From Your Inconstant Blogger

I see that I’ve left all of you loyal blog-readers hanging without a single entry since Christmas Day, for God’s sake! Yikes! How have you survived?

Fact is: The blogging branch of my life has simply gotten crowded out lately by other creative priorities. And on top of that, there have been unwelcome intrusions like several weeks of illness throwing me off stride.

Well, the less said about the illness part, the better (don’t worry; I’m all better now) — except for a suggestion I will humbly offer that you avoid bladder infections if at all possible.

My aforementioned creative endeavors were more pleasant experiences, I’m happy to say. Before I got sick I was able to complete a three-page comic strip for inclusion in an upcoming anthology of LGBT comics, scheduled for publication next fall by Northwest Press under Robert (Curbside) Kirby ‘s editorship. Its tentative title is QU33R Comics.

Below: My QU33R strip is a lighthearted parody (with a gay angle, of course) of a famous mainstream comic strip. The panel below may give you a clue which one.

I’ve also been adapting an episode from Stuck Rubber Baby for inclusion in a slideshow I’ve agreed to present on May 1 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Dog News

Molly the Lab, the newest addition to our family, is becoming nicely sturdy as her days of ill-fed homelessness recede into the past. She is adjusting well to life in the Cruse-Sedarbaum household, albeit in somewhat idiosyncratic ways.

I say she’s adjusting "idiosyncratically" because of certain lingering psychological scars she carries with her from her pre-rescue days as a worm-ridden stray. For example, she accepts affection warily, is loath to snuggle, and prefers to retire at nighttime to the solitude of our guest room (which we have begun referring to as "her apartment") instead of hanging out with us in our bedroom overnight, as the late Lulu the Dalmatian preferred to do.

Molly was so timid when she first arrived that she didn’t even bark for the first two weeks she was here. This was concerning to us; indeed, we were beginning to fear that some vile previous owner had had her surgically "de-barked." But eventually, to our relief, she finally began to take advantage of her in-born rights as a canine to vocalize. Now she keeps us duly apprised with fervent woofs of any bicyclist or jogger she spots on the street or sidewalk in front of our house.

We’re hoping that Molly’s overall comfort level in our home will continue to strengthen over time in response to our persistent offerings of affection. And in the meantime, despite some residual disorientation, her essential doggy sweetness comes through loud and clear.

Eddie’s Eyelid Adventure

For quite a while last year Eddie’s vision was increasingly hobbled by a condition that doctors call ptosis and everyday people call "droopy eyelids." It wasn’t exactly impossible for him to open his eyes fully, but doing so for an extended stretch of time required sustained, conscious effort. The result: eyestrain and an overabundance of tears while reading.

Imagine trying to enjoy War and Peace while peeling onions and you’ll understand why this was a problem — especially for a guy who has always loved recreational reading. Scanning the pages of a book or magazine for any length of time was becoming increasingly difficult, what with those pesky eyelids constantly creeping downward uninvited. Who could concentrate on literary narratives with the upper portion one’s field of vision being obscured and the remaining portion being rendered blurry by a persistent coating of salty moisture?

Ophthalmological assistance was clearly called for, so that’s what Eddie sought. Fortunately, surgery that could address the problem was available in Springfield and it’s a procedure that’s covered by Medicare.

So Eddie went under the knife in January and a happy resolution to his problem can now be reported.

Below: Closeups of Eddie’s eyelids before and after his surgery.

Lookee! Two Reviews!

My most recent book (The Other Sides of Howard Cruse, published last summer by Boom! Studios) continues to vie for the dubious honor of being my least reviewed book ever. Howzzat for a literary distinction?

The handsomely produced tome’s standing in that regard has been chipped away at recently, however, by two thoughtful assessments that have been posted online. Shall I share?

To be specific, the ever-insightful François Peneaud has offered his thoughts about the collection in a review (see above) posted at The Gay Comics List.

On top of that, Jason Sacks provides his own perspective over at the Comics Bulletin site (see below).

My observation: Invisibility has its charms in the realm of fantasy, but when you’ve put a lot of work into getting a book out into the world, it’s definitely a drag for it to be widely ignored.

So many thanks to you both, François and Jason. The spotlights you’ve thrown on my work are very much appreciated.

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my two self-published books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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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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