The Boondocks was a popular animated television series that aired on Adult Swim from 2005 to 2014. However, many fans of the show are unaware that it was actually based on a comic strip of the same name. Created by Aaron McGruder, the Boondocks comic strip ran from 1996 to 2006 and was known for its satirical commentary on politics and African American culture.
The Origins of The Boondocks Comic Strip
The Boondocks comic strip first appeared in the student newspaper at McGruder’s alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park. McGruder created the strip as a way to express his frustrations with the lack of diversity on campus and to provide an outlet for his political views.
The main characters in the Boondocks comic strip are young brothers Huey and Riley Freeman, who move from inner-city Chicago to live with their grandfather in a predominantly white suburb. Huey is an intelligent and politically aware ten-year-old who often serves as the voice of reason in the strip. His younger brother Riley is more interested in hip-hop culture and often gets into trouble.
Other notable characters in the strip include their grandfather Robert Freeman, who is a retired civil rights activist; Jazmine Dubois, their biracial neighbor; and Uncle Ruckus, a self-hating black man who believes he is white.
The Boondocks comic strip was known for its controversial content and often drew criticism from both conservative and liberal audiences. McGruder’s use of racial slurs and his critiques of prominent African American figures like Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby were particularly controversial.
In 2005, McGruder received backlash for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in a series of strips that depicted him as disillusioned with contemporary black culture. Some critics argued that the strips were disrespectful to King’s legacy, while others praised McGruder for his bold commentary.
The Adaptation to Television
In 2005, the Boondocks comic strip was adapted into an animated television series on Adult Swim. McGruder served as the executive producer and head writer for the show, which ran for four seasons.
The television series closely followed the characters and themes of the comic strip but also introduced new storylines and characters. The show was praised for its sharp writing and social commentary but also drew criticism for its use of offensive language and controversial subject matter.
Despite its controversies, the Boondocks comic strip and television series have had a lasting impact on popular culture. The show’s use of satire and political commentary has inspired a new generation of African American artists and writers.
In 2019, it was announced that McGruder would be reviving the Boondocks franchise with a new season of the television series set to air in 2020. Fans are eagerly anticipating the return of Huey, Riley, and their grandfather Robert Freeman to continue their satirical take on American society.
- In conclusion, while many fans may be familiar with The Boondocks as a popular animated television series, it began as a satirical comic strip that tackled issues surrounding politics and African American culture.
- Despite being known for its controversial content, both the comic strip and television series have left their mark on popular culture.
- “The Boondocks.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web.
01 June 2021.
- McGruder, Aaron. The Boondocks: Because I Know You Don’t Read The Newspaper. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000. Print.