IN 2019, DARRIN BELL BECAME THE FIRST BLACK artist to win a Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning. The prize committee recognized the freelancer for his “beautiful and daring editorial cartoons that took on issues affecting disenfranchised communities, calling out lies, hypocrisy and fraud in the political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration.”
In addition to his editorial work, which runs in papers across the country, Bell is the author of two syndicated comic strips, Candorville and Rudy Park. He cocreated the latter with his fellow UC Berkeley alumnus, Matt Richtel. A Pulitzer winner in his own right (national reporting, 2010), Richtel calls his friend and collaborator a creative force.
“He sees hypocrisy like no one else. It’s like he has a third hemisphere in his brain. Not only does he see it, but then he translates it brilliantly into words and pictures.”
Bell worked for the Daily Californian as an undergraduate. In a recent DailyCal Live! interview, he quipped that he majored in cartooning at Cal and minored in college.
While he considers Candorville his day job, Bell told webcast viewers he’d continue doing the editorial work whether it paid or not. In all his work, he said, “If I’m not a little bit uncomfortable with the political points that I’m making, or any of the other points … then I feel like I’m not going far enough. So, I’ll rewrite that a bunch of times until I’m kind of ashamed to show it to my mom, and then I know it’s done.”
California asked Bell to contribute a cartoon for this issue. —Pat Joseph