The Boondocks was a daily syndicated comic strip written and originally drawn by Aaron McGruder that ran from 1996 to 2006. Created by McGruder in 1996 for The Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park, the strip moved from the college pages and was printed in the monthly hip hop magazine The Source in 1997. As it gained popularity, the comic strip was picked up by the Universal Press Syndicate and made its national debut on April 19, 1999. A popular and controversial strip, The Boondocks deals with African American culture and American politics as seen through the eyes of its protagonist, 10-year-old black radical Huey Freeman.
McGruder sold the television and film rights for the strip to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Boondocks animated TV series premiered on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming November 6, 2005.
The strip debuted in The Diamondback under editor Jayson Blair on December 3, 1996, paying McGruder $30 per strip — $17 more than other cartoonists. McGruder ended the strip's run in The Diamondback on March 18, 1997, two weeks after the strip was omitted due to a technical error and a Diamondback staffer printed the word "OOPS" in its place without an explanation. He pulled the strip after the paper refused to run an apology. (Upon the revelation in 2004 of news article fabrications by Blair, by then a reporter for The New York Times, McGruder's comic strip joined others in lampooning Blair.)
In Fall 2003, Boston, Massachusetts-based artist Jennifer Seng assumed art duties from McGruder. In an interview with The New Yorker, McGruder said, "If something had to give, it was going to be the art. I think I'm a better writer than artist." Carl Jones succeeded Seng as illustrator in late 2004. In the introduction to the collection Public Enemy #2, McGruder wrote, "I had hired an artist to help me on some of the art duties. People think I stopped drawing the strip, but that's never been the case. To this day there has never been a single Boondocks strip that I did not personally touch — I still obsess over the details of Huey, Riley, Caesar and Granddad. I still go over every panel. I still care what it looks like, and I always will."
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