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Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper Paperback – August 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Boondocks Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McGruder has become a widely heard and respected commentator on race, politics, and entertainment. The cartoonist was born in Chicago but grew up in racially diverse Columbia, Maryland. The Boondocks first saw print in the student newspaper at the University of Maryland where he majored in Afro-American studies.
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Product Details

  • Series: Boondocks
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original ed. edition (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740706098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740706097
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The subtitle of the book is "Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper." Well, I read the newspaper, but as a committed reader of The New York Times, I don't have the opportunity to read the daily comic strips (since the NYT contains no syndicated daily strips). But I heard about The Boondocks and bought the book. What can I say? If there was a Mount Rushmore for cartoonists, Mr, McGruder belongs there. Not only are the strips funny, witty, and biting, but as a graduate of social and cultural analysis studies at Maryland, his perceptions are dead on. As McGruder writes, "the truth hurts." It hurts because your stomach hurts so bad from the laughing. Who else would think of putting an insulting blurb from the President of BET on the back cover of the book, if not a genius? As was written above and below, Huey and Riley Freeman move with their grandfather to the white suburbs of Woodcrest from downtown Chicago. It's their grandfather's dream and 40 acres, but Huey thinks that he is the mule. It is a town where the grammar school is named for J Edgar Hoover, and the junior high is named for George Wallace (or so Huey's grandfather mused). Riley's teacher was a nun and worked in a prison before becoming a teacher. Huey and Riley's neighbors include an interracial couple, their daughter, and a naïve white girl. Huey and Riley work hard to keep it real, but your laughs will come easy. I can't wait a next volume. I hope it includes Huey, Caesar and Mr. Tom Dubois' debate over Kwanzaa (budget Hanukkah? or a perpetuation of a fallacy of monolithic African culture?) Where is the line a Boondock's greeting cards?
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By medjay on October 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've known of Aaron McGruder's comic strip for a while but never actually got around to reading it (longtime fans will forgive me, I hope). Well, I got my hands on this collection and after catching up with everyone else I have to say that I have a new flag to wave. In fact, I'm kind of jealous. Boondocks is exactly the comic strip I would have created had I actually sat down and done it. Topics such as Hip-Hop, racial identity, stereotyping and poitics are all dealt with in an intellegent and non-condecending manner that's fresh in this age of stiffling political correctness.
It's refreshing to see hip-hop treated with the respect it deserves by someone who clearly loves the culture. The discussions about race and politics are honest and thought- provoking. Plus, like the best Calvin and Hobbes strips, Boondocks is just downright funny.
I have to admit that I had no idea that Mr. McGruder's strip had caused such an uproar. After reading the book I hit up the website and was treated to a very telling display of all the hate mail and negativity that has been spewed by numerous people. It's not surprising. One thing that I've come to realize is that a lot of people have a very low tolerance and understanding of social satire. That's why people don't "get" movies like "Fight Club" and bad mouth the current Spike Lee Joint "Bamboozled". And since Boondocks is social satire at its finest it will be doomed to misunderstanding and attack by people who don't "get it" and read more into it than they should. Populated by characters like Huey Freeman, a conspiricy theorizing revolutionary and Reily, his foul-mouthed, bling-blinging little brother, Boondocks is not your typical Sunday paper comic strip.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of the Boondocks by chance because I liked the sub-title (Cause I know you don't read the newspapers). Upon opening the book, I was exposed such intelligent, funny, and sharp prose and endearing, honest, well-thought out characters that I became an instant fan. The Boondocks is destined to be the next Calvin & Hobbes and/or Doonesbury, and I am excited to have discovered it during it's first publication in book form. Someday, when it is a household name and syndicated across the country I'll be able to see "I knew it when . . ." Lucky me. Pick up a copy as quick as you can, I promise you wont be dissapointed.
As an aside, besides Huey (the main character and "radical scholar"), my favorite character is Jazmine. As a girl who also struggles with being biracial occasionally, I think she does a wonderful job of representing this aspect of race in America. Aaron (the artist behind the Boondocks) handles a potentially volatile topic with consistant clarity and beauty. Check out Boondocks.net and look at the 7/23/00 comic (under the "Strips" link) to see what I'm talking about. If your reading this Aaron (maybe?), Thank you from the heart.
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Format: Paperback
Bloom County. I have to mention it because Boondocks draws from Berke Breathed's legendary 80s strip endlessly. From the children with mature perspectives to the pacing of the humor, the inspiration is clear. But Boondocks succeeds in being original and entertaining for a few reasons:
1. New Perspectives: Boondocks is almost always dealing with the issues of the day, which makes it fresh. It is also from a mostly black perspective, as so few comic strips are or ever have been.
2. More radical than Bloom County or anything I've ever seen in the papers.
3. No talking animals. At least none that I've seen.
None of this makes it better or worse than it's predocessors, but rather unique and refreshing. It's one of those strips that is very fun to look to each day for a radical, humorous perspective on what's being jammed down our throats by the media at the time.
The main character, Huey, acts as both the voice of the strip but a comical figure at the same time. There is a lot of wisdom in what he is saying and that gets across, but at the same time his personality and approach are constantly being poked fun at. Aaron McGruder seems to be indulging in healthy self-satire without making a mockery of his political views, and I assume that is quite tough.
All in all, if any strip deserves to be the next Calvin & Hobbes, this is it. Nevermind Dilbert - and put Garfield to sleep, already.
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