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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Another Stereotype Bites the Dust: a Candorville collection

Reviewed: December 13, 2006
By: Darrin Bell
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
128 pages, $13.95

Darren Bell’s Candorville is another attempt to get away from the very white world of the daily newpaper strip. Its three central characters are a black would-be writer named Lemont Brown; a ambitious Mexican-American business woman named Susan Garcia; and a gangsta, would-be rapper, named Clyde (or C-Dog).

While many of the cartoons in this strip are simply about the flaws in the relationships among these three people, there are other thing going on, some of which almost reach the level of opinion cartooning.

Lemont has a lot of trouble with his bank, Wells Frago, but these strips are more of a critique of banking business practices than they are about Lemont’s finances.

One continuing series has to do with the messages he leaves on his answering machine for his mother. Another deals with great lies that have been told to the public by their governments down through the ages. A number of strips make pointed contrasts between the Viet Nam War and the current war in Iraq. Still another has people saying the politically correct things to each other, while thought balloons reveal what’s really on their minds. A couple of the continuing characters are even homeless folk who live in boxes in alley ways.

Candorville contains a lot of laughs, for sure, but it also contains quite a few things to think about.

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