A preacher's son raised in Alabama, Howard Cruse saw the comix scene as "an opportunity to experiment freely while exploring myself without inhibiting editorial constraints." Exploration led him through work in 'Dope Comix', 'Bizarre Sex' and 'Gay Comix', of which he was the founder. In 1971, Howard came up with 'Barefootz', a humorous comic with a clean animated line and a crisp, uncluttered background.
Moving to New York in 1979, Cruse pursued a successful commercial and cartoon art career that included his award-winning gay and lesbian strip, 'Wendell'. His work was interrupted for four years while he created his masterpiece, 'Stuck Rubber Baby' (Paradox Press, 1995). This 210-page graphic novel takes place in the South during the civil rights movement in the 1960s and sensitively depicts a saga of coming to terms with sexual identity, racial prejudice and political conflict.
A very productive comics artist, Howard Cruse created many other comic strips and stories, using various graphic styles and parodying other comics such as 'Little Lulu'. Now, from his studio in Jackson Heights, New York Howard Cruse is very busy with freelance cartooning projects, web site design and computer graphics.