This is a civil rights story and a gay rights story focusing on a gay white teenager who grew up in the South in the 1960s. When Toland Polk gets out of high school, there’s a depression in the South, so he gets a job pumping gas. One of his friends is very involved in the civil rights movement while another is homosexual. Toland finds himself very much drawn into their worlds, questioning their beliefs–and his own, in the process–until a tragic incident makes him realize standing up for what you believe is the only way to make changes. This book is a sensitive, well-written narrative about what it was like to live in the South in the 1960s. There are sporadic scenes with nudity or sexual content in Stuck Rubber Baby: on the whole, things are dealt with about as tastefully as they are in Craig Thompson’s Blankets, though in an extremely different art style. Howard Cruse does a great deal of his shading in dots and cross-hatching, giving his characters a three dimensional, grainy photograph look.
Stuck Rubber Baby
by Howard Cruse
DC Comics/Vertigo, 2010 (new edition)