Fueled by their deep love of the South and having grown weary of the stereotype portraying most Southerners as ignorant, gap-toothed rednecks, Davis Mauldin and Joe Ruisi are launching a cartoon strip called "ilovedixie.com.” Ike and Henry, the strip’s main characters, seek to put-a-whuppin’ on the mean-spirited, inaccurate image that has been sold to large sections of the nation regarding the good folks from the South.
Ike, a black, middle aged, pharmacist, and Henry, a white, 50ish, entrepreneur, are close friends and proud, lifelong Southerners. They love Dixie and wax eloquent about the blessings of living south of the Mason-Dixon line. Frequently, they poke fun at Yankees and their perceptions that are off base. Their comments range from good natured humor to country wisdom to politically incorrect commentary (“Politicians should be limited to two terms ... one in office and one in jail”).
Frequently listening in, Henry’s hound dog Wallace interrupts his perpetual snooze to offer pithy doggie commentary in thought balloons about the conversation at hand.
Ike and Henry are unapologetically and consistently politically incorrect. They are Christians without being preachy. They love Southern values and institutions, such as family, chivalry, country music, NASCAR, huntin', fishin', SEC football, and grits. There is no racial tension between the two men; Ike and Henry genuinely like each other. The strip portrays Southern folks as the majority really are: people of faith, friendly, family oriented, laid back, helpful, and humorous -- with a large dollop of country-inspired common sense.
The inherent goodness of Southern culture and values has been ridiculed too long in favor of race baiting and attacks on family, heritage, and history. Ike and Henry - with Wallace’s help - are on a mission to revive Southron pride and to preserve and celebrate all that is good and positive about the South.
ilovedixie.com is a collective effort by an unlikely north/south duo, Joe Ruisi and Davis Mauldin. Davis, the strip’s creator, is a lifelong Southerner, a 30+ year political activist, and writer. Joe, a professional cartoonist, is a transplanted New Yorker with a certifiable Southron heart. The two met providentially on the Internet and immediately recognized a common passion to promote Southern pride through a cartoon strip.
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