Saturday, February 9, 2008
What's up with Aaron?
"I don't look at it as a purely racial or racist issue," says McGruder, who is African American. "I'm sure it's a factor. But I'm not convinced. Despite the hurdles and the issues of race, I was given more than a fair shot. Nobody ever mistook my strip for 'Curtis.'
"The industry itself is struggling. It's like they're the black passengers on the Titanic protesting to get to the top deck, and overlooking the fact that the whole ship is sinking."
The above quote was from esteemed African-American cartoonist Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks." I gotta say that it took me by surprise. I remember when we were organizing tomorrow's 'sketch-in.' One of the bruthas asked "What are the chances of getting Aaron McGruder aboard?" Or something like that. It seemed like a brilliant idea. Here's a person who could use his considerable might to help us in our cause. Here's a person who knows what its like to deal with the kinds of issues we face everyday from features editors of daily newspaper. Here's a name that people would listen to. We heard nothing, so we moved on.
Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the man's work, particularly his early "Boondocks" work. I have most of his books and I've seen all episodes of his "Boondocks" show on Adult Swim. Still can't get past the overuse of the "N-word," but that's another topic.
So, It hit me like a truck to read his comments. We've some wonderful people in the comics industry speak on our behalf, even white cartoonists. But to hear those comments from a guy who's built a career on controversy and race seem like a slap in the face. I'm just sayin.