May 4, 2018
The Horrible Beefcake in the Horrible Hometown of Horrible Comic Artist Howard Cruse
1. Who actually reads his stuff?
2. What turned him into such a Sad Sack?
He grew up in Springville, Alabama, about 30 miles from Birmingham. He memorializes the unrelenting agony of his youth in the unrelentingly depressing graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby, which I refuse to read, because who wants to read a graphic novel about a baby made of rubber with pins sticking out of it?
(This photo has nothing to do with Howard Cruse. I just thought you'd like to look at something pleasant.)
Maybe Springville, Alabama is to blame for the unrelenting agony that is Howard Cruse's mind. Let's find out.
The population is 4,000, 90% white, median household income $43,000.
It's got a long, narrow Main Street that parallels Highway 59. Driving from the south, the first thing you hit is Tucker Auto Salvage and the Springville Baptist Church. Dead cars and fundamentalists. Then some wealthy suburbs, a supermarket, and the Springville Cafe, which looks desolate.
Next Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, the Middle School, a Mexican Restaurant, and an Italian Bistro.
Then the high school, next to a day spa for pets.
Then a Wal-Mart, and you're out of town.
It does sound bad. But surely there's some beefcake.
Not much. The high school sports team is called the Red Devils. This one is called the Lady Red Devils, for some reason.
A clearer photo,but I think the boys are too young to be beefcake. Hard to tell -- their faces are old. Worn from the constant suffering of life in Springville?
He's happy, I think. The caption reads "Springville Drowns Lake Nona." At the swimming competition. There always has to be death in there somewhere.
This Teen Bodybuilder of the Week isn't bad.
A bizarre bodybuilder, Raymond Fong, is featured at the GTO Bodybuilding Camp...oops, it's in "San Francico."
A powerlifter from...no, Spanish Fork.
A wrestler from Honeoye Falls, somewhere in New York.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Ok, I give up. Howard Cruse did in fact grow up in the bleakest place on Earth. But he moved to New York City in 1977, so that's not an excuse.
See also: Howard Cruse, the World's Most Depressing Gay Comic Artist.