Dec 11, 2012
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of cartoon characters largely abandoned in the 1970s but praying for a revival any day now… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
My dad once said that nothing bad would ever happen to me because I could always turn around and write about it, thus finding some good in any situation. He might as well have been talking about my friend, gay cartoonist Howard Cruse. Every time I turn around, it seems that Howard has unleashed another collection of his wonderful underground cartoons and comic strips.
HOWARD CRUSE audio excerpt: "When I was in high school, I had a (sexual identity) crisis. Unfortunately, I had a therapist who was homophobic. He said, 'You're not gay; you just spent too much time going to an all-boys boarding school.' He said, 'Be sure to go to a co-ed college and it will all sort itself out.'"
That speaks to a deep archive of quality content he’s created, of course, but also to never letting any slight or perception of wrong going unrewarded by revealing it in his art.
Or I could be making this all up as I go along… which I suppose could also be a trait of Howard’s! Howard’s newest raid on the archives is The Other Sides of Howard Cruse. It includes a big helping of his beloved Barefootz strip—which means cockroaches, frogs, sexually frustrated Dolly and is-he-or-isn’t-he Headrack. Then we get introduced to Shearwell the sheep, the squirrels of Tops & Button, Big Marvy, and yes, even “The Nightmares of Little Lulu.” There is plenty of the underground, stoner, sex-starved humor for which he is famous, as well as some straight, above-ground comics that you could probably show your grandmother. (But not a whole lot.) This Cruse fellow has a lot of sides and I’m hoping we’ll see a few more of them today.
Howard Cruse Website • Facebook • Blog • Order The Other Sides of Howard Cruse from Amazon.com
LISTEN! Howard Cruse audio interview with Mr. Media! (2009)