Who knew that a satirical comic strip created for a student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park would not only bring its creator name, fame and riches, but also make the series world renowned! What started as a mere comic strip in a student magazine transformed into a regular feature in a big-time newspaper and as a television series. “The Boondocks”, brainchild of Aaron McGruder, witnessed both success and controversy as soon as it appeared, thereby becoming the talk of the town instantly. What is interesting to note is that McGruder’s character voiced an opinion on everything, right from racism to politics, music to economics and even terrorism and patriotism. By large, everything that Americans considered taboo for the “funnies” was dealt with, by McGruder’s characters.
- Born in Chicago, Illinois, Aaron McGruder was the second child of his parents.The family shifted base to Columbia, Maryland after McGruder’s father accepted the job offered by the National Transportation Safety Board.Young McGruder was enrolled at a Jesuit school from grades seven to nine, after which he studied at the Oakland Mills High School. Later, McGruder attended the University of Maryland, from where he graduated with a degree in African American Studies.Career
- It was during McGruder’s years at the University of Maryland that he brought out the comic strip, “The Boondocks” for the college newspaper, The Diamondback under its then-editor, Jayson Blair.McGruder had created the same while working at the Presentation Graphics Lab on campus.The main theme of the strip was that it presented a satirical view of the African-American culture and American politics, through the eyes of its protagonist, a 10-year-old black radical boy named Huey Freeman.Such was the popularity of the series that it gained fame instantly for its commentary on hot-button social and political issues.DJ Rhome Anderson’s assistance made it possible for McGruder to feature his work on the internet. Not long after, it made its debut in 1998 in a national print publication, the hip-hop magazine, “The Source”, which lasted for a period of three months.After considering a lot of offers for publishing the strip in a national daily, McGruder zeroed on the Universal Press Syndicate. “The Boondocks” made its debut in the April of 1999, the largest by any comic strip.Just as the strip received much popularity, it raised a great deal of controversy as well. While Blacks tagged it as stereotypical, Whites got irked with its outright racist and hurtful nature.With time, McGruder’s characters enjoyed both, love and hatred from the audience equally, as they spoke on all matters including, exploitative rap videos, the NRA, Black conservatives, inter-racial marriage, lawn-mowing as a form of illegal child labour and so on.Post 9/11 attacks, “The Boondocks” received the wrath of the people as it criticized on everything, right from the media’s support of war and Bush administration to the false patriotism of flag-wavers in light of the attacks.Presently, McGruder resides in Los Angeles, California, where he works on projects which includes the Boondocks animated series and the Super Deluxe variety comedy series, The Super Rumble Mix Show.In addition to this, he has authored five Boondocks collections, “All The Rage”, “Public Enemy”, “A Right To Be Hostile”, Fresh for ‘01: You Suckaz”, and “Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper”.Along with Reginald Hudlin, McGruder co-authored 2004 graphic novel, “Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel”.Very recently, McGruder worked as a screenwriter in the final treatment of the film, “Red Tails”, which is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II.Awards & Achievements
- McGruder’s comic strip, The Boondocks was nominated for “Best New Strip” at the Reuben Awards, the cartoonist industry's highest honour, in the year 2000.McGruder won the “Chairman’s Award” at the 2002 NAACP Image Awards.
AARON MCGRUDER TIMELINE1974:
Aaron McGruder was born on May 29. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1997:
“The Boondocks” debuted in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1998:
“The Boondocks” made debut in a national print publication, hip-hop magazine, “The Source”. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1999:
The comic strip was published for the first time in a national newspaper, Universal Press Syndicate. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.
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Quotes By Aaron McGruder
Books by Aaron McGruder