Howard Cruse. Photo: Frederic Lorge

Creating Comics: A Video Interview with artist Howard Cruse

Howard Cruse. Photo: Frederic Lorge
Howard Cruse. Photo: Frederic Lorge

Gay Love, the first European solo art show of the work of Howard Cruse, is currently running in Brussels at the Galerie Comic Art Factory until 6th July 2019 – and the gallery has released a thought=provoking video interview with the award-winning artist.

In the interview, in English with French sub titles, Howard outlines the background to the origins of his best known stories, Stuck Rubber Baby told against the background of civil rights unrest in America and the growth of Gay Liberation that enabled many to come out after denying their sexuality.

Now 75, Howard Cruse is a pioneer of gay comics, the son of a Baptist minister, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944. The racial turmoil he observed in that city during the early 1960s provided the basis years later for his internationally acclaimed graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby.

Art from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Art from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Art from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Art from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse

First published in 1995, it has won both Eisner and Harvey Awards in the United States, a Comics Creators Guild Award for Best Graphic Album in the UK, and the Prix de la critique at the International Comics Festival in Angoulême.

A page from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
A page from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse

Howard Cruse’s comic strips and humorous illustrations have appeared in Playboy, The Village Voice, Heavy Metal, The Advocate and numerous other mainstream American magazines, as well as in underground comic books such as Snarf, Bizarre Sex and Dope Comix.

Art from Wendel by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Art from Wendel by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Wendel illustration by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Wendel illustration by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Les and Toland from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse
Les and Toland from Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse © Howard Cruse

Between 1983 and 1989, he wrote and drew “Wendel“, his comic strip about a group of gay friends regularly featured in The Advocate. He was also the founding editor in 1980 of Gay Comix, a series of underground comic books published by Kitchen Sink Press.

Cruse now lives in Massachusetts with Ed Sedarbaum, his partner of 40 years and his husband for the last 15.

The Comic Art Factory is an international art gallery based in Brussels, created in 2014, selling original art from European and American comic book artists, and children’s book illustration art.

• Gay Love – art by Howard Cruse runs until Sunday 6th July 2019 at Galerie Comic Art Factory, Chaussée de Wavre 237 1050 Bruxelles (10 minutes from Métro Trône Bruxelles-Luxembourg station) | Visit the Galerie Comic Art Factory web site at www.comicartfactory.com for more details and information of art for sale

• Howard Cruse Official Web Site: www.howardcruse.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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