Candorville: Thank God for Culture Clash

 CTGC   (Andrews McMeel, 2003)

™ and © Andrews McMeel

When Candorville began in October 2003, it was apparently about the multi–ethnic, multi–racial urban milieu. Lemont Brown, the lead character, is black, and his best friend, Susan Garcia, is the only Latina in an office that just took “cultural sensitivity training”. “If you need a siesta,” says one of her co–workers, “we understand.” Lurking at the edges is Clyde (or, as he prefers “C–dawg”), an unabashed thug and ne’er–do–well, whose idea of a Saturday night on the town is looting appliance stores.

But Bell quickly went beyond the seeming confines of his subject to explore bigotry, poverty, homelessness, personal responsibility, and the culture of victimhood as well as politics and current events.

In a two–panel strip, Lemont is watching TV in the first panel, as the on–camera reporter says: “This just in—President Bush said today it was absurd for anyone to think America tortures its war prisoners.” In the next panel, the reporter is saying: “In other news, Vice President Cheney is lobbying Congress to allow the CIA to torture war prisoners.” Political satire doesn’t get any more pointed than that.

— R.C. Harvey

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