Saturday, 4 May 2013

Howard Cruse: Stuck Rubber Baby

Stuck Rubber Baby (1995)
by Howard Cruse
(from the 100 Hour Tour: Comicon, 1 February 2008)
...No, I don't hate blacks and/or gays, nor do I hate women. You know, I was at the GraphicLit opening at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge Mass back in the middle of November. When I was getting ready to leave, I pulled out my copy of STUCK RUBBER BABY because Howard Cruse was going to be there and I really wanted to get it autographed. Howard and I had in the past what they describe in the diplomacy game as "a frank exchange of viewpoints" publicly and I had no idea if he was one of those Great Grudge Bearers that seem to make up so much of the comic book environment. Personally, I'm not one of them. 

Anyway, Howard, Peter Kuper and I were the three cartoonists who were there for the Press Preview tour, my and Ger's CEREBUS pages were on the wall facing his STUCK RUBBER BABY pages. Stephanie, the Museum's director asked if I wanted to go first and I deferred to Howard. So I was part of the crowd as he described the development of SRB (evidently a Spanish translation is entitled "The Broken Condom"!)and no one was asking a question. So, well, I have a question -- about the size of his pages which are really the old Marvel size that Ditko and Kirby used to use. Did he ever regret working that big? It's a lot of carpet to cover. Now, I had no idea if he was going to just glare at me and pretend I didn't exist or say that he wasn't going to answer a question from a Notorious Gay Hater. He answered the question. Later when he was in the crowd for my discussion of Ger's and my pages, he asked a couple of questions as well. 

Later after the great dinner which the Museum had put on for all of us, Howard and I shook hands and I told him about my regret that I hadn't brought my STUCK RUBBER BABY with me and that I was glad we were able to "get along" at the Press Preview. He said something like "Well, yes, we just avoided potentially difficult subjects."

...I don't hate anyone ...either individual or group.

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