The Complete Wendel by Howard Cruse Coming April 5th

Howard Cruse  is an American alternative cartoonist known for the exploration of gay themes in his comics.

 Wendel is probably his most famous.  It was the first successful, long-lived gay comic strip, run in the Advocate in the years 1983 to 1985 and, after a year’s hiatus, 1986 to 1989.
Wendel Trupstock, the hero, was initially fresh out of college and lookin’ for love in a mid-sized city cosmopolitan enough to have an arts and theater community and, more important, a gay and lesbian community. Every young boys dream, right?!

Wendel met Ollie Chalmers, an aspiring actor. The two became lovers, and the strip thereafter dealt with their relationship, their friends and families, their gay community, and their interactions with Ollie’s ex-wife and small son.

Cruse’s superb comedic sense made “Wendel” funnier than nearly every other gay strip (then and since) and most nongay strips with continuing characters and situations. 

Wendel was funny, topical and a heartfelt chronicle of one gay man’s journey through the often-rocky Reagan-Bush years. Cruse  covered gay liberation, and he brought AIDS forthrightly into the strip, but his humor and  style prevented “Wendel” from being sententious, self-righteous, or maudlin. And one of the strip’s greatest accomplishments was to portray sex as just another component in the lives of characters who do all the other things “regular” people do, albeit more hilariously.

Its influence was such that Tony Kushner wrote, “Wendel unfolds with the narrative complexity, nuance, detail, and honesty of a great satirical novel.” It’s an important piece of our history.

Every episode of the  Wendel comic strip series, which was regularly featured in The Advocate, will be waiting to be savored (or re-savored) in The Complete Wendel, along with a new introduction by Alison Bechdel and a  newly-drawn orgy of cartooned speculation, “Where Are They Now?”

APRIL 5th, 2011 is the official release date  – but you can pre-order now at AMAZON!
The complete collection of the entire groundbreaking gay comic strip series.
288 pages  By Universe / Rizzoli publishing.

The Complete Wendel      Get  a  sneak peak