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All the Rage: The Boondocks Past and Present Paperback – October 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Since it started national syndication in 1999, McGruder's comic strip has been famous for its sharp satiric perspective on African-American culture. The strip ended in 2006, following its debut as an animated series on Comedy Central's Adult Swim. This new collection serves as a farewell to the series' comics incarnation and takes a very unusual form. The first section of the book collects characteristically witty Boondocks strips from 2003 through 2005 on topics ranging from Iraq and Hurricane Katrina to the frustrations of computer help lines and the inanity of newly concocted slang. Part II, The Media, consists primarily of interviews with McGruder from newspapers, magazines and television. These allow McGruder to express his political opinions more openly and point to various controversies that the strip aroused. This leads to Part III, The Controversy, which reprints many of the strips from 1999 onward that various newspaper editors refused to run. What is especially striking is the outrage over McGruder's early criticism of the Bush administration's response to the 9/11 attacks. Hence this book is not only a retrospective of this decade's most impressive comic strips, but also a sharp reminder of shifting public opinion. (Nov.)
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About the Author
AARON MCGRUDER is the creator of The Boondocks, a nationally syndicated comic strip, which appeared daily in more than 350 newspapers around the country. Now a smash hit as a Peabody Award–winning animated series on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the second season of The Boondocks promises even more controversial events. Aaron is the author of the bestselling A Right to be Hostile, Public Enemy #2, and Birth of a Nation. He lives in Los Angeles and has been banned from more newspapers than you’ve ever read.
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This collection is wonderful. It is divided into three parts. Part one covers strips from 2004-2005. Part two supplies numerous interviews and media stories, that give us a much better idea about Mr. McGruder and the creative process. Part three is a close-up view of the most controversial strips, where they were banned, and how he changed some strips (including a couple that were never released - the "n-word" unreleased ones are great).
As time passes, this strip will be held up on par with "Calvin and Hobbes," "The Far Side," and "Doonesbury." It would be nice to hear from Huey during the Trump years, but as he said on his last strip from 3/26/06 (which is in this collection, btw), he has said all he needed to say.
I would make a small change to one of the other reviewer's recommendation: start with "A Right To Be Hostile". There are a couple other collections after and before this one, but this is the best. Then, get "Birth of a Nation" (written by Reginald Hudlin and Aaron McGrude; illustrated by Kyle Baker). This is the screenplay that took too long to be "greenlighted" (an interesting story in itself). The idea of a state seceding from the nation is not new (uh...remember Texas and Juneteenth?), but what of a city...a poor city...a poor BLACK city? It's politicing at its grassroots best!
used some of the strips in my High School English class &students were able to
understand the underlining meaning. Teens questioned why they did not see this
in New York Post or Daily News ."this is as funny as Family Guy & the Simpson why is not on
ABC , Fox " (9th graders asked) Great discussion on propaganda & hypocrisy of
That being said, this pieces all the "best of" non-comic moments together. I read that it was 200+ pages, and thought, "Wow! That's a lot of comics!"
Well, the current comics comprise about 1/2 of the book, 1/4 goes to interviews, and 1/4 are "controversial" strips. Ooh, controversy!
These are great. If you have seen the first or second season of the shows, you will recognize some story arcs a little too well, even down to the line. Awesome.