Marching iPadward

As you may have heard if you haven’t spent the last couple of years as a hermit, Apple’s iPad tablets have taken the world by storm since they first sprang into existence in 2010. I don’t personally own one yet (my piggy bank and I are working on that), but I’ve cast my covetous eyes on a few that belong to friends and can attest that they appear to be a fine way to experience comic book art.

So I was delighted when Charles "Zan" Christensen, my friend and cartooning colleague from Seattle, liked the idea of adding my 2009 self-published book From Headrack to Claude to the line of gay-themed iBooks he has been issuing under his Northwest Press publishing venture.

Northwest’s From Headrack to Claude app has now been launched and is available for purchase from Apple’s iTunes store. Zan has done a great job of adapting my original, self-published book to this new medium, making use of the special options iPads allow that weren’t practical when I was preparing my book for print. For one thing, he was able to restore full color to those strips that were originally created to be in color but that, for budgetary reasons, I was forced to convert to black-&-white for display on the book’s paper pages. Also, Zan has arranged to incorporate Sean Wheeler’s video documentary about me called I Must Be Important ‘Cause I’m In a Documentary!! (about which I wrote a couple of blog entries ago) into the package as a free "special feature" — like they do on movie DVDs.

Talking To Myself

Not long ago I received my pre-publication galley proofs of an anthology that will be officially released on May 1 by Arthur A. Levine Books, which is an imprint of Scholastic Inc. I hesitated to mention it yet since no matter how intriguing my description may be, it’ll be more than two months before anyone will be able to purchase it (although it can be already be pre-ordered at But since it’s on my mind I guess I might as well let anyone who is interested know that it’s in the pipeline. I’ll mention it again when the pub date arrives.

For now I’ll just tell you that the anthology is called The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves. I’m one of the book’s several dozen contributors, and in case you haven’t guessed, the photo above and on the right is the younger version of myself to whom my own letter is directed — and boy, could I have used my sage perspective at the time that photo was taken!

Sarah Moon is the book’s editor, and James Lecesne, who founded the hugely important Trevor Project, is credited as Contributing Editor. Among the dozens of contributors to the volume are a few personal friends and cartooning colleagues of mine (Jennifer Camper; Dianne DiMassa; Paige Braddock; Eric Orner), but most are literary notables whose work I’ve admired, like most folks, from afar (Armistead Maupin; Paul Rudnick; Jewell Gomez; Michael Cunningham; etc.). A few of the cartoonists fashioned their letters in comic-strip form instead of text, although I didn’t take that route myself. Half of the book’s royalties will go toward supporting the Trevor Project’s mission of reaching out to LGBTQ kids who are in crisis and at risk for suicide.

This one will be a must-shelve for high school libraries (and libraries in general) once it comes out, folks. Trust me. You don’t want emerging LGBTQ teenagers getting their information about gayness from the God Hates Fags website.

Above: My older brother discovering chickens at a tender age.

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
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(which despite my misgivings, I haven’t quite killed yet)
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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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