A Spanish Nod to Barefootz

I discovered this week that a charming comics-focused blog in Spain called "Little Nemo’s Cat" has devoted one of its posts to the first of my comic strip characters to find an audience beyond Alabama.

Barefootz debuted in the University of Alabama’s Tuscaloosa campus student newspaper, the Crimson-White, in 1971. For a while thereafter it bounced around the pages of Birmingham-based underground newspapers. Then Denis Kitchen, publisher of Kitchen Sink Comix, took an interest in the feature based on a packet of samples I sent him and gave it space in two of the comix he published in 1972: Snarf #4 and Commies From Mars #1.

I won’t go on about the checkered history that followed, since an account of the highs and lows of Barefootz‘s underground run is available elsewhere on this web site under the title "Through the Swinging ’70s with Barefootz." I’ll just remark that no comics series I’ve ever created has elicited such extreme reactions. It was viewed with total disdain by many of the "big name" underground cartoonists, and at the same time it has retained for several decades now a small core of enthusiasts. Denis, bless his heart, remained loyal to me and my pointy-yellow-haired creation despite much criticism who found my work inadequately "underground," and his decision to include Barefootz as a regular feature in all five issues of the mid-’70s Marvel-underground hybrid Comix Book introduced my character to a new audience of mainstream magazine-rack perusers.

Barefootz is on my mind this week because the creator of the aforemention Nemo’s Kat blog (who is so self-effacing that he resisted my suggestion that I refer to him by name) asked whether pagers of original art from some of those early Barefootz strips and comix were still available for purchase.

Collectors have picked over much of the Barefootz run, I told him, but a few installments still remain in my hands. But how to convey which pages are still in my flat files?

It’s harder to answer that question than it is when collectors inquire about original artwork from Stuck Rubber Baby or Wendel. With those features I can cite particular page numbers in books that remain easy to access. Not so simple with Barefootz. Early Barefootz, the 1990 Fantagraphics compilation, has been out of print for years now, as are most of the underground comic books in which the character appeared.

So to get past this hurdle I’ve created a catalog of available Barefootz art that can be downloaded. If anyone would like to see that catalog and can handle a 2MB download, just click here.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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One Response to A Spanish Nod to Barefootz

  1. Hi, Mr. Cruse, I don’t know what to say neither how to thank this mention… I really appreciate you being so kind and friendly. It’s great checking that some great artists can still be so sensitive with their readers and fans. I’ve already shown my gratitude in a post of my blog, but I felt I had to make it clear at yours as well. Thanks a lot, and I hope you keep on making us a bit happier and happier with your art.

    Yours, LNK.