As society changes, today’s teens have more issues and obstacles that face them. They’re dealing with racism, sexual identity, violence, and sexual behavior. With many of these issues, teens are scared and don’t know where to turn. They search for answers in places that aren’t always the best choices. Howard Cruse attempts to show some light on his own predicaments growing up in his 1995 graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby (1995). This graphic novel takes a different approach to the traditional autobiography. The story is a semi-autobiographical account of Cruse, following the character Toland Polk as he navigates his life through discovering and accepting his sexuality in a 1960s southern town. His sexuality takes a side seat when he deals with violence and racism committed against him and his friends.
By: Howard Cruse