Robert Kirby (cartoonist)

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Robert Kirby
Born Robert Kirby
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works

Robert Kirby (/ˈkɜːrbi/; born 1962) is an openly gay[1] cartoonist, known for his long-running syndicated comic Curbside – which ran in the gay and alternative presses from 1991 to 2008 – and other works focusing on queer characters and community, including Strange Looking Exile, Boy Trouble, THREE, and QU33R.

Curbside is the story of two young men: Drew, an aspiring writer, and Nathan, an aspiring musician, who meet and eventually form a tumultuous relationship. The comic was syndicated in several periodicals, including Chicago Nightlines, Out In The Mountains, Lavender Magazine and others, as well as on the internet. The series has also been collected into two books. The first book published with the aid of a Xeric Foundation grant. A translation into Spanish has also been published.


Kirby had his first venture into producing comics with the comic zine Strange Looking Exile, which also featured work by Diane DiMassa, Roberta Gregory, Nick Leonard and Alison Bechdel. The zine ran from 1991 till 1994.

Following that, Kirby began producing a new comic zine called Boy Trouble with co-editor David Kelly, a comics anthology that was published four issues as a zine, followed by a book in 2004. Boy Trouble features contributions and collaborations from the editors as well as a number of other artists and writers including Anonymous Boy, Craig Bostick, Jennifer Camper, C. Bard Cole, Michael Fahy, Tim Fish, Leanne Franson, Andy Hartzell, G.B. Jones, Steve MacIsaac, Sina Shamsavari, Ivan Velez Jr. and others.

In 2002, State Representative Nancy Sheltra (R-Derby) protested the presence of the publication Out In The Mountains in the Vermont Statehouse due to its inclusion of Kirby's strip featuring two bare-chested male cartoon characters kissing, which she deemed "pornographic".[2]

In 2006, an anthology of the best of Boy Trouble was released, entitled The Book of Boy Trouble, which also included new work and work in color. Besides the editors, Kirby and Kelly, the book featured sequential art by Anonymous Boy, Craig Bostick, C. Bard Cole, Jaime Cortez, Michael Fahy, Justin Hall, Andy Hartzell, Victor Hodge, Brett Hopkins, Nick Leonard, Steve MacIsaac, Josue Menjivar, Sina Shamsavari, D. Travers Scott, and Russ Turk. It was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award that same year[3] in the "Arts and Culture" section.

In 2008, The Book of Boy Trouble Volume 2: Born to Trouble was published, featured work by many of the artists from the first volume as well as work by Jennifer Camper, Derek Charm, Howard Cruse, Abby Denson, Tim Fish, Joan Hilty, G.B. Jones, Nick Leonard, Ed Luce, Jon Macy, Steve MacIsaac, Dave Ortega, Bill Roundy, and Robert Triptow.

Kirby was also a regular contributor to the ongoing queer comics anthology Juicy Mother, edited by Jennifer Camper, and released in 2005 and 2007.

In 2010 Robert Kirby began his ongoing LGBT comics anthology THREE, which was nominated for two Ignatz awards and received a Prism Comics Queer Press Grant in 2011. In 2014 his 33-person anthology QU33R was published by Northwest Press, winning the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection.



  • The Book of Boy Trouble 2: Born to Trouble, edited by Robert Kirby and David Kelly, Green Candy Press, 2008 ISBN 978-1-931160-65-0
  • The Book Of Boy Trouble, edited by Robert Kirby and David Kelly, Green Candy Press, 2006 ISBN 1-931160-45-7
  • Boy Trouble, edited by Robert Kirby and David Kelly, Boy Trouble Books, 2004, ISBN 0-9748855-0-9
  • THREE, edited by Robert Kirby. three issues published from 2010 to 2012.
  • QU33R, edited by Robert Kirby, 2014, from Northwest Press
  • What's Your Sign, Girl? Cartoonists Talk About Their Sun Signs, edited by Robert Kirby, 2015 from Ninth Art Press
  • The Shirley Jackson Project: Comics Inspired by Her Life and Work, edited by Robert Kirby, 2016, from Ninth Art Press




  1. ^ "Robert Kirby", Prism Comics, May 1, 2006, archived from the original on August 14, 2007, retrieved 2007-11-23 
  2. ^ Olson, Paul (February 2, 2003), "Twenty-Something Love in Pictures", Out in the Mountains, archived from the original on 2007-09-27, retrieved 2007-11-23 
  3. ^ "LGBT Books: 2006". Lambda Literary Foundation. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 

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