A Short Video Promo on Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist Darrin Bell’s New Graphic Memoir, ‘The Talk’

“Through evocative illustrations and sharp humor, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood.”

I had the distinct honor of moderating a panel discussion with two Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists on September 14th at the “CrockerCon” event in Sacramento. Held at the Crocker Art Museum, the event was incredibly fun and well-attended, a “comic con” with the twist of featuring a panel with two of the finest editorial cartoonists in the biz, Darrin Bell and Jack Ohman

The Talk, by Darrin BellWe hope to be posting a video of the discussion or at least linking to it, when the museum posts it. Meanwhile, I wanted to share this short promo video (scroll down) about Bell’s new graphic memoir, The Talk, an incredibly important and beautiful work that is receiving a ton of well-deserved acclaim. You may order it here, and you will be glad you did.

Here are some quotes from reviews of the book:

“A moving portrait … funny and touching, intellectually and emotionally stimulating. There’s pride and prejudice, family drama, and a love story. I loved this book. You will too.”
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist draws on his childhood in Los Angeles to explore racism on a deeply personal level. There’s a poignancy, too, in the cyclical nature of the story: Bell, now a father, is wrestling with the same questions his own parents face.”
New York Times

The Talk, by Darrin Bell“Propulsive reading, drawn with urgency and verve. Once you pick up The Talk, you won’t be able to put it down.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and The Secret to Superhuman Strength

“In The Talk, Bell combines the overtly personal and the sociopolitical in a textured autobiography that blends raw honestly, moving memories and powerful insights on race and police relations.”
Washington Post

The book is published by Macmillan Publishers, and is available on their website. They provide this short synopsis:

Darrin Bell was six years old when his mother told him he couldn’t have a realistic water gun. She said she feared for his safety, that police tend to think of little Black boys as older and less innocent than they really are.

Through evocative illustrations and sharp humor, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood. While coming of age in Los Angeles — and finding a voice through cartooning — Bell becomes painfully aware of being regarded as dangerous by white teachers, neighbors, and police officers and thus of his mortality. Drawing attention to the brutal murders of African Americans and showcasing revealing insights and cartoons along the way, he brings us up to the moment of reckoning when people took to the streets protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. And now Bell must decide whether he and his own six-year-old son are ready to have The Talk.

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James Israel
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