By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2007, 1:26pm PT  

The Los Angeles Times continues to beg readers to cancel their subscriptions altogether.

Their latest plan: Dump the progressive, interesting, non-white comic strips.

Last week, the Times decided to dump both Candorville, whose strip we've been running here from time to time --- the only one, mind you, that we're aware of which dealt with the e-voting issue directly. La Cucaracha, the paper's only Latino-based strip (in LA!), was dumped at the same time.

The latter was re-instated after a flood of reader complaints. So far, no return of Candorville, however, the last African-American related strip of note in the once-great Los Angeles newspaper, now gutted by its conservative Chicago Tribune owners/rapists. The Trib also recently canceled the strip as well.

We've gotten to know Darrin Bell, the strip's creator, a bit over the last year or so. He sent The BRAD BLOG the following announcement a few days ago on the latest corporate-media idiocy, noting that though his strip has been dumped, "Blondie and Marmaduke are still safe" at the Times.

The only good news in the bargain: The world's unfunniest "comic strip," Mallard Fillmore, has been put out of our misery. Finally. A dead duck we can all be happy about.

"Without at least one of these two papers," Bell writes in regard to the cancellations at both the Times and the Trib, "Candorville can't continue to annoy the knuckledraggers in two of our most important cities, and the strip itself may not be long for this world."

He also asks that complaints be sent to readers.rep@latimes.com. We join him in that request, and are happy to post his note in full below...

Hello fellow America-hating Osama-huggers...

To introduce myself (to those of you who don't know me): I'm Darrin Bell, I create the progressive syndicated comic strip "Candorville," which runs in a bunch of mainstream papers including, until two months ago, the Chicago Tribune, and until two days ago, the LA Times. Candorville, in case you haven't heard of it, features a multi-ethnic cast of characters trying to make their dreams come true while fending off the ridiculous culture warriors of Bush's America. I also blog at http://candorville.blogspot.com

As have all of you, Candorville has been a steady thorn in the side of Americans who'd rather believe what they're told than what they see. Two years ago, I got wind that a concerted effort was underway to get Candorville booted from the conservative Chicago Tribune. A couple months ago, if that was the case, this effort succeeded, and as of two days ago, Tribune-ordered cuts at the LA Times (yeah, media consolidation was such a great idea) forced them to, coincidentally, drop Candorville. Meanwhile, Blondie and Marmaduke are still safe.

Without at least one of these two papers, Candorville can't continue to annoy the knuckledraggers in two of our most important cities, and the strip itself may not be long for this world. Papers operate on a herd mentality, and a couple large cancellations (even if both papers belong to the same conservative corporation) will surely prompt more. The LA Times just restored La Cucaracha (which was also cut) thanks to reader feedback, and they may consider restoring Candorville to the paper if they hear from enough readers. I'm hoping you would consider mentioning this on your blogs. If you do, readers should contact the Times here:

Please contact:
Los Angeles Times Readers' Representative Office
E-mail: readers.rep@latimes.com
Telephone message line: (877) 554-4000
Fax: (213) 237-3535
Postal mail: 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Best,
Darrin Bell
Cartoonist, "Candorville"
http://www.Candorville.com

UPDATE 3/12/07: Editor & Publisher picks up on our coverage of this issue...