Birth of a Nation

    (Crown, 2004)
™ and © Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin
1st printing by Crown; 2nd printing by Three Rivers Press

Political comics satire has a long history. Much of what became comics began as social or political satire by adults for adults—and this is an alternate universe in which presidential balloting disenfranchisement leads to East Saint Louis’ secession from the United States. In the tradition of satiric science fiction, the creators ask, “What if?” and their answers—which will offend many readers—are intended to be both funny and thought-provoking.

Aaron McGruder (writer-artist of The Boondocks) and Reginald Hudlin (writer-director of rappers Kid ‘n Play’s film House Party) planned the project at a San Diego convention and chose the brilliant Kyle Baker to illustrate it.

Plotting includes such SF devices as discovery of a free energy source and expertise of a super-hacker, and satire involves savaging thinly disguised real-world leaders and stereotyping many supplementary characters (crime boss, computer nerd, etc.) Weaknesses lie in simplifying solutions to complex problems; strengths lie in the imagination in many extrapolations. In the introduction, Hudlin thanks his father for teaching him “how to maintain optimism in the face of insurmountable odds”—and that is the message of a comic book that, joking to the choir, will make many laugh and infuriate many others.

— Maggie Thompson

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No copies available
Hardcover; Over-size; 7/04 on rear flap; 144 pages; Illustrated binding with dust jacket; Published by Crown BooksAaron McGruder, Reginald HudlinKyle Baker

#1 (2nd printing)

No copies available
Trade paperback; ca. 2004Aaron McGruder, Reginald HudlinKyle Baker