Rob Balder

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Robert Balder
Detroit, Michigan [1]
Area(s)Webcomics, filk music
Notable works
AwardsPegasus Award

Robert T. Balder is a professional cartoonist and singer-songwriter.[2] He graduated from Roanoke College with a major in English in 1993 and, after a variety of jobs, entered a seven-year career in IT, starting as a manager of database development, which he left for his current career.[3]


As a comic author, he was first published in Scene magazine in 1998.[4] In 2001, he started PartiallyClips, a social commentary clip art webcomic also featured in the Anchorage Press, Cleveland Free Times, Concord Mirror, East Bay Express, Houston Press, Manchester Mirror, Metroland, Nth Degree, Salem Observer and the Other Paper.[4] He is also the writer for the Erfworld webcomic, which was listed as one of Time magazine's "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007".[5] As of October 13, 2019, Erfworld has been discontinued due to personal reasons.

Balder is well-known within the webcomic creator community, as evidenced by his writing of guest comics for other webcomics: Fragile Gravity,[6] Goats,[7] Order of the Stick,[8] Sluggy Freelance,[9] and Wondermark.[10] In 2006, he partnered with Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance, to create a retail market card game themed around Sluggy Freelance called Get Nifty.[11]

In August 2010, he co-wrote a 24-page comic called A Duel in the Somme, based on a story by the science fiction author Ben Bova and illustrated by the syndicated cartoonist Bill Holbrook. The comic was released on its own website under a Creative Commons license at a rate of one page per day and used a reward-driven donation model for revenue.[12]


Balder writes and sings comedy songs, and has recorded two CDs.[2] The title track from his first CD, "Rich Fantasy Lives", was co-written with Tom Smith, and won the 2007 Pegasus Award for Best Filk Song; they had been nominated the previous year for the same award.[13] He was also one of the seven founders of the FuMP, or "Funny Music Project", along with Devo Spice, Luke Ski, Tom Smith, Possible Oscar, Raymond and Scum, Spaff, and Worm Quartet, in which they present new songs released under a Creative Commons license.[2]

His comedy music has received national airplay in the United States on the syndicated Dr. Demento Show. His song "Gamer Funk" was the #1 most requested song on the Dr. Demento Show in both September[14] and October[15] 2009, and was the third most requested song for that entire year. In February 2009, Balder began a collaboration with ShoEboX of Worm Quartet called "Baldbox".[16] The duo released one CD (The Dumb Album) and several follow-up songs, which have also been played frequently by Dr. Demento and other terrestrial radio shows.[17]

Professional and public[edit]

Balder is a frequent guest and program participant at science fiction, comic, gaming and anime conventions, participating in as many as 20 events a year.[18] Several conventions have invited him as Guest of Honor, including Capclave,[19] CoastCon,[2] I-Con,[20] MidSouthCon,[21] and OASIS.[22]


  1. ^ "Biography". Rob Balder dot com. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "CoastCon XXXII Guests". Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  3. ^ Schroeder, Al. "At A Fast Clip: Rob Balder Talks to Comixpedia". Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  4. ^ a b Rall, Ted (2006). Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists. Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 1-56163-465-4. Page 93 and on.
  5. ^ "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007", Time
  6. ^ "Fragile Gravity, with Rob Balder's Guest Comic". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Goats Erfworld Guest Comic". Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  8. ^ "Order of the Stick Guest Comics". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  9. ^ "Comic for 11/16/03". Sluggy Freelance. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  10. ^ "Guest Comic by Rob Balder". Wondermark. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Get Nifty - The Sluggy Freelance Card Game". Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  12. ^ Liu, Jonathan H. (19 August 2010). "A Page a Day Keeps the Doldrums Away: Duel in the Somme". Wired. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Pegasus Awards - Rob Balder". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  14. ^ "The Dr. Demento Show #09-39 - September 27, 2009". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  15. ^ "The Dr. Demento Show #09-44 - November 1, 2009". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  16. ^ "The Official World Wide Dr. Demento Streaming Site". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  17. ^ "Disc-overies: Baldbox, "The Dumb Album" - Canandaigua, NY". MPNnow. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  18. ^ "American Erfs: Rob Balder and Jamie Noguchi". Comixtalk. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  19. ^ "Capclave 2009: Music Guest of Honor". Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  20. ^ "I-Con 22". Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  21. ^ "MidSouthCon". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  22. ^ "OASIS 23". Retrieved 10 November 2009.

External links[edit]