will return to the Seattle Times this month! It’ll be back starting either the week of the 19th or the 26th. If you want to thank the Times for reconsidering (or ask them to add the full-color Sunday “Candorville” as well), you can write to them at Hundreds of you cc’d me on the notes you sent to the Times, so I can’t thank you all individually. Thank you all for getting Candorville’s year off to a great start.

Buy a poster of last Sunday’s “Inauguration of Barack Obama” cartoon!

Last Sunday’s Candorville was a tribute to everyone who ever fought, struggled, marched or died to make Obama’s inauguration possible. A lot of you (especially teachers who want to hang it in their classrooms) asked me to make it available as a poster, and I’ve done that. You can get your own 11″ by 17″ full color, semi-gloss poster of Sunday’s strip commemorating the inauguration of Barack Obama. I’ll sign it, unless you ask otherwise. Order TODAY and please allow about three weeks for delivery.

U.S. Domestic Orders: $15
Shipping included
International Orders: $25
Shipping included

The Inauguration of Obama

•In other news, Candorville’s been back in the Seattle Times since Monday the 19th, thanks to everyone who wrote in and asked for it. I can’t thank you enough for showing your support for Candorville. With newspapers dying off, or slashing their features to save whatever money they can, reader feedback means everything.

The San Francisco Chronicle adds Candorville dailies

As San Francisco Chronicle readers know, Candorville’s been running in the Sunday paper ever since Opus went to the great children’s book in the sky. The Chronicle ran a survey at the time asking which strip readers wanted as a replacement on Sundays. Candorville won, and the Chronicle mentioned they’d eventually add the weekday version as well. I’m happy to say “eventually” is today.

This is an especially cool addition for me. I lived in the Bay Area for 13 years, and the Chronicle and I have a little history. While I was studying political science at Berkeley, I freelanced editorial cartoons to the Chronicle (as well as the Oakland Tribune, LA Times, & other papers). When their editorial cartoonist took a year-long sabbatical in (I think it was) 2005, the Chronicle’s editorial page filled his space with Candorville strips. Years earlier, the Chronicle’s business section ran Rudy Park Sunday strips. I spent my twenties in the Bay Area. It’s where everything changed for me. I went there a teenager who liked to draw and I left there a 32 year-old teenager who gets paid to draw. Most importantly, I met my wife there; and my best friends, acquaintances, and dentist all live there.

Of course, all this can come crashing down the next time they run a comics page survey and the people I inevitably piss off each send in a dozen letters demanding my head — or it can come crashing down when the newspaper industry evaporates in 2012 (which, obviously, is why the Aztecs ended their calendar in 2012). But for now, this is a great day.