Howard Cruse

Available from University Press of Mississippi!

Howard Cruse is a compelling and moving narrative that puts Cruse in his rightful place as a significant figure in late twentieth-century comics history, LGBTQIA+ history, and US culture in general.”– Andrew J. Kunka, author of The Life and Comics of Howard Cruse: Taking Risks in the Service of Truth

Howard Cruse is the first biography of “the godfather of gay comics.”  Cruse (1944–2019) was born in Springville, AL, and spent most of his adult life in New York City, working as a comics artist and publisher and as a gay rights activist, particularly during the AIDS crisis.  His comic Wendel, published in the Advocate throughout the 1980s, is considered a groundbreaking moment in the development of LGBTQIA+ comics, as is his taking over the editorship of Gay Comix in 1979, which furthered the careers of important artists like Jennifer Camper, Trina Robbins, and Alison Bechdel. Cruse’s graphic memoir Stuck Rubber Baby, published in 1995, explores his own coming out in the context of the civil rights movement in the 1960s American South, and was a significant forerunner to contemporary graphic memoirs. A biography of Howard Cruse is due, and Howard Cruse will make a lasting contribution to the study of LGBTQIA+ comics, indeed, comics art more broadly.  This book tells the story of Cruse’s life and work, his activism, and his networks of comics artists in the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. 

Howard Cruse is part of the Biographix series, published by University Press of Mississippi. Edited by Frederick Luis Aldama, books in the Biographix series offer biographies of comics artists of interest to both general and specialized audiences.