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Aaron McGruder And His Controversial Comic Strip "The Boondocks"

Jun 19, 2008
The satirical and edgy comic strip "The Boondocks," created by Aaron McGruder, involves two young African American brothers from inner-city Chicago who explore life living with their grandfather in an unassuming suburb of the big city. The strip, which ran in syndicate from April 19, 1999 to March 26, 2007, was certainly no stranger to controversy as "The Boondocks" has regularly received criticism from both the white and black communities in regards to McGruder's strong left-wing political and often risque views on current events.

Aaron McGruder was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 29, 1974 and at the age of six relocated to Columbia, Maryland with his parents and an older brother where the family set down their roots. After attending both a Jesuit and public school, Aaron eventually went on to attend the University of Maryland where he graduated with a degree in African American studies.

At the time of "The Boondocks" inception, McGruder was a DJ on the university's radio station WMUC while he also debuted his new comic strip in The Diamondback, the campus' newspaper, in December of '96. McGruder pulled his strip from the paper in March of '97 after a rift with the editor who refused to print an apology for omitting "The Boondocks" from a publication due to what was said to be a technical error. The strip then moved on that very same year to appear in a monthly hip hop magazine called The Source where it quickly gained popularity and was soon syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, making its nationwide debut two years later in April.

At its peak, "The Boondocks" was syndicated in more than 300 different publications and by the Fall of 2003, McGruder enlisted the help of artist Jennifer Seng to take over most of the strip's illustrations while he concentrated on the dialogue. Although fans were worried "The Boondocks" would change without McGruder's artistic influence, he made it a point to have a hand in drawing each and every strip, even if it were just to tweak a small detail or two, and stayed true to his word.

Throughout the life of the controversial strip, both it and McGruder routinely came under fire from the public as it poked fun at famous people and much talked about issues such as terrorism, the government, and a few well known White House figures like Condoleezza Rice, and also conservative commentator Larry Elder, who the strip's characters named the recipient of their "Most Embarrassing Black Person of the Year Awards" the "Elder" after.

In some newspapers, "The Boondocks" was actually published in the op-ed pages rather than in the comic strip section and McGruder has even received hate mail over the views of the characters in his strip. In late February, 2006, Aaron McGruder announced to the public that "The Boondocks" would go on hiatus for six months starting in March and then resume again in October with runs of repeat strips to appear in the meantime. More than half of the newspapers it appeared in opted to run new strips instead of repeats, and by September 25, 2006, the president of Universal Press Syndicate announced that the comic strip would not be returning although no explanation or word of retiring the strip permanently was given by McGruder.
About the Author
Sebastian Marders loves writing about a variety of things and sharing the website that inspires each piece with his readers. If you would like to browse a selection of funny cartoon pics , centered around a comic strip of funny things , then please visit.
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