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Born Gerard P. Donelan
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
"It's a Gay Life"

Gerard P. Donelan (born 1949),[1] known primarily as just Donelan, is an openly-gay cartoonist. Part of the first wave[2] of LGBT cartoonists, he drew "It's a Gay Life", a regular single-panel cartoon feature in The Advocate, for 15 years.[3]


Cover of Drawing on the Gay Experience by Gerard P. Donelan

Donelan was born in Boston, but grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of advertising artist Paul Donelan. He studied art at Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute but did not finish a degree, and went to work in retail.

In 1977, disappointed that Joe Johnson's pioneering gay comic strips Miss Thing and Big Dick had ended their run in The Advocate, Donelan submitted a cartoon to the publication, which turned into a long-running series of his own. "It's a Gay Life" gently lampooned the gay "clone" culture of the time, focusing primarily on young and middle-aged gay men in their everyday lives.[4] He continued to work in retail while producing the series, which also yielded two paperback reprints: Drawing on the Gay Experience (1987) and Donelan's Back (1988).[1]

For eight years Donelan also created sexually explicit comics in color for Advocate Men, the magazine's erotica sister publication.[5] His work has appeared in Frontiers, Gunner, Gay Comix (including one front cover),[6] and Meatmen (including two front covers and several back covers).[3]

In May 2015, he was a featured panelist at the first Queers & Comics conference, as one of the "Pioneers of Queer Men's Comics".[5]


  1. ^ a b Drawing on the Gay Experience: Cartoons from The Advocate, by Gerard P. Donelan, "About the Cartoonist", 1987, Liberation Publications
  2. ^ "Queers & Comics: The LGBTQ Cartoonists and Comics Conference | The Comics Journal". Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  3. ^ a b GBLTQ - arts - Comic Strips and Cartoons Archived April 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Gay Ghetto Comics 1: Constructing a Dominant Gay Habitus « The Hooded Utilitarian". Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  5. ^ a b CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies (2016-09-08), Queers & Comics: Pioneers of Queer Men's Comics, retrieved 2017-01-22 
  6. ^ Gay Comix #7 at Grand Comics Database