Review: Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper by Aaron McGruder

The Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read the Newspaper Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper by Aaron McGruder
128 pages
Published by Turtleback Books
My rating:   
Source: Purchased/Own
GoodReads | Amazon

The Boondocks has taken the syndication world by storm. Introduced in April 1999, the edgy new comic strip produced a stronger launch for Universal Press Syndicate than Calvin and Hobbes and For Better or For Worse. The impressive list of early papers included the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News. In fact, the notoriety landed Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder in publications ranging from Time magazine to People magazine which named him one of the "25 Most Intriguing People of '99."The first collection, The Boondocks, gathers together material from the record-setting first year of this sensational new strip. Centered around the experiences of two young African-American boys, Huey and Riley, who move from inner-city Chicago to the suburbs (or the "boondocks" to them), the strip fuses hip-hop sensibilities with Japanese anime-style drawings and a candid discussion of race. Funny yet revealing, the combination of superb art and envelope-pushing content provides one of the most unique strips in syndication today.

The Boondocks is one of those creative ideas that have graced multiple broadcasting outlets. There’s the television show, the Sunday comic strip, and the novel. I was first introduced to them in the Sunday papers. I’ll admit I only looked at the pictures, happy that there’s a “brown people” cartoon. (Don’t judge me. Hey, we were all young and oblivious once.) I watched one episode of this television show back when it first aired. It was a big deal at the time in my neighborhood, because very few “all African American” portrayed cartoons were available. I absolutely despised Uncle Ruckus and the repeated use of the N-word. While there are episodes that are hilarious, I couldn't help but wonder the morals behind the mockery. Recently a co-worker asked me if I’ve read the novels and offered to lend them to me. I was reluctant at first, but NOW I SEE! There is so much more then what’s on the surface.

This installment of the series combines all the segments from the Sunday Paper. The title says it all. I took an African American studies course in High School; and this is reminiscent of that. This author fuses the sociology of black people with comedy 101. He found a way to create a character that’s representation of the most common generalization of personality’s psychological mechanics. It’s funny and sad at the same time. Funny because I can see many people I know depicted in the mannerisms of the fictional characters. It sad because it chastises ALL RACES at the same time; Yet many view this comic as “just a black thing”. The Boondocks is political cartoon tackling issues on religion, social, current events, and self reflection. The brutal harsh comedy may turn people away from the real message, but without the voices and antics, the moral can be found in the novels. I don’t agree with every strip or every episode, but the bold & brave bravado tenacity begs to be recognized. I look forward to reading the next novel; because this is the kind of controversial stuff too frowned upon to air on television.



  1. Wow this makes me want to read the novel now.Not a fan of the show but maybe I can be a fan of the novels :D

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