Posts Tagged ‘Darrin Bell’

Appearance: Schulz Museum, October 21, 1p.m.

As part of the Schulz Museum‘s celebration of the 40th anniversary of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” they’re hosting a panel featuring myself and three other cartoonists, all discussing how Peanuts influenced our work and the industry. The other talking heads will be Keith Knight (of “K Chronicles” fame), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World) and Michael Jantze (The Norm). Afterward we’ll be hanging around to sign books and talk with visitors.Schedule of Events for October 21, 2006•12noon – Showing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (in Museum’s Theatre)•1pm – Panel discussion about the impact of Schulz’s work (in Theatre). Panel includes Paige Braddock, Michael Jantze, Darrin Bell, and Keith Knight•2-3pm – Cartoonists sign books and talk with visitors (in Great Hall)•3-4pm – Producer Lee Mendelson speaks about making It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown (in Theatre) and then sign books (in Great Hall)•4pm – Can Charlie Brown match wits with the Bully? Find out at the preview showing of Charles Schulz’s last animated special, He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown (in Theatre).Museum hours and directions!

Candorville Nominated for the Glyph Award (again)

Candorville’s been nominated for a Glyph Award. Awards are ridiculous popularity contests signifying nothing. Unless Candorville wins, in which case awards are proof of quality and merit. Here’s the list of nominees, as reported by Editor & Publisher and The Comics Reporter:

“Best Comic Strip”Candorville, Darrin BellThe K Chronicles, Keith KnightTemplar, Arizona, Spike(th)Ink, Keith KnightWatch Your Head, Cory Thomas 

Smart money’s on an upset by Ziggy.

“Stephanie Miller Show” goes slumming with Candorville’s Darrin Bell

For some unknown reason, Elayne Boosler, guest hosting the Stephanie Miller Show on Jones Radio Network (& aired on many Air America affiliates), decided to spend a few minutes interviewing yours truly this morning. I didn’t post about this beforehand or tell friends or family because it would scare the hell out of me knowing that people were actually listening to me live. “They” say most Americans fear public speaking more than they fear death, and for a cartoonist who’s used to spending his days alone, half-naked in a tiny studio with only his characters to keep him company, death would be #3. #2 would be having to wear pants.Still, I sit for interviews whenever I’m asked because, hell, this is a dream come true for me — creating cartoons that strangers (who don’t owe me anything) spend a few precious, irretrievable seconds out of their days to read — and when someone asks me to talk about that on the radio or TV or a panel discussion, it’s a reminder that it’s actually happening, that that little kid who “wasted time” drawing Optimus Prime and Snoopy in his textbooks actually became what he wanted to be.Here’s the interview. Behind this buffer of time, it isn’t so scary. From today’s Stephanie Miller Show:

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.

Appearing on comics panel this Tuesday in LA

I’m cross-posting this from the Candorville Facebook group (if you’re not already a fan, go there and become a fan already or I’ll have to give you the swine flu):

I’m a late addition to a cartoonists’ panel this Tuesday in LA’s Echo Park. It’s part of 826LA’s adult writing seminar series. I agreed to do it before I looked at the names of the other panelists, which was probably wise. I’ll explain:

I learned to write by reading comic books back in the early ’80s. Every report I would go on to turn in in school – whether it was about George Washington Carver or cell mitosis – would have a beginning, a middle and an end. A hero and a villain. A “B story.” An unexpected death (either literal or figurative) to raise the stakes at the beginning of Act Three. Enemies closing in and all seeming lost. A triumphant resurrection of either the deceased or his cause. Victory, pyrrhic or decisive. A final image that bookended and reversed the opening image. My teachers never knew why they loved my writing so much, but I always knew why I would get nothing but A’s and B’s even when I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about: Everything I turned in was structured exactly like a comic book story. Teachers are just people, and all people love stories.

new_graphic_novel1785To me, the masters of the craft were Chris Claremont (X-Men), Marv Wolfman (The New Teen Titans), and a couple new guys, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. I took the name of the evil multinational corporation (Trigon Corp) that’s trying to buy Lemont’s newspaper straight from Wolfman’s seminal New Teen Titans saga. Several of Candorville’s villains have been patterned at least a little on Wolfman’s Trigon.

So, who are the other cartoonists on this panel? The brilliant Lalo Alcaraz (La Cucaracha) and Jaime Hernandez (Love & Rockets), and MARV f-ing WOLFMAN! Man, when that guy speaks I’ll probably want to run around to the other side of the table, pull up a folding chair and take notes.

Tickets are still available at the 826LA website.

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.


Darrin Bell to appear at Wondercon this Saturday

Darrin Bell to appear at Wondercon this Saturday

Keith Knight and I will be signing our new books at table AA28 in the “Artists Alley” section of Wondercon in SF this Saturday. We’ll also speak during the following panel discussion (description from the Wondercon site). If you’re going or you want to invite others, please RSVP at the Facebook event page:


Featuring artists from the upcoming San Francisco art exhibit by the same name, nationally syndicated cartoonists Darrin Bell (Candorville, Rudy Park), Keith Knight (award-winning K Chronicles, (th)ink, The Knight Life), and Kheven LaGrone (curator of Coloring Outside the Lines) discuss their art. Animated shorts by nationally syndicated cartoonist Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz) will also be screened. Moderated by Thomas Robert Simpson (founder and artistic director of the AfroSolo Arts Festival). Room 236/238

Hand-delivering books in San Francisco next weekend

katrina-posterI’m going to be in San Francisco from May 20-24 to see a friend graduate. Any Bay Area readers who order any of the three Candorville books or an “Inauguration of Barack Obama” poster in the next week *might* get it hand-delivered by yours truly (if you live near where I’ll be).