Good news for Howard Cruse fans or anyone interested in groundbreaking gay comics! Northwest Press has just released its third digital-only graphic novel through Apple’s iBooks: an edition of Howard Cruse’s From Headrack to Claude designed specifically for the iPad. Cruse was the first editor of the classic Gay Comix and author of the seminal gay comic strip Wendel. He also created the award-winning civil-rights-era coming out story Stuck Rubber Baby, recently re-released by DC’s Vertigo imprint and featured here as a FBOTU Book Club Selection. From Headrack to Claude collects Cruse’s other gay-themed comic strips from throughout his career, and includes numerous pages of backstory and additional illustrations.
Unlike 2009’s print edition, this digital version includes color strips, photos and illustrations and is 12 pages longer. The digital edition also includes Sean Wheeler’s half-hour documentary feature, I Must Be Important ’Cause I’m in a Documentary!!, which tells the story of Cruse’s life and career.
“Howard Cruse is a hero of mine,” says Northwest Press publisher Charles “Zan” Christensen. “When I dipped my toe back into comics after college, one of the first books I stumbled across was The Complete Wendel. It was a revelation that there was a whole world of cartooning that dealt with real-world issues and showcased the lives of people I could relate to as a gay man. Howard and the other pioneers in queer cartooning paved the way for the vibrant LGBT comics community that we enjoy today, and it is fascinating to follow their journey through this book.”
“Bringing my gay life into my comics was hugely important to my development as a cartoonist,” says Cruse, “so it made sense for me to compile all of my gay stuff into a single book back in 2009. Seeing From Headrack to Claude re-imagined three years later for iPad adds fresh excitement to a project that was already personally fullfilling, since an eBook can reach readers in far-flung places so much faster and more effortlessly than a self-published, print-on-demand book can. Plus, my color comics can even be in color again!”
From Headrack to Claude is available exclusively on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch through iBooks. Readers can download a free preview before purchasing the book.