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CSBG Archive

A Month of Good LGBT Comics – Stuck Rubber Baby

In conjunction with Prism Comics, the preeminent website for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) comics and creators, every day this month I will be detailing one good comic book/graphic novel with LGBT themes.

Here‘s an archive of the featured works so far!

Today, on Thanksgiving, we look at a book that later LGBT works would certainly be thankful for.

Certainly, as I’ve noted in the past almost full month now, there were plenty of notable LGBT comic book work during the 80s and early 90s. Some great work by folks like Alison Bechdel, Jeff Krell, Jennifer Camper, Tim Barela and Robert Kirby was out there.

However, I think Stuck Rubber Baby was probably (and you can certainly feel free to dispute this) the most acclaimed LGBT graphic novel of its time, and one of the very first LGBT graphic novels to gain vast national acclaim when it debuted in 1995. Heck, forget NATIONAL, how about INTERnational? The book has been translated into three other languages!!

The story of Stuck Rubber Baby is Toland Polk, a young white man who comes to term with his homosexuality during the 60s at the same time he deals with his own racist views amid the fight for civil rights in the South at that point in time.

The work is lush and realistic, and Toland Polk is an engaging protagonist, especially the unique way that he is not really a sympathetic character – he really is a bit of a fool, honestly. The comic is so detailed that as far as I know, Cruse has barely made any money out of this great work, due to the fact that it took him years to finish (which ate up the book advance) and as acclaimed as the work was, sales were not exactly out of this world.

On Cruse’s website, he has a “teaser” for Stuck Rubber Baby that I feel weird just copying, as it is pretty long, but then I figured, this is meant to sell the book, right? So let me try to sell the book right now with the teaser! If it’s too much, well, I apologize, Mr. Cruse!

So now – enjoy this teaser for Stuck Rubber Baby and see if it is the sort of book you would enjoy!

So if you haven’t already purchased a copy of Stuck Rubber Baby, head right over to Cruse’s website here and get one! He’ll even autograph your copy if you buy it directly from him!


Kinda reminds me of Richard Corben’s art.

Decent book. It gets a bit overly preachy at times, but I imagine that’s hard to avoid considering the period, location and subject matter. It’s always readable though.

This is probably the only LBGT graphic novel I’ve ever read. It’s also probably in my top five graphic novels, ever. Brilliant storytelling, gripping plot, vivid characters. It’s been nearly a decade since I read it but I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone.

SRB remains one of the best GN I’ve ever read (and I’ve read…)

But, it’s a book about acceptance, in the broadest sense of the word, a coming of age story as I’ve never faced before, good writing, beautiful artwork, if the word wasn’t already so devalued, i’d say it’s a masterpiece.

Now talk a little about the european master of LGBT comics, Ralf König.

Howard Cruse was one of my teachers at SVA, It was his first time teaching, but it still remains an invaluable experience.

It is a classic, and a masterpiece.

Glad to see this underlooked work promoted here. It’s easily, in its own way, as influencail as Watchman or the Darkknight in turns of graphic storytelling. Howard Cruse is a genius and I have given this graphic novel to people gay, straight and everything in between and everyone has loved it. Any comic or GN fan has to read it.

One of the first graphic novels that I think really captured the idea that a novel is told in chapters and has a strong narrative. It truly is an excellent book.

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

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