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Birth of a Nation : A Comic Novel
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Birth of a Nation : A Comic Novel

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  485 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
This scathingly hilarious political satire—produced from a collaboration of three of our funniest humorists—answers the burning question: Would anyone care if East St. Louis seceded from the Union?

East St. Louis, Illinois (“the inner city without an outer city”), is an impoverished town, so poor that Fred Fredericks, its idealistic mayor, starts off Election Day by collect
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Hardcover, 144 pages
Published July 20th 2004 by Crown (first published 2004)
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Mza
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: persons of colour
Recommended to Mza by: Nobody
If this were a movie (as Hudlin and McGruder originally intended), it'd be the most entertaining Hollywood movie I've seen since 1977; and maybe now someone will make a movie in which East St Louis secedes from the Union and renames itself Blackland and prints up currency featuring the likenesses of MLK, Malcolm X, James Brown, and Will Smith (!?) -- I didn't expect to elect a black president in '08, either. It's about time somebody made a "comic novel" -- they call it that on the cover, none of ...more
Aili
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks interested in American politics, race politics, urban politics, or the election
What happens when the voters of East St. Louis are disenfranchised and Bush steals the presidency? East St. Louis secedes from the U.S., of course. Wacky hijinks ensue.

This is solid political satire from talented guys ( Aaron McGruder, creator of the comic strip The Boondocks, and Reginald Hudlin, director of House Party). Kyle Baker's art is ideal for the work -- he's got an animator's heart, so he gives the characters real movement and facial expressions. The only reason this didn't get 5 st
...more
Robert Beveridge
Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin, Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel (Crown, 2004)

Despite having Kyle Baker artwork, which is always a “wow” factor in a graphic novel, I took one look at the synopsis for this book and had the sneaking suspicion I was going to hate it. Oh, boy, political satire in comic book form. Is it going to work any better than it does in the movies, in music, in poetry, etc.?

Can I get a hell, yeah!?

While McGruder (The Boondocks) and Hudlin (producer of a number of Hollywood
...more
Byrdie
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Off and on for the past decade or so I've been noticing take about secession: usually in regards to the proposed state of Cascadia, which would take the Western halves of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. I'm sure that people in other regions have heard other such proposals.

Apparently McGruder and Hudlin were hoping to pitch this as a film, which would have been fascinating considering the controversial movie under the same title that was released in 2016. Yet, after my timely reading
...more
Cfo
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Jack Cole, Garry Trudeau, Mad Magazine
A nearly perfect satirical stampede, occasionally marred by technical remnants of its origins as a Hollywood spec script.

I'm glad it eventually manifested as a comic, though. You can never have too many excuses to give Kyle Baker work.
DW
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to DW by: Bruce Spearman-El
Funny. Enjoyable. A definite message within.
A.D. Carson
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Pretty good book. Easy read, and very entertaining. I think the format of the "Comic Novel" makes this book extremely accessible. Would definitely recommend to fans of The Boondocks comic/cartoon."
shannon
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it
with this, reached the 50 book point for the year. getting rid of cable was such a good idea..... i am so glad i did it.
Michelle
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved the Boondocks (Seasons 1-3), please read this. McGruder really does well in this satire about East St. Louis seceding from the U.S. It uses historical instances coupled with characters that represent various ideologies. It is not free from problems, but it does help create discussion about how this new nation of Blackland can create a government and what the United States would do in retaliation. The book is set in a post 9/11 and pre-Obama era. Please note, however, that while it i ...more
Emilia P
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Lol ugh maybe this should happen. A semi-satirical, but also slightly biting sendup of what would happen if St. Louis seceded from the U.S. as an all black nation. Although in practice I'm sure I couldn't hang, I definitely see the theoretical usefulness and profound appeal of separatist movements (Herland, yo). And all the problems they'd have in practice. This book is far from perfect, clunky, a little discombulated and doesn't maybe go as far or as deep as it should, but ... sigh.. our world ...more
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Aaron McGruder is an American cartoonist best known for writing and drawing The Boondocks, a Universal Press Syndicate comic strip about two young African American brothers from inner-city Chicago now living with their grandfather in a sedate suburb. Through the leftist Huey (named after Huey P. Newton) and his younger brother Riley, a young want-to-be gangsta, the strip explores issues involving ...more
More about Aaron McGruder...