Tuesday, September 26, 2006

McGruder Goes MIA

The following comes to us from one of our beloved sisters:

Syndicate Says 'Boondocks' May Not Return
Cartoonist Hasn't Answered Pleas to Resume Comic Strip

By Laura Sessions Stepp
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's over for "The Boondocks" comic strip, at least for now. After six years -- a remarkably short run for a strip that found its way into 300-plus newspapers, including The Washington Post -- Universal Press Syndicate told subscribers yesterday they should start looking for someone to replace political/social satirist Aaron McGruder.

McGruder, a Columbia native who in his twenties became the Garry Trudeau of the hip-hop generation, took a sabbatical six months ago to recharge. The syndicate kept checking with him, reminding him that its newspaper clients needed several weeks in order to prepare for his return or his departure.

Apparently, the mind behind young black radicals Huey and Riley Freeman has gone Hollywood, or at least has further hopes of doing so, and has decided he can't devote himself to the grind of a daily strip. His late-night animated show, "The Boondocks," on the Cartoon Network was recently renewed for another season, the first-season DVD is out, and a film is reportedly in the works.

Perhaps for McGruder, whose broad and sometimes outrageous characterizations forced readers to confront racial stereotypes and caused cartoon editors to blanch, the future of the funny papers is in pixels rather than picas.

The cartoonist, 31, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. A message on his voicemail indicated he was taking some time to "restore his creative juices."

The heavies at Universal are clearly not happy with the way McGruder handled the situation, although they worded their news release carefully. "

Although Aaron McGruder has made no statement about retiring or resuming The Boondocks for print newspapers . . . newspapers should not count on it coming back in the foreseeable future," Universal's president, Lee Salem, said in the release. "Numerous attempts . . . to pin McGruder down on a date that the strip would be coming back were unsuccessful."

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1 comment:

Brother Lightness said...

A completely different situation for sure, I can't help but notice the Chappelle-esque tone of it all.