Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cartoonists of color are fed up, dammit!

There’s a protest action happening today in your Sunday newspaper. Right there on the funny pages.

Yes, America’s black and brown comic-strip artists have had all they can stands... they can’t stands n’more! So they’re striking a blow against the newspaper industry with coordinated cartoons mocking the attitudes of white readers (and white editors) that keep colored folks down.

You say: “Uhhh... what black and brown comic-strip artists? Aaron McGruder is doing TV now.”

I say: Wake up, black nation! I’m talking about Darrin Bell (“Candorville”). And Stephen Bentley (“Herb and Jamaal”). And Cory Thomas (“Watch Your Head”).

You say: “Uhhh... who?”

And that right there is proof that the white man is keeping them down. Otherwise, these cats would be household names!

Here’s the problem, according to cartoonists of color: If a newspaper runs one black comic strip and one Latino comic strip, its editors won’t even consider adding another one.

“It’s the one-minority rule,” Lalo Alcaraz told the Washington Post last week. “We’ve got one black guy and we’ve got one Latino. There’s not room for anything else.” (The Post story is here.)

No doubt, the daily funnies are a tough hustle. And today’s protest action is cute.

But would you call me a sellout if I said there hasn’t been a funny black comic strip since “Boondocks”?

And that Lalo Alcaraz’s “La Cucaracha” is the only funny Latino strip?

The rest of them joints are like little cups of lukewarm milk... lukewarm skim milk. With dry toast.

Of course, most white comic strips are unfunny wastes of space that I would like to burn, except I don’t waste matches. And I truly believe that black folks deserve to prosper despite mediocrity just like everybody else.

So keep on fightin’, y’all. I’m right there with you. (I won’t be reading your comic strips, though. Life’s too short for that.)


Anonymous said...

I like Candorville. Not quite like the Boondocks. Its more Doonesburyish than anything Magruder has done. I dont know about skim milk...thats pretty harsh.

perhaps chocolate milk with less chocolate syrup.

Ion F said...

You mean there hasn't been a funny Black daily comic strip since Boondocks*. Keith Knight's The K Chronicles rocks.

* MacGruder! Come back!

DK said...

What're you talking about? I love Candorville. I wouldn't say you're a "sell out," I'd just say you're wrong.

sherifffruitfly said...

Of course, it's part of a broader phenomenon - white folks living in their minds in an all-white world, and this fantasy is reflected in their creations. Consider the all-white NYC of Seinfeld and countless other shows.

And of course, to mention anything of the form is to be oversensitive.

It must be nice having the foxes guarding the henhouse.

memomachine said...


White people watch shows about ... white people cast with ... white people!

Those racists bastards!

And white people reading newspapers with comics about ... white people.

Son of a bitch!

Now y'all excuse me while I search for the non-black person in Jet or Ebony magazine.


Anonymous said...

I remember Morrie Turner doing "Wee Pals", back in the early '70s. It was in the Oakland Tribune, and it was almost as popular as "Peanuts" with us kids in Hayward, California.

I see UBM's point, though.

Dan Coyle said...

Jump Start is still one of my favorite strips, even though it's not nearly as funny as it used to be.

Seconded on The K Chronicles. That's some fun stuff, and I love Knight's style.

With all due respect to Bentley's artistic talent, Herb and Jamaal is one of the most badly written strips in recent memory. It's Tom Batiuk level bad. Chris Muir bad. Dick Locker Bad.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I remember Morrie Turner doing "Wee Pals", back in the early '70s.

I barely remember the strip, but I do remember fondly the TV version: "Kid Power"! (Memorable theme song.)

Lola Gets said...

Yeah, the Washington Post only has two Black cartoonists now. I thought their contributions were cute.


thepopview said...

The WaPo is carrying "Watch Your Head," "Candorville" and "Curtis," in addition to "Baldo." None of these are winners. How about doing a strip that's funny and/or interesting first and then have it be ethnic?

"Candorville" is one of a series of strips that the Post is carrying that seems gratuitously political and, I'm sure, allows them to say, "Okay, we've got two conservative strips and two liberal ones. Balance!" "Prickly City" and "Non Sequitur" are other examples.

At least we don't have to suffer through "Herb and Jamaal" and "Jump Start."

Anonymous said...

Morrie Turner is a racist against the asians, but I see no one talking about that. I swear, you black people and your hate to those white people. Stop whining about how those whites keep you down and take a cold hard look at the facts, that black on black crime is higher than white on black crime. Im pretty sure its whites fault for that too, huh? Cry baby