Darrin Bell 2016
Washington Post News Service and Syndicate
The NPF judges said of Bell’s work: “Darrin Bell’s edgy cartoons are highly focused on current events that fascinate and offend us. He addresses issues of ‘otherism’ – immigration, xenophobia, LGBTQ rights, gun violence – with intelligence and humor. There is an effective dark overlay to his drawings, a chiaroscuro if you will, that lends itself to the serious topics he covers so well.” You can see Bell’s winning entry here.
Darrin Bell, recipient of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Award for Editorial Cartooning and an Alumnus of the Year of The Daily Californian, began his editorial cartooning career as a freelancer in 1995 at age 20. His first sale was to the LA Times, which subsequently assigned him a cartoon every other week. He also sold his cartoons to the San Francisco Chronicle and the former ANG papers, which included the Oakland Tribune.
While he was a political science major at UC Berkeley, Bell became the editorial cartoonist for the Daily Californian. His work won several California Intercollegiate Press Association Awards and an SPJ Mark of Excellence Award. He was also a two-time runner-up for the Charles M. Schulz Award as well as a runner-up for the Locher Award.
Muslim students protested Bell’s 9-11 editorial cartoon and brought him to national attention.
“Muslim-Americans were understandably fearful of being profiled and persecuted. When faced with that fear, it’s inevitable that some will grossly misinterpret a cartoon,” he says. “But you can’t let the fear of irrational reactions—or the knowledge that many will say ‘it’s too soon’ for anything other than comforting images—stop you from saying what you believe to be true. I believe it’s never ‘too soon’ for candor.”
Bell’s editorial cartoons are syndicated by The Washington Post News Service and Syndicate. Bell also creates two syndicated comic strips, Candorville and Rudy Park, and is a storyboard artist. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.