Husband Howard Cruse

In 1977, Howard Cruse moved from Alabama to New York City, and two years later, he met Eddie Sedarbaum (born December 1, 1945), the New Yorker who quickly became his life partner. While Cruse was building his cartooning reputation, Sedarbaum pursued a diverse range of projects that included book editing; lobbying for a statewide Hate Crimes Bill; founding a gay and lesbian activist organization in New York’s Borough of Queens; serving as the Founding Director of a community center for LGBT seniors; and running for the New York State Senate. Cruse and Sedarbaum married after moving to North Adams, Massachusetts in 2004. Cruse had been open about his homosexuality throughout the 1970s without acknowledging it in his work. This changed in 1979, when he began editing Gay Comix, a new anthology featuring comix by openly gay and lesbian cartoonists. For much of the 1980s, he created Wendel, a strip (1-2 pages per episode) about an irrepressible and idealistic gay man, his lover Ollie, and a cast of diverse urban characters. It was published in the gay newsmagazine The Advocate, which allowed Cruse substantial freedom in terms of language and nudity. Cruse subsequently wrote and illustrated the international award-winning graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby.