Unfinished Business

Dykes Come to Dinner

This week I took the bull by the horns and completed the drawing above, which has lurked unfinished in my flat files for fifteen years or so. It was originally assigned by the Village Voice to accompany an essay about the discomfort some parents feel about their gay children (and those children’s spouses).

A preliminary sketch for this illustration was submitted to the Voice and approved, but I had barely begun applying ink to its penciled stage when the art director changed his mind and decided he would prefer illustrating the article with a photograph rather than a drawing. I was paid for my work, of course, but there was no longer any reason to complete the drawing.

Except that I never stopped liking the image.

For years I have periodically come across the unfinished artwork and wished it had had its chance to shine. Finally I decided to go ahead and complete it despite the absence of any prospect for its publication.

My Online Comic-Con Video Trail

As they have done in previous years, those industrious folks at Prism Comics have made it their business to post videos on YouTube of as many gay-related events from last month’s Comic-Con International as possible. This includes not only my own moment in the sun (the "Spotlight on Howard Cruse" interview I mentioned in my previous blog post that was conducted by author Blake Bell) but a panel in which I was but one of several participants — "Writing Queer."

Other Comic-Con panels that may be of interest to LGBT comics fans are either on YouTube already (i.e.: "Divas and Golden Lassos") or are likely to show up soon. To make sure you don’t miss a single juicy dollop of Comic-Con’s array of gay events, keep your eye on the Prism Comics web site itself or its Facebook affiliate.

Also on YouTube…

…is the video trailer I put together using Adobe Flash and iMovie to promote my most recent book (not counting Vertigo’s Stuck Rubber Baby re-issue), From Headrack to Claude. The same video is also on view at Vimeo, by the way.

Getting Noticed in D.C.

It’s not often that my work gets reviewed in the pages of mainstream dailies, so you can bet that I was delighted by Dennis Drabelle’s review of Stuck Rubber Baby‘s 15th anniversary edition in last Saturday’s Washington Post—especially since he likes the book! Thanks, Dennis.
Another Golden Oldie

I’ve always liked the drawing above, even though it’s nearly forty years old by now. I drew it for a silly satire I wrote and illustrated called "How To Tell If You Are an Adolescent" that appeared in the November 1971 issue of Cracked magazine.

What’s the deal with the J. Edgar Hoover paperback in the kid’s pocket? Well, to quote the ninth of my ten enumerated markers of adolescence: "ANTI-COMMUNIST LITERATURE suggests that you are too smart to be duped by foreign conspiracies. (Good boy! Add 1 point. Deduct 2 points if you use the book’s pages for making airplanes. Now that’s immature!)"

Incisive social commentary, that.

Below: My article as it appeared in Cracked. It seemed funny when I was 27.

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 Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Unfinished Business

  1. Howard says:

    Eddie was eight years in my future when I drew the Cracked drawing, Martha. But apparently we were fated to find each other.

  2. For some reason, the CRACKED illustration looks like Eddie to me. Coincidence? Did you know him yet?

  3. Kevin Moore says:

    As always, your stippling, cross-hatching and gradation techniques amaze me. They also make me think you are slightly unhinged, but admirably so. 🙂

  4. Howard says:

    Yeah. If only my reviewers would submit their reviews to me in advance, I could prevent such lapses in judgment. :<)

  5. François says:

    Fun drawing. “Guess who’s coming for dinner” still has relevance, uh?

    As for the review…”There wasn’t a lot of subtlety to the heroism and villainy of the civil rights era in the South, and for that reason comic-strip art may be especially well suited to evoking it.” Gosh, are there still people who are stuck in that mental place?