Friday, March 9, 2012

The Accessibility & Availability of The Boondocks

Part of what made The Boondocks such a popular breakthrough when it appeared in 1999 and on into the early years of the 21st century was its accessibility and availability in various newspapers and on the net. Folks would circulate humorous strips via email, and it was possible to check out the archive of strips on

Early on too, there was quite a bit of activity on the message board for,, which made it possible for fans and critics of the strip to make their voices heard. Folks sometimes had intense debates about the merits and offenses of McGruder's comic strip.

I was in graduate school at Penn State, and at some point, the student paper at the university started carrying McGruder's comic strip, which is where I read it first before moving online to follow the strip. Reading the strip in the daily paper gave me an opportunity to catch it in a format--print newspaper--that quickly changing with the rise and shifts in online presentations of news. I tended to check for the strip in print newspapers during the week and online on the weekends.

Looking back, the connective power of The Boondocks was becoming aware to me as I used to come across all kinds of folks familiar with the strip. "Did you see today's Boondocks?," you'd hear folks asking on a message board or in face-to-face conversation.

Interesting how this comic strip drew so much attention. 

Related: Aaron McGruder Week

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