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DARRIN BELL

Upset that both the Tribune company big guns, the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, have dropped his Candorville strip, cartooner Darrin Bell, in an unguarded moment at BradBlog.com, wondered if the loss would lead other papers to cancel the strip, leading, inevitably, to its ultimate demise. But he quickly righted himself at E&P, saying: "While I'm disappointed with Chicago and L.A., and my disappointment was reflected in my initial comments to BradBlog, mine is an otherwise growing list [of subscribing papers], and I have no intention of quitting, not until I die or the newspaper industry goes under -- whichever comes first. Candorville attracts the same demographics as 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' -- two extraordinarily popular tv shows that, not coincidentally, focus on socio-political humor. This is what my generation wants from their entertainment. We want hard-hitting, funny satire that takes issues on directly, not just mindless escapism. ... That Marmaduke and Blondie are safe in L.A. -- a city where the majority does NOT look or live like Blondie and Dagwood -- says more about the L.A. Times preferring blandness to excitement and wanting to disengage from readers rather than making them think and keeping them entertained with material that's relevant to their worlds. Thankfully, most papers we deal with recognize the value of using edgy, diverse features to attract a younger demographic. Those papers are looking out for their futures rather than catering to their past, and as long as those papers are out there, I'll be around drawing Candorville."

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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