Moving Days

I’ve been pre-occupied of late by the relocation of my web site (this blog included) to a new server.

This is a process that I would be totally unable to undertake on my own, since the geek gene so prevalent in today’s youth is nowhere to be found in any of my own DNA strands. Fortunately, I’ve been assisted in the move by Jason Bergman, who has been hosting my site free of charge within his own expansive Loonygames domain for the last dozen years out of the goodness of his heart.

Jason, a one-time student of mine at the School of Visual Arts in New York, himself has geek genes up to his eyeballs, which has been hugely handy for me. Jason has been my cheerleader, digital troubleshooter, and general web enabler for all this time, for which I will be eternally grateful.

But Jason is in the process of reconfiguring his own Internet activities right now, which makes this a logical time for me to venture forth from the security of his digital nest. Time will tell how successfully I can fly on my own, but he’s doing his best to help me make the transition smoothly as Howard Cruse Central is deposited in its entirety onto a new server, Dreamhost.com.

As I understand it, if all goes as planned nothing about the way my main site’s appearance to visitors like you will change as a result of the move. I’m only mentioning this move at all because you will notice some differences in the look of my blog, the most obvious ones being its revised title graphic and its general page layout.

Below: My site’s "old look" alongside the "new look."

Also, there’s tinkering yet to be done with the blog’s text, since in the new environment my web-authoring program, Adobe Dreamweaver, hasn’t been playing as well as I might wish with my blog publisher, WordPress. Until I figure out how to inject a little of the old discipline into their relationship, the type fonts I choose here at home may not be the type fonts and sizes you see on your computer.

Not to worry; we’re working on it. Meanwhile, anything you notice me doing correctly in the Web world from this point onward will be a result of the patient mentoring I’ve been receiving from Jason since he took my site under his wing back in 1998.

Another Moving Day

As I’ve mentioned in past blog entries, Main Street Stage, the North Adams community theatre whose Board of Directors my husband Eddie now chairs, has been forced to vacate the space it has been occupying for the last twelve years.

Ideally the troupe will be able to put down new roots soon in what will potentially be an even better space for putting on plays. That can’t happen instantly, though, since funds will need to be raised to cover the renovation costs. For the time being, therefore, all of the equipment, tools, and props from past productions have had to be cleared out of the old quarters and stored in a space that, while relatively nearby, is not exactly next door.

Moving from one house to another is burdensome enough, as anyone who has been through that exhausting drudgery will attest. So you can imagine how hard it is to spend a couple of weekends lugging the complicated guts of a theatre from one part of town to another.

So my hat’s off to the noble Main Street Stage volunteers who selflessly undertook that task, only a few of whom happened to fall within camera range when I took the photos below.

Above: Props and tchotchkes unlikely to be needed for future productions were offered to Main Street passers-by at bargain prices.
Above: Christopher Thomas and Martin Fillion pause to pose for me while emptying the stage area.
Above: Eddie sorts candidates for the day’s many garbage bags.

Above: Here come Martin and Chris again, hauling leftover up the stairs.

Above: Little left in the theatre’s formerly overflowing prop storage room other than the odd gravestone, chair, and mailing tube, and they’ll be gone soon.

Above: Jessie Wright organizes old prop glassware.

Help Main Street Stage Raise Money
(although personal contributions
will also be appreciated.

You don’t need to be from North Adams to help our local community theatre with the renovation cost of making our new space a good place to put on plays. It won’t cost you a penny to raise our chances of winning a thousand-dollar grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation; you just have to help us get more votes than the competing non-profits. (Personally I hate asking worthy non-profits to compete with each other, but Main Street Stage is close to my heart so I’ll do what I have to do.)

Just click on the link above to get to the BTCF Facebook page and follow the rules closely so your vote for us will count. And you have to register your vote by this Friday, July 1!

P.S.: Iif you’re reading this from so far away that the merits of supporting some small community theatre in Massachusetts seems remote, let’s put it more personal terms. Pretend you’ll be helping Wendel Trupstock’s lover Ollie Chalmers fulfill his passionate need to be onstage and possibly be discovered by Mike Nichols or some such luminary.

BazookaJoeGuy Revealed

Remember how I was kicking myself a couple of blog entries ago for not being able to fully identify the fellow at Northampton’s Paint & Pixel Festival in April who showed me his tattooed rendition of Bazooka Joe as I used to draw him in the 1980s? (I had asked Eddie to photograph the tattoo itself but forgot to make sure we wrote down the bearer’s name and had a shot with the fellow’s full face in the frame.)

Well, my tattooed friend saw the blog post in question and helped out by sending me a superior image of the three of us (me, him, and Bazooka Joe) that his own camera had captured.

His name is Jotham Stavely and he’s an aspiring cartoonist himself, as evidenced by "Dave the Hipster Robot" (see below), which he’s given me permission to share with you even though, he cautions, "it’s only a draft" that still needs "some digital editing."

Draft or not, I find funny.

©2011 by Jotham Stavely

On The Book-Promotion Beat

By virtue of The Complete Wendel‘s publication this spring, I was invited to make a return visit to Frank DeCaro’s program on SiriusXM satellite radio last week (see above).

While in New York I was also invited to perform some selections from my Wendel collection at a benefit for Housing Works, a non-profit agency established in 1990 to combat homelessness and AIDS.

Above: 75 chairs were filled by a welcoming audience at the House Works Bookstore Cafe.

Below: Others who read from their books at the same benefit were Steven Haas (at left, author of George Platt Lynes: The Male Nudes) and David Pratt, author of Bob the Book).

Howard Cruse: The Podcast

A roughly hour-long conversation between my fellow cartoonist Mike Dawson and myself awaits the attention of anyone who has spans of time like that to spare and who enjoys hearing me gab about my stuff.

It’s one of Mike’s series of podcast interviews called TCJ Talkies, recorded for the Comics Journal web site.

Other comics creators interviewed by Mike so far are Evan Dorkin, Josh Cotter, Jessica Abel, and a group of graduates from the Center For Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.

Meanwhile, at
Comic Book Resources…

…you’ll find Alex Dueben‘s wide-ranging and thoughtful interview with me, in which he asks, among other things, howcum I’m not publishing comics as frequently as I once did.

Hey, Number Two of Three is Out!!

My copy of the second issue of cartoonist Rob Kirby‘s Three arrived in the mail last week. What the inventive creator of Curbside is fostering is a series of anthology comics in which three queer-themed stories by three different queer comics creators (or teams of comics creators) will be featured in each edition. Rob himself was one of the three contributors in issue #1, but in issue #2 he has turned over the magazine’s pages to others.

The cover art this time around is by Michael Fahy, who teams up with Jennifer Camper inside the book on a jam story called "Help Wanted." (That’s a Camper panel from their jam shown next to the cover shot above.) Jon Macy provides steamy illustrations for a story by Sina Evil (also known as mild-mannered British punk ‘tooner Sina Shamsivari) called "Dragon"; and Craig Bostick collaborates with David Kelly in a story called "Nothing But Trouble." Nick Leonard and Craig Bostick also contribute bonus drawings.

The sex scenes in Three can be pretty forthright, I should add (which does not mean pornographic) — meaning that this series is for the bold, not the timid.

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

A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

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Chester Derrick’s Cameo

Despite Chester’s initial skepticism
concerning the merits of online dating,
his experiment proved successful
beyond his wildest dreams.

The drawing above was done for a benefit auction that’s raising money for Japanese disaster relief, the auction being scheduled on June 4 by OSO ORO.

The guy in jeans and leather is Chester Derrick, a character you’ll otherwise find in The Complete Wendel. Chester is the randy director of a gay theatre troupe in my Wendel series; hence the resemblance in name (though not in appearance) to Doric Wilson, the pioneering gay playwright and a major force (along with Mark Finley and Barry Childs) behind the LGBT play producing group TOSOS, created in 1974 and revived in 2002, for whose productions I’ve drawn promotional graphics several times over the years. Doric, I’m sad to say, passed away on May 7, but his plays and TOSOS will live on.

OSO ORO, meanwhile, is an affinity organization of “bears” and “bear”-lovers. True, that sounds like a club dedicated to the preservation of wildlife — and it sort of is, come to think of it, if you adopt a really broad definition of wild. But on a more everyday plane, OSO ORO is a safe haven, in a world of gym-bunnies, for "bears" of the human variety, bear being gay slang for bulky guys with abundant body hair.

My Homo Radio Broadcast

I was treated to stimulating conversation about Stuck Rubber Baby, The Complete Wendel, and all things gay during my May 1 visit to Homo Radio, the LGBT-themed radio show broadcast every Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM by WRPI in Troy, NY.

My hosts and interviewers were Dr. Ray Werking (above left) and Joe Laux (above right). These snapshots of our sparkling repartee in action were taken by David Liebig.

In Boston

Here’s a snapshot (taken by my friend Bob Wolff) of me doing my April 29 reading at Calamus Bookstore in Boston.

And Greater Boston isn’t done with me yet! While at the moment it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get there in person, eight pages of my artwork will be representing me in "Between Straight Lines," the Gay Pride Month exhibit of LGBT artwork that’ll be on view from June 2-25 at the Brickbottom Gallery (1 Fitchburg Street) in nearby Somerville.

Other artists whose work will be on display are Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Tim Fish, and Gina Kamentsky.

But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!!

Come mid-September I’ll be back in Boston yet again, this time as a guest at the New England Wizard World, which will be transpiring at the John B. Hines Veterans Memorial Convention Center. The dates of this comics convention are September 17-18. More on that excursion back to Beantown as the event draws nearer.

John & Jana Do Their Thing

Living just up the street from Eddie and me are writer John Seven and his wife, illustrator Jana Christy. Their creative track record includes many projects pursued separately (John is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at the North Adams Transcript, and Jana has a bunch of children’s books under her belt), but they’ve also teamed up a lot recently.

Just take a look at their online collaboration-in-progress "We Are HAPPY PUNKS! Oh, Yeah!" and you’ll see why Eddie and I are pleased to have such a cool family (they two sons are budding rockers) living a stone’s throw away.

Recently John and Jana have decided to have a fling at self publishing with their appealingly edgy picture book A Rule Is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy. They’ve been generating money for this venture in part through the Kickstarter web site, which has helped several worthy cartoonists I know get their work into print.

A visit to their Kickstarter page today tells me that John and Jana’s basic $950 fundraising goal has already been surpassed. But that doesn’t mean that a few additional pledges won’t be helpful in giving their book the launch it deserves. (Making bookbuyers aware of self-published books ain’t easy, I can tell you from personal experience, and ads cost money.) If you feel like giving A Rule Is to Break an additional boost, maybe they can get their book on an even firmer footing with a larger print run.

Main Street Stage’s Seagull

Farewell for a while to Main Street Stage, whose longtime home at 57 Main Street here in North Adams has now gone dark in the wake of the company’s final performance on May 22 of Chekhov’s The Seagull.

This was once of the best attended and best received of the MSS shows I’ve seen since moving to town, a fitting sendoff for a community theatre that has made an important contribution to North Adams during the twelve years of its existence. Hopefully The Seagull‘s afterglow will keep the old flames burning among Main Street Stage’s fans in anticipation of the company’s hoped-for relocation to a new, significantly superior performing space that seems tantalizingly within reach — if only the necessary funds can be found.

Above: Aspiring actress Nina (played by Leandra Sharron) performs an experimental stage piece composed by frustrated playwright Konstantine. (The photos were taken by the show’s set designer, Juliana von Haubrich.)

Below: Famous actress Irena (Barby Cardillo) expounds to Masha (Wendy Walraven) on the benefits of opting for youth-enhancing apparel while Dr. Dorn (Jack Sleigh) hides in a book.

Above: Konstantine (Jed Krivisky) seeks financial assistance from his self-involved mom, who besides being a famous actress is an inveterate penny-pincher.
Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop

A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

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Book Promotion Time

Upcoming in Boston

I’ll be driving across Massachusetts next Friday (April 29) to do a reading from The Collected Wendel at Boston’s Calamus Bookstore (92B South Street).

The fun starts at 7 P.M. My plan is to reprise a presentation of "Wendel in the Big City," which I first presented at the Dixon Place performance venue in New York City in 2001 and last offered to an audience in my hometown of Birmingham, AL, in 2002. The piece is culled from a sequence of 1987 Wendel episodes that I adapted a decade ago for use as a non-illustrated reading I could bring to small venues like bookstores, where full-fledged slideshows with a screen and digital projector aren’t necessarily practical.

Meanwhile, in France…

Many years ago I began corresponding with a fellow in Toulouse named François Peneaud. Besides being a professional translator and a comics writer himself, François has long busied himself by making sure a far-flung readership knows what’s happening in LGBT-themed comics around the world through a blog called The Gay Comics List. Happily for linguistic dullards like me, you don’t even have to know French to read the multi-lingual M. Peneaud’s blog.

François and I were pen pals for years before we finally met when I was invited to a 2003 comics convention in Bordeaux. He has always been supportive of my work, the most recent iteration of that support being his invitation earlier this month to be interviewed for a feature about The Complete Wendel that was featured prominently in his blog.

Take a look if you’ve got some time to spare — and not just at my interview.

Mr. Media Comes Calling

Bit by bit my web presence is adding dimensions. A little Googling will uncover a number of all-text Howard Cruse interviews that have been generated over time from email exchanges, live iChats, or transcriptions of conversations. When From Headrack to Claude came out, author Bob Andelman (otherwise known as "Mr. Media" for his web site of that name) upped the ante by devoting one of his podcasts to me, thus propelling my voice, for better or worse, into the ears of his unwary listeners.

Now, in celebration of The Complete Wendel‘s release, Bob has brought my visage to the table with a two-part video Cruse interview conducted a few weeks ago via Skype and conveniently posted on YouTube.

Now you can go beyond reveling in my Alabama twang by contemplating my unruly hair as you revel. And if you take the full plunge you’ll even see me brandishing for the camera (my iMac’s built-in webcam, actually) a few artifacts from my drawing processes that Bob persuaded me to dig out of my files.

Next Sunday’s Homo Radio Interview

On the other hand, should you tune your radio next Sunday (May 1) at noon EST to WRPI, the student radio station at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, you’ll be able to listen to my voice without having to look at me. That’s when I’ll begin chatting for fifteen or twenty minutes with Joe Laux, host of the station’s LGBT program Homo Radio.

You can even listen to our chat (if you’re one of the rare people who don’t live within the station’s immediate broadcast range) by picking up the program’s live Internet stream via your computer at home. Of course, some of you individuals who live in time zones on the other side of the world may find the show’s timing a touch inconvenient, but I’m sure they sell alarm clocks where you live, too.

My Project This Week

My contribution to Main Street Stage‘s upcoming production of Anton Chekhov’s comedy The Seagull, which begins preview performances on May 5 and officially opens on May 7, has been laying out the play’s 16-page program. This is a form of volunteerism that suits my personality well, since it’s something I can do by myself at home without having to memorize any lines.

The fact that The Seagull will be the last production ever mounted by MSS in the venue at 57 Main Street in North Adams that’s been its home for the last twelve years has given me added motivation to make the program as attractive as our budget and my skills allow.

And even though doing layouts for printed publications is often viewed as a less elevated form of art that, say, writing and drawing graphic novels, I have always found the challenge of fitting a bunch of type and images together in a way that makes visual sense a very interesting and absorbing challenge. It’s something you can get lost in, like gluing together model airplanes or constructing ships inside of bottles. Time passes swiftly.

Constructing layouts, even for a theatre program most audience-members will quickly discard once the show is over, reminds me pleasantly of the hours I spent during my high school years analyzing the design decisions that some faraway art director had made so that the copies of Newsweek in the Indian Springs School library could tell their stories effectively. It brings back the satisfaction I took as I tried to apply my lessons learned from Newsweek (or Mad or the Saturday Evening Post) to the layouts I executed for The ISSINFO, our student newspaper.

And even though I would never choose to abandon my cartooning and return to laying out publications for a living, designing a playbill even for an amateur production at a small-town community theatre like Main Street Stage pushes buttons of nostalgia that are rooted early in my career. It’s as if I could momentarily parachute back into the art department at Starlog magazine, which was home back in 1978 of the only endeavor in my professional life that has prompted anyone to name an "era" after me.

(Thanks for the surprise attention, John Zipperer!)

Above: I may be designing the program, but it’s set designer Juliana von Haubrich who’s behind the haunting promotional graphic for this production, in which Chekhov’s gaggle of artists, actors, and misbegotten lovers are relocated from Russia to our present-day Berkshires.

Needled in Northampton

Above: Cartoonist Sean Wang‘s sprightly promotional art for the festival guaranteed good vibes all around.

Northampton’s April 16 Paint & Pixel Festival, which was fast approaching when I wrote my previous blog entry, provided a thoroughly enjoyable opportunity to engage in a day’s worth of interesting conversations with colleagues and comics enthusiasts while selling a few books along the way.

Below: Michael Dow, co-organizer (with Peggy Twardowski) of the festival, stops by my table to chat during the set-up hour before attendees begin arriving.

One of the more memorable moments of the day occurred when a fellow walked up to me and announced that he had something to show me. Rolling up his sleeve, he revealed a striking tattoo emblazoned on his bicep. It was the version of Bazooka Joe I drew for Topps Bubble Gum back in the 1980s, when I was hired to transform the classic kid-with-an-eyepatch, originally created by Woody Gelman, into a teenager.

Need I say I was honored? Not to say amazed!

I had the presence of mind to get Eddie to our the camera and photograph the tattoo, happily; yet I neglected to write down the tattoo-recipient’s name or even come away with a photo that showed his full face. This kind of lapse is, alas, typical of me.

So if you happen to read this, BazookaJoeGuy, email me with your name so I can give you proper credit for the good taste you’ve shown by ushering my Bazooka Joe (since supplanted by versions created by other cartoonists) into the tattoo age.

Below: Me basking in the reflected glory of my version of Bazooka Joe as adapted for tattoo.

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

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Politics & Theatre

Backing Barack

Now that Barack Obama has begun his campaign for re-election in 2012, I have a few comments to share of a political nature.

My feelings about our president are wildly mixed because his performance has been wildly mixed since I and others cheered our hearts out over his election in 2008.

Sometimes he takes stands that are totally aligned with my beliefs about the kind of nation America should be. At other times he allows himself to be bullied by Republicans into diluting those stands almost beyond recognition, or even abandoning them without a fight.

Can anyone truly believe that our nation would have been more effectively and humanely governed by a McCain-Palin administration? Well, actually yes, and that terrifies me. Those people will be pulling out the stops to make sure that he will be booted out of the White House in 2012 in favor of a party dominated by leaders who serve only the rich and think that teaching evolution in the schools and allowing women to make decisions about their own bodies need to be curtailed.

How enthusiastic am I about re-electing Obama? Well, I can’t pretend that he hasn’t folded in the face of conflict too often for the thrills of yore to be re-summoned at will. If there’s an enthusiasm gap among progressives, Obama has brought it on himself.

But the alternative — a return to the White House of the familiar GOP mindset made even more radical by Tea Party hysteria and obscenely well-funded, industrial-strength right-wing dogma — is alarming beyond words.

Sheer practicality demands that we who led the charge in 2008 hoisting our flags of idealism support him next year as if we were equally enthusiastic. The stakes are too high not to do so.

Meanwhile, I will be offering Obama-level enthusiasm in spades in behalf of the current recall movements in various states against Republicans who have been aiming their guns at unions, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other populist traditions that serve as counterweights to corporate domination of America. And if there’s any chance of rebuilding Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress now that we’ve seen what Tea Party extremism amounts to in real life, that’s where my passions will reign unalloyed next year.

If Obama loses the White House because progressives are too miffed by his shortcomings to act, then there will be no one to veto a Congress-Gone-Wild. But the Hope I Yearn To Believe In is that we can replace the current Congress-Gone-Wild with legislators who don’t place Conservative boilerplate rhetoric over the genuine welfare of the American people.

And maybe who don’t suck so shamelessly at the teats of the nation’s wealthy overlords.

(And hey, Democrats: Don’t think we can’t hear plenty of those slurping sounds coming from your side of the aisle as well.)

A Theatre Uprooted

Eddie and his fellow board members at Main Street Stage have had their hands full lately. Thanks to the impending loss of the North Adams community theatre’s longtime performing space at 57 Main Street (as described in this April 7 InBerkshires article), the group’s future is full of question marks.

Eddie and others have been scouting the town for possible new venues. One thing seems certain: any new place that surfaces is not gonna match the low rent that has made the group’s survival possible in the past, and the costs involved in renovations and the moving and re-assembly of MSS’s existing equipment are going to be daunting.

So if the company decides to take a deep breath and forge ahead with greater ambitions and more far-ranging goals (as opposed to disbanding), Eddie will be going into serious fundraising mode.

In the meantime, there are two swan songs to savor in the old space on Main Street. First comes this Friday’s final installment of the popular Comedy Night featuring RBIT (the Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe) along with stand-up comedians Eric Nottke, Seth Brown, Rick Conety and Mark Jagiello. Then on May 5 previews will begin for the company’s quirky production currently in rehearsal of Anton Chekhov’s comedy The Seagull, which will open on the 7th and continue its run through the following two weekends.

I use the word "quirky" because the play is being updated and relocated in the Berkshires instead of in Russia. But it’s mainly Chekhov as Chekhov wrote it, and if you’re in or around North County on weekend evenings in May, be sure and check it out. It’ll be the last show you’ll ever get to see in the cozy space we’ve all become familiar with.

Above: The Seagull‘s cast at Main Street Stage plunges into their first read-through.

Meet Me in Northampton

I’ll be spending all day Saturday (April 16th) at the Paint & Pixel Festival in Northampton, MA. So come say hello if you’re in that neck of the woods; it’s at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 17 New South Street. You can thumb through (or even buy) a brand-spanking-new copy of my brand-spanking-new book, The Complete Wendel, while you’re there.

Eddie is coming along to the festival with me, by the way. Which reminds me: April 15 is almost upon us, so…

Happy 32nd Anniversary
to Eddie and Me!

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in Family & Friends, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Soapbox Break | 4 Comments

Lions, Lambs, and Mammoths

"In Like a Lion; Out Like a Lamb!"

That’s the way the month of March is supposed to behave, weather-wise, according to tradition.

So in honor of this aphorism I decided to rummage through my files to see if I could come up with a lion drawing and a lamb drawing for your edification.

Above: A portion of my illustration for "The Pray’s The Thing," a humorous essay by Seth Brown that ran in the first issue of the now-defunct North County Perp.

At right: A drawing of Shearwell the Sheep excerpted from the May 7 installment of the Squirly and Earl series that graced this blog for a while in 2006.

Old drawings aside, March did indeed arrive with a lion-like snarl in the form of yet another snowstorm just as I was preparing for my drive to New Jersey (see below). Fortunately, digging both of Eddie’s and my vehicles out of their respective snow banks this time around was, if not pleasant, at least doable. This was in contrast to the back-breaking and often futile labors occasioned by the serial blizzards nature dumped on us during January and February — months that seemingly took their inspirations more from wooly mammoths than from any member of the cat family.

As for the prospects of lamb-like behavior during the remaining days of this month, I can only take hope from the fact that the grass on our front and back yards became visible again after more than two solid months of being totally entombed by snow, and by the fact that Eddie spotted his first bluejay of the spring two days ago. This has made our spirits rise.

The old lion isn’t giving up without a fight, though. Snow is back today, albeit by a mere four inches instead of double digits.

Quantification issues aside, this is clear defiance of Spring’s arrival yesterday. Surely there must be some court in The Hague to which this kind of meteorological abuse can be reported.

Oh, To Be a Flier on the Wall!

That’s what I got to be during my four-day visit to Fairleigh Dickenson University a couple of weeks ago, where I was smothered in hospitality by students, faculty, and administrators alike during my slideshow presentation about Stuck Rubber Baby and my visits to four classes — two of which were about art creation and two of which drew on my experiences growing up in the segregated South and watching the struggle for Civil Rights take shape.

Above: Things got going with my presentation called "Emotions and India Ink," which concerned the creative strategies I adopted in creating my graphic novel and which was attended by, among others, students whose classes I would be addressing later in the week.

Above: Here I’m exchanging thoughts with students in a history class taught by Asst. Prof. Gary Darden (standing alongside me in this photo) that looks at a range of discrimination issues that were addressed by grassroots activists in the Sixties and thereafter.( I also had a rewarding time with Katie Singer‘s African-American Literature students; unfortunately my camera never made it out of my backpack for that.)

Above: George Cochrane, shown introducing my slideshow. Inset is the cover of Long Time Gone‘s third issue.

The instigator of my stay as a Visiting Artist at FDU was George Cochrane, an artist and professor in FDU’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, with whom I bonded three years ago when pages from Long Time Gone, his own graphic novel-in-progress that he is creating in collaboration with his daughter Fiamma, were exhibited at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) here in North Adams. George and Fiamma had the forethought to launch their marathon collaborative effort when Fiamma was five-and-a-half, thus enhancing their chances of completing it before Fiamma is required to re-direct her energies either to her college studies (in the most creatively speedy scenario) or to caring for her parents in their dotage (in case the novel’s progress advances at a slower pace).

Below: Fiamma Cochrane getting lost in Eddie’s collection of stereopticon slides in our living room with the assistance of her dad. Fiamma’s artwork is inset on the left; George’s is on the right.

Realistically speaking, the time needed to complete this breathtakingly ambitious project will probably fall between those two extremes. In the meantime, the pair of creators will be feeding the world successive installments from time to time as well as gracing a succession of gallery walls with the original artwork for their fascinating and visually dazzling endeavor.

But to get back to my Fairleigh Dickinson excursion: I can’t leave Madison behind without thanking Dan Veltre, proprietor of that city’s super comics shop Dewey’s Comic City, for luring me off-campus for an evening of flattering requests for my signature, stimulating conversation about the comics scene, and good vibes in general.

Below: A snapshot of me with Dan (left) and his assistant John Bush (right), taken during the Dewey’s event.

Bechdel at Williams

March 8 was the day Alison Bechdel visited Williams College, the prestigious institution of higher learning located several hops, skips, and jumps west of North Adams in nearby Williamstown. That’s where the author of the acclaimed graphic memoir Fun Home, (called the "best book of 2006" by Time.com) entertained a rapt audience in Brooks Rogers Auditorium with an engrossing slideshow about her history, her approach to cartooning, and her family — which in light of Fun Home have become inextricably intertwined in knowledgeable readers’ minds.

Besides enjoying Alison’s evening presentation, my husband Eddie and I got to spend afternoon time with our friend thanks to an invitation extended by Kathryn Kent, a Williams English professor and chair of the college’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, for me to join Alison for a Q&A where we fielded questions from students about our parallel careers as openly gay comics creators during the 1980s and thereafter.

Ever the helpful spouse, Eddie sat in the back of the room while Alison and I held forth and shot the photos you see below. Afterwards we joined Alison, her significant other Holly Rae Taylor, and assorted Williams folks for dinner and conversation at the nearby Sushi Thai Garden restaurant.

I ordered Pad Thai, as I always do. Love that Pad Thai!

Above: Alison and me sharing an afternoon Roundtable Discussion with Williams students. On the right is our host Kathryn Kent, who served as moderator for the Q&A.

Martha Thomases on Wendel

Now that The Complete Wendel is on the verge of reaching bookstores, review copies are now being sent out by its publisher, Universe Books (an imprint of Rizzoli New York).

Ever quick on the trigger, my friend Martha Thomases has lost no time in heralding the book’s arrival via her column "Brilliant Disguise," which is featured once a week at the Michael Davis World web site. Many thanks for your supportive words, Martha.

April in Massachusetts

I’m also currently scheduled to materialize in the flesh in two different Bay State venues next month.

First comes the all-day Paint & Pixel Festival in Northampton, an all-day celebration of both print and web art being held from 10 AM until 5 PM on Saturday, April 16, at the Northampton Center for the Arts (17 New South Street). Come and chat if you’re in the area. I’ll be on a panel at some point, I’m told, and will otherwise be hanging out at my assigned table where I will welcome all comers.

Then a couple of weekends later I’ll be reading from The Complete Wendel and signing copies at the Calamus Bookstore ( 92B South Street in Boston). The fun begins at 7 PM on Friday, April 29.

Those Kinky Chicks From The ’70s!

Above: Surfacing uninvited in my files this week was a never-published "girly" comic strip drawn 32 years ago, when I was still a contributor to "Playboy Funnies."
Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
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Posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Artifacts, Family & Friends, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Yesterday & Today | Comments Off on Lions, Lambs, and Mammoths

On To New Jersey

Above: Me holding forth last week for students at CCS. (Photos by Jon Chad)

Audiences for slideshow presentations about comics don’t come much friendlier than the ones you’re likely to encounter at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.

That’s been my experience in past years when I’ve been invited there for an afternoon as one of their Visiting Artist, and it was borne out once again on the 17th when I drove up to the school to say (and show) my piece to a fresh and welcoming group of young cartoonists-in-training.

Above: During a break the students pored over a variety of backstage artifacts from my long and checkered career.

Nature was kind enough to forego burdening me with another round of blizzards during my drive up US91 and back. In fact, it was downright sunny, and I was able to spend some pleasant time before my talk strolling around White River Junction without my parka.

Nature was apparently meeting its winter quota of good deeds by doing that, because now that I’m looking ahead to an even longer drive this weekend, new snow has begun falling and Eddie and I are strategizing about how to prevent either of our cars from being immobilized in snow drifts this time around, our two-vehicle needs being especially urgent because of my upcoming…

…Week in New Jersey

Yes, not to be outdone by CCS, Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, has invited me to spend not just one afternoon but most of next week talking to a succession of audiences and classes about Stuck Rubber Baby, which is being given special attention because of heightened interest in the graphic novel art form in the school’s art, literature, and black history disciplines.

I’ll be kicking things off Monday afternoon with a newly updated slideshow about SRB‘s creation called "Emotions and India Ink." I could have saved myself some work, of course, by simply recycling the talk I presented at CCS last week, but Monday’s audience at FDU would probably have found themselves wondering what my penchant for drawing cartoon squirrels in 1970 had to do with Toland Polk’s struggles with racial turmoil and gay identity issues in my more recently published tome.

My week at FDU will be punctuated on Wednesday, March 7, by an off-campus book signing generously hosted by Dewey’s Comic City at 13 Park Avenue in Madison.

It’ll be happening from 7:30 to 9:30 that evening, so if you’re within easy reach of Madison that night and feel in the mood to drop by and say hi, I’ll be most pleased to see you.

Publishers Weekly
Takes Note of Wendel

Many thanks for the coverage of my new book, PW.

And while Wendel Trupstock is on my mind, if you hop over to my "Howard Cruse Art" Facebook Page you’ll find that I’ve recently uploaded a bunch of color drawings of my character to a photo album called The Wendel Cast — just to get everybody in the mood for bingeing on my 1980s comic strips come April.
Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in Life & Art, Me, Me, Me! | 1 Comment

Dog Town

Above: Susan Werner, dog aficionada extraordinaire.

Where Have All The Bow-wows Gone?

Remember that old Pete Seeger song? (O.K., maybe I haven’t got the words exactly right, but Seeger wrote a song that sounded something like that.)

Anyway, I can’t speak for most of the world’s bow-wow-emitting beasties, but fifteen of them are currently residing with Eddie’s sister Susan and his nephew Eric in West Palm Beach, FL. And for balance, there’s a cat there, too.

Five of the fifteen have been sharing Eric and Susan’s living space for a while now; the other ten are brand-new arrivals. A few enjoy permanent-resident status, but the majority are merely enjoying the humans’ foster care until new adoptive parents take over. This cross-species foster-parenting marathon is an ongoing project of West Palm Beach’s A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue service, for whom Susan and Eric are but two of the organization’s numerous pet-loving volunteers.

Eddie and I spend a few days last week visiting his sister and nephew in the Sunshine State and getting to know the whole menagerie. Shall I introduce them to you now?

Above: A group montage of Susan’s current roster of four-legged roommates. Now to review them individually….

Above: The irrepressible Shorty, whose tongue-driven displays of affection will not be denied.
Above: Me with languid MungMung, who’s is "first among equals" because she alone has been with Susan since before their move south. Mungmung exercises her top dog status with quiet grace unless someone tries to eat from her kibble bowl.
Above: Swiffer, who is named for a household dusting implement, is the smallest of the bunch and the second most energetic face-licker when he’s not being distracted by his doggie playtoys.
Above: Tovah and Misty were the shyest of Susan’s canine wards when it came to interacting with us interlopers. Tovah would never let Eddie or me get within five feet of her, and Misty kept her distance by three times than much.

Above: Despite her smaller size, Nami the cat kept all of the dogs on their toes by instigating chases and wrestling matches fearlessly.

And then there are the additional ten doggies who had just arrived at chez Susan as Eddie and I prepared to leave for the airport. The newcomers are a not-yet-named mommy dog and her nine nursing newborns, who quickly became the stars of videos clips shot by Eddie and Susan using a Canon PowerShot camera and an iPhone, respectively. Once home, I edited the resulting images into a video that I’ve uploaded to YouTube.

So if the contemplation of a writhing, squeaking, and pulsing mass of mouse-sized dog babes clamoring for milk from a sublimely patient mom suits your temperament, this cinematic extravaganza just may be for you.

Coming Up Next

Now that I’m back in North Adams I’ve been busy putting final touches on the slideshow I’ll be offering this Thursday to students at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. You may recall that I’ve been invited to speak to CCS students before (see this old blog entry), and it’s always a kick to spend time with new crops of young folks who are driven (and are insane enough) to set their sights on cartooning as a profession.

CCS always seems to think of me around Valentine’s Day. It’s nice to feel loved.

Above: Me rehearsing my upcoming presentation, plus some of the new images I’ve added to the lineup of images..
Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Family & Friends, Home Life, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me! | Comments Off on Dog Town

Happy Groundhog Day

Above: Wilbur during his glory days as a Birmingham media star

Today being Groundhog Day and all, I thought I would share with you the comic book story below, which I drew 39 years ago when I was 28 and which has never before been published anywhere.

It stars Wilbur the Groundhog, who may be remembered by Birminghamians of a certain age for his daily appearances during the early-1970s on a locally produced television program called The Sgt. Jack Show.

At the time I was employed as the art director at WBMG-TV, the UHF television station in Birmingham, AL, from whose studios The Sgt. Jack Show originated. A broadcast personality otherwise known as Neal Miller assumed the role each weekday afternoon of Sgt. Jack, the world’s most affable and least intimidating sheriff’s deputy, who was never known to hand out a traffic ticket, who could transform balloons into animals at the snap of a finger, and who had an unquenchable urge to share Popeye cartoons with the endless parade of children who trundled up to Channel 42 on their birthdays.

Wilbur and his yellow monkey sidekick Oscar popped up for five minutes or so during each show and chatted with "Sarge" from a miniature puppet stage behind which I would crouch and improvise running fantasies for the benefit of the kids sitting on benches nearby. Wilbur was an incurable con man, and one of his schemes somehow backfired and left him with an overabundance of duck food, which he spent the rest of my run on the show trying to figure out how to get rid of; hence the centrality of this commodity to the plotline of my comic.

I was hoping to persuade Channel 42’s management to get one of our program’s fast-food advertisers to give away my Wilbur and Oscar 4-pager to their young burger-munching patrons as a cross-promotional gambit benefitting both their outlets and our show (and enhancing my visibility as a rising young Birmingham cartoonist in the process), but I could never quite make the sale. The story has been lying around in my flat files ever since.

But I glanced at the calendar this morning and thought, "Hey! It’s Groundhog Day! Why not?" There being nothing else to blog about today except for blizzards and scary Egyptian uprisings, I went with the impulse.

Below: "Sarge," as he was known around the station, poses for a portrait with his faithful rodent companion.

Postscript

It’s not just Groundhog Day;
it’s also Lulu’s birthday.

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Pure Toontime, Yesterday & Today | 6 Comments

Cabin Fever Time

Above: Me up to my knees in the second major snowstorm of the winter. (There have been two more since then.) Eight additional hours of snow fell after this snapshot was taken.

When the first snowstorm hit (the one that I described in my last blog post; the one that arrived in full force immediately after Christmas), I didn’t have the presence of mind to take pictures, and thus was reduced to describing its impact with a cartoon and lots of words. How typically negligent of me to leave my camera unused in the closet at such a time!

I needn’t have worried, since nature proceeded to grace us with a similarly daunting reprise two weeks later, on January 12. This time I did take pictures.

Above: Eddie takes his shovel in hand as the big dig commences.
Above: Lulu finds her romps in the back yard less frolicsome than usual.

Above: That’s our Subaru on Eddie’s left. You can tell it’s a car by the protruding rear-view mirror. The mound of snow on his right is our Buick.

Above: Hours later, with the front walk shoveled and the Subaru finally freed from its grave (Yes, I helped; I didn’t just stand around taking snapshots), Eddie lumbers back to our warm living room to collapse in exhaustion. That’s a neighbor’s car in the background; our Buick still waits to be exhumed at some later time when our energy is restored and our frostbite recedes.

Additional snowflakes are descending outside my window as I write this. Fortunately, the blizzard that has dumped twelve more inches of snow on Boston this morning seems to have distributed 90% of its tonnage south of North Adams. Whew!

Also fortunately, Eddie and I don’t live in Buffalo.

Book Notes

The Complete Wendel won’t hit bookstores for another couple of months, but Bob Greenberger, my colleague from Starlog and Comics Scene days, has written an early piece about the book for the Westfield Comics blog.

And to my surprise, January 23 brought Peter Campbell’s unexpected review (at the FA / The Comiczine web site) of Felix’s Friends, my 2008 self-published book that never ever gets reviewed—due partly, no doubt, to the fact that it’s a print-on-demand item that can only be purchased from the Lulu Marketplace, which is rather out-of-the-way as retail outlets go.

Peter said good things about Felix, too. The attention is much appreciated, Peter.

Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in Home Life, Me, Me, Me!, Yesterday & Today | 5 Comments

Wendel on the Horizon

My advance copy of The Complete Wendel, the new compilation of my 1980s comic strip in its entirety from the first episode through the last, arrived in my mailbox just in time for Christmas—and it really looks handsome. Universe, an imprint of Rizzoli New York, is the publisher and they’ve put together a package to be proud of.

It won’t be officially released until April, but some friends from thither and yon have emailed me to point out that some online retailers are already taking pre-orders. That’s exciting. (Yes, I admit that I’ve never become too jaded to be excited at the prospect of a new book coming out.)

Without suggesting that you should be similarly a-twitter, I’ll satisfy any curiosity you may have about what the new cover will look like by posting it here (see above). Besides all the strips and special features you’d expect from a volume with the word Complete in its title, this collection will contain two items no one’s ever seen before: a new introduction by Alison Bechdel and my newly-drawn two-pager, "Where Are They Now?"

Me, The Caricature

Above: Me in my youth as seen through the eyes of Michael Willhoite.

I’ve always been fascinated by good caricatures, and my greatest regret about never starring in a show on Broadway is that I never got to be drawn by the great Al Hirschfeld. What in the world could I have been thinking when I decided at a tender age not to go into showbiz?

Even though I never made it onto Hirschfeld’s radar, I did attract the attention back in 1990 of the multi-talented author, artist, and excellent caricaturist Michael Willhoite, who has many credits to his name but who gained his greatest notoriety (and most memorably roiled the nation’s homophobes) in 1991 by writing and illustrating the groundbreaking children’s book Daddy’s Roommate.

In those days Michael regularly graced the pages of The Advocate (home of my comic strip Wendel, referred to earlier in this blog post) with his caricatures of individuals who were making themselves conspicuous in the LGBT world. Since my cartoons were placing me in that category at the time, I suppose it was logical for his insightful pen lines to be applied to my visage eventually. Still, nobody had warned me and I didn’t see it coming.

I was honored, of course, and I have always loved Michael’s drawing. It’s just so damned interesting to occasionally see yourself as others see you. And for those of you who know me as I am now and are grumbling that "Howard doesn’t look anything like that!" — just take a look at the photo Michael was working from (at left) and you’ll see that his rendition of me was pretty close to the mark based on the evidence the caricaturist had in hand.

Michael and I had never met when he drew his caricature, so he had to work from whatever photographic documentation of my appearance he could get his hands on. So it takes nothing away from his skills for me to acknowledge, in the interest of full disclosure, that that photo was already pretty far out of date by the time Michael used it for reference.

In reality, a skilled professional photographer named Wolff Bachner had captured the image way back in 1978 in exchange for some of my artwork. It took a dozen years thereafter for Wolff’s portrait to fall into Michael’s hands, and while I would love to believe that I still looked as fresh and youthful in 1990 as I look in Wolff’s time capsule from twelve years earlier, I would be deluding myself to think so.

Winter Life

Excerpts from notes written on
Monday, December 27

I’m distracted by the blizzard that has descended upon us (and most of the rest of the northeast) this morning. At the moment the snow’s depth must be around 18 inches, judging by the measurable slices of the white stuff that have piled up on narrow flat surfaces like our porch rails and the top of our backyard fence.

Actually, what we’re experiencing here in northern Berkshire County isn’t technically a blizzard, since our wind levels are moderate. We’ve just got major quantities of the blizzard-borne snow that’s burying the parts of the region immediately south of us, being on the upper fringes of the genuine blizzard conditions that are currently barreling across Connecticut and the southern counties of Massachusetts.

It’s fortunate that neither Eddie nor I have any need to drive anywhere today, since our Buick and Subaru, parked in the lot across the street, have been transformed into vague mounds of white that are recognizable as vehicles only because experience tells us that’s what they are.

While Eddie prepared breakfast I had a go at my morning ritual of retrieving our morning newspaper, on the questionable assumption that our carrier had been hardy enough to attempt the usual round of deliveries despite the storm conditions. Newspaper deliveries in years past have been erratic even when the weather was fine, but our present carrier has been admirably diligent during this last year, which makes it conceivable that she would confront the elements bravely even on a day like today in order to fulfill her daily mission of having our copy of the day’s Berkshire Eagle waiting for us no later than 7 AM at the foot of the wooden steps that ascend from the street to our front yard-level.

We won’t know for a while whether or not her work ethic was that extreme this morning (or whether her delivery vehicle was any less incapacitated than ours), since a lot of snow can fall between 7 and 8 AM during a snowstorm. Once I bundled up in parka and snow boots and waddled through the almost knee-deep snow to reach the top of our stairs, any newspaper that may have been waiting down at street level was buried and invisible.

I could have gone down and burrowed around to see if I could find any trace of journalism, but I thought better of even trying, since so much snow had fallen on the staircase that it could be taken as a smooth white slope undivided by discernible treads and risers. One could imaging sledding down the slope, but the powdery slow would give way quickly and lead to a very bumpy ride down.

I went back inside. We ate fried eggs and drank coffee while watching CNN’s dramatic coverage of the blizzard. The zipper at the bottom of the screen made brief mention of lynchings in Haiti, but of course there was no time available for more detailed coverage of that. Not when there were hours of falling snowflakes, car wrecks and closed airports to document.

Eventually there will be much shoveling to do.

Excerpts from notes written on
Tuesday, December 28

With great effort Eddie and I succeeded in digging one of our cars (the Subaru) out of yesterday’s thigh-deep snow. The Buick is a hopeless case for now; not only did the storm leave it imbedded as deeply as the Subaru in snow, but digging out the Subaru could only be accomplished by piling hundreds of shovelfuls of snow against the Buick in addition to what was already there. Since the Buick has only two-wheel drive to work with as opposed to the propulsion provided by the Subaru’s four-wheel variety, we’ve learned from experience not to count on much help from the car when it comes to plowing through residual snowdrifts that haven’t already been thoroughly dug out to ground level.

As I write this, the sun is shining, which means that yesterday’s fluffy snow is even now being converted into blocks of ice that nothing short of a pickaxe will be able to dislodge from around the car’s wheel wells. In other words, the Buick is likely to stay where it is for some time until nature and a few rains have a chance to soften the snowdrifts’ hold.

Meanwhile, we have cleared no pathway at all yet around the house to the stairway leading up to the tenants’ upstairs apartment.

Somehow I managed not to aggravate my bad back with yesterday’s grueling labor. Shoveling a path around the house should be nowhere near as difficult as yesterday’s project; hopefully my back will be up to the task.

Eddie just walked in to ask, “Do you think there’s any chance at all that we could just barrel backwards through the snowdrifts to get the cars out?”

I told him I was not at all optimistic. I think my exact words were, “Not a chance.”

“We could probably dig it out,” said Eddie.

My back groaned at the very thought of being asked to endure another couple of hours of lifting and heaving, particularly since today’s snow if going to be a lot less light and fluffy than yesterday’s. But Eddie says he is going to go down and see what can be done, and since it’s incumbent upon me to be a loyal helpmate in times of difficulty, I will now interrupt this journal entry to see what help I can offer.

EPILOGUE: Both cars were eventually freed from their premature burial after much heaving and groaning; the new tenants’ apartment (Yes, we finally rented it! Yayyy!!) is once again accessible; lots if not all of the holiday snow has melted; and both of our lower backs are, shall we say, holding up reasonably.

And for those of you who were left concerned by my last blog post, my left knee has been behaving itself.

Toland Brushes Up On His Italian

Probably inspired by last summer’s release by Vertigo of it’s new edition of Stuck Rubber Baby, the Roman publisher Magic Press is announcing today the upcoming re-release of its Italian translation of my book, Figlio di un preservativo bucato, which was first published in 2001. The very conscientious Enrico Salvini did the translating.
Hey, here’s stuff of mine that you can buy!
Click a cover below to learn about my latest books.
…and click here to visit my
Cruse Goodies merchandise shop
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A Note to Those Who Enjoy This Blog: Given how irregularly I manage to add entries, you may wish to send me email asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email whenever I add a new blog post.

Posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Home Life, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Yesterday & Today | 3 Comments