Camper Comes Calling

First up was Robert Kirby, creator of the Curbside comic strip series, who included my newest book From Headrack to Claude, along with some generous comments about it, in the rundown of graphic novels to look out for that heads his October 26 blog entry.

Then on Monday I found email in my inbox from James Vance, author (with illustrator Dan Burr) of the award-winning graphic novel Kings In Disguise. James was giving me a heads up about his blog’s November 16 post, in which he comments generously about next year’s re-issue of Stuck Rubber Baby and reminisces about the link we share to my 1989 short play About Scott. The play, a theatrical tribute to Broadway dresser Scott Wiscamb, who was the first person that Eddie and I knew personally to be struck down by the epidemic, was written at the request of my college mate Lyn Spotswood, who wanted something to direct in Birmingham for that year’s International AIDS Day. Soon thereafter James wrote and asked if he could perform, for an AIDS benefit in Tulsa, OK, a stripped-down, one-man version of what in Lyn’s and my hands had been a multi-media, puppetry-enhanced pageant of sorts with masks and projected images of ACT-UP demonstrations interspersed with pop recordings and music by a live jazz ensemble.

What’s impressive was how moving James’ shorter and far simpler rendition of About Scott turned out to be. I know. James sent me a videotape.

A handsome trade paperback reprint of James and Dan’s graphic novel, which first saw print during the late-1980s under the auspices of Kitchen Sink Press, has recently been published by W. W. Norton, by the way, and a sequel by the same team — also from Norton — is now on the horizon.

From My Photo Archives It Came:
Could I Really Have Ever Looked Like This??

Eddie and I finally succeeded in luring cartoonist Jennifer Camper up to North Adams for a visit earlier this week. Jennifer was one of the earliest of the Gay Comix contributors, which means we’ve known each other and been buddies for something like 28 years now.

The weird thing is that Jen was already a grown up when we first met for lunch at a Seventh Avenue diner in New York — and yet today she still looks like she’s maybe twenty-two. How is this possible?

Jen’s longtime sweetie Emmalee couldn’t make the trip so she brought along another young cartoonist, Carlo Quispe (see below, with me and one of his drawings). If you’d like to see the online video of Laura Flanders‘ GritTV interview with both Jen and Carlo (as well as San Francisco’s Erika Lopez), click here.

Eddie and I enjoyed taking Jen and Carlo around to see some of the cool attractions North Adams has to offer (besides Mass MoCA, I mean), including the top of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, and the fascinating collection of barber chairs (plus a dentist’s chair) that has begun drawing tourists to the waiting room at T&M Auto on Curran Highway.

Above: Jen, Carlo, and Eddie pause to seek shelter from Greylock’s mountaintop chill. Below: Afterwards, at T&M Auto…

What fun we have in the Berkshires!

Now For Some Thank-Yous

I’ve been honored of late by two friends and fellow comics creators who’ve seen fit to include laudatory mentions of me and my work in their respective blogs.

See Eddie play dentist.

…See Howie play barber.

Above: a photo of my mom and me taken on March 18, 1966, the day before I boarded a plane for a six-week visit to San Francisco.

As you can see, my penchant for plaids, about which I have been teased by no less a personage than Alison Bechdel, had already been established by then and has continued uninterruptedly to this day but for a temporary side trip into paisleys during the late-’60s and half of the 1970s.

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.
This entry was posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Books in my Bookcase, Family & Friends, Home Life, Life & Art, Yesterday & Today. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Camper Comes Calling

  1. Lucky! Jennifer Camper has made some great comics, and she was really nice when I met her at MoCCA. Your penchant for plaids is well-suited to the region. How did Alison Bechdel get Vermont citizenship making fun of it?

  2. You have always been completely adorable, plaids and paisleys regardless.