Stuck Rubber Baby (New Edition) share button
Howard Cruse
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 6.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)
Pages 224
Publisher DC Comics
Publication Date June 2010
ISBN 9781401227135
Book ISBN 10 1401227139
About Book

The groundbreaking, award-winning semi-autobiographical graphic novel returns in a new edition featuring an introduction by Alison Bechdel, awardwinning author of Fun Home.

In the 1960s American South, a young gas-station attendant named Toland Polk is rejected from the Army draft for admitting “homosexual tendencies,” and falls in with a close-knit group of young locals yearning to break from the conformity of their hometown through civil rights activism, folk music and upstart communality of race-mixing, gay-friendly nightclubs. Toland’s story is both deeply personal and epic in scope, as his search for identity plays out against the brutal fight over segregation, an unplanned pregnancy and small-town bigotry, aided by an unforgettable supporting cast.


Library Journal

It's the 1960s South, and young Toland Polk hides his sexual identity as he demonstrates with the civil rights movement. Although he's not sure where his heart and hormones are headed, he does find outspoken folksinger Ginger pretty appealing. It's got to be love, he thinks, even as he makes friends among the semicloseted gay locals. But as Toland and his friends painfully fumble their way through mutual discoveries, escalating supremacist violence forces showdowns all around, and Toland can't stay in the closet any longer. While the title alludes to Toland and Ginger's baby, a new Toland is birthed as well. Originally published in 1995, this 15th-anniversary reissue includes an introduction by Alison Bechdel (Fun Home). This ranks up there with Maus: A Survivor's Tale as one of those compelling issues stories featuring deep, complex characters. Winner of Eisner, Harvey, and Angoulême awards, it plays out in skillful, equally nuanced black-and-white art. VERDICT As a reminder of America's halting progress toward real democracy, this work is highly recommended for older teens and up. With inexplicit sex and occasionally strong language.—M.C.

Dennis Drabelle

If occasionally Stuck Rubber Baby seems almost too ambitious for its own good, we should keep in mind what it commemorates. There wasn't a lot of subtlety to the heroism and villainy of the civil rights era in the South, and for that reason comic-strip art may be especially well suited to evoking it. Stuck Rubber Baby makes for a gripping way to revisit those lurid days.
—The Washington Post