I was honored to illustrate a brand-new expanded color edition of The Cruising Diaries, Whiting Award-winning author Brontez Purnell's hilariously unhinged and decidedly unsexy erotic memoir. If there is someone on your holiday shopping list that might enjoy a queer coming of age tale that includes stories of romantic trysts with homeless men behind a taco truck (grandma?), be sure to pick up a copy from indie comics publisher Silver Sprocket.
From the Silver Sprocket press release:
After leaving small town Alabama where romantic options were scant for a Black queer punk, [Brontez] Purnell was delighted to discover a wealth of romantic opportunity in his adopted home of Oakland and devoted his time to sampling each and every flavor. Recounted with reckless humor and Purnell's singular knack for combining sordid details with cultural commentary, these outrageous diary entries will leave you chuckling with every re-read.
Each story is accompanied by a full-color illustration by Bay Area cartoonist Janelle Hessig. From shrooming at the bathhouse to a handjob on public transportation, Hessig's loose and lively drawings are the perfect narrative complement, adding an extra layer of comedy, just when you thought you were tapped out.
"The Cruising Diaries isn't the first gay punk memoir, but it is the funniest," says Silver Sprocket publisher Avi Ehrlich. "Although you may not have blown a homeless man behind a taco truck, there is still something universal in the quest for connection and Brontez remains a compassionate chronicler of human behavior throughout. I'm so happy to be able to get these original stories back in print, along with three new tales that are even more mind-blowing than the first edition."