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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/26/2008

Fave Fan Anecdotes: 'Pickles' & 'Candorville'

By Michael Cavna


All week on Comic Riffs, in the spirit of the season, syndicated cartoonists share their favorite fan anecdotes -- telling us in their own words about their artwork that struck a particularly poignant chord with readers. Today, BRIAN CRANE and DARRIN BELL share their stories.

BRIAN CRANE, creator, "Pickles":

Brian Crane cites this letter, which he received from a reader:

"On Saturday morning, April 5, 2008, I picked up the comics of the Slidell
newspaper in Louisiana and found 'Pickles' for some reason. My husband always
read the comics and sports each day, but he died a year ago in March and I was
at a special family function without him that weekend.

" 'Pickles' often made me think of us, almost even in looks! But we all knew that 'Dad' was with us for that happy occasion with the reading of your comic. He would cry at every viewing of the movie 'An Affair to Remember' with Deb Kerr and Cary Grant, and his six sons were brought up to always take two handkerchiefs with them because you needed 'One for show and one for blow.'

"Thanks so much for the very fond memory of a wonderful man!"

DARRIN BELL, creator, "Candorville":

A few years ago I drew a cartoon depicting Lemont and Susan on a rooftop. I think it was around the holidays. Lemont, depressed, is thinking: "Every time I've saved a little money, God sends an emergency to take it all away." Susan, meanwhile, is smiling and thinking, "Every time there's an emergency, God makes sure I've saved enough money to cover it."

At a book-signing a year later, an elderly reader approached me with tears in his eyes and told me that his life savings had been wiped out by his wife's catastrophic illness, and seeing that cartoon in the paper brought him out of a powerful depression and brought some joy to both of them.

I'll remember that for the rest of my life.

By Michael Cavna  | December 26, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Interviews With Cartoonists  
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