By Howard Cruse
Publisher: Woofnwarp Productions/Kitchen Sink
VERY GOOD+/-FINE CONDITION, with the usual softness, some cover dinge, surface wear & slight rubbing to covers from age & book being handled, read and stored.
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Howard Cruse (born May 2, 1944 is an American alternative cartoonist known for the exploration of gay themes in his comics.
Cruse was raised in Springville, Alabama, the son of a preacher and a homemaker. His earliest published cartoons were in The Baptist Student when he was in high school. His work later appeared in Fooey and Sick. He attended high school at Indian Springs School in (what is now) Indian Springs, Alabama, and college at Birmingham-Southern College, where he studied drama, and had a brief career in television. In 1977, Cruse moved to New York City, where he met Eddie Sedarbaum, his life partner, whom he married after moving to North Adams, Massachusetts
Cruse's cartooning first attracted nation-wide attention in the 1970s, when he contributed to underground comix publications. His best-known character from this period was Barefootz, the title character of a surreal series about a good-natured, well-dressed young man with large bare feet. Although dismissed by many underground fans as overly "cutesy", others found it a refreshing change of pace from "edgier" comix.
Cruse had been open about his homosexuality throughout the 1970s, but never acknowledged it in his work. This changed in 1979, when he began editing Gay Comix, a new anthology featuring comix by openly gay and lesbian cartoonists. For much of the 1980s, he created Wendel, a strip (1–2 pages per episode) about an irrepressible and idealistic gay man, his lover Ollie, and a cast of diverse urban characters. It was published in the gay newsmagazine The Advocate, which allowed Cruse substantial freedom in terms of language and nudity, and to address content such as AIDS, gay rights demonstrations, gay-bashing, closeted celebrities, and same-gender relationships, with a combination of humor and anger. Two collections of these strips have been published, as well as an all-in-one volume
Cruse is a regular contributor to the ongoing queer comics anthology Juicy Mother, edited by Jennifer Camper, which first appeared in 2005 and then in 2007, noteworthy for carrying on the tradition begun by Cruse with Gay Comix.
In August 2009, Howard Cruse self-published From Headrack to Claude, a collection of all his gay-themed strips accompanied by commentaries on his career and life, including the never-reprinted 1976 Barefootz story where the character Headrack came out, and some unpublished stories.[wiki]
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