Rob-Kirby

Master Reviews List

Here at Bisexual Books, we receive frequent queries for lists of books with X demographic, genre and/or quality to them. Often we reply with a few suggestions culled from our recent memory which may not be reflective of the full gamut of works we’ve reviewed.

This list isn’t perfect. We will update it within a week or two of every new review we post. This list is not heavily detailed (for heavier details, please click the book’s title and read our full original review!) but should prove a handy resource for anyone who would like to find our thoughts on specific titles, good bi YA (or historical fiction, nonfiction, erotica, etc), character demographics, etc.

We hope you find it useful!

Books We Loved:

Adaptation by Malinda Lo: Dystopian fiction, bisexual female, sci-fi

American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men by David McConnell: True crime, gender and masculinity studies

Anything That Loves edited by Zan Christensen: Comics, non-binary, anthology

Avengers Academy vol. 3 by Christos Gage: Comics, bisexual female, bi-ally

Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay: Non-fiction, bisexual feminist poc author

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson: Fantasy, Indonesian bisexual male

Best Bi Short Stories: Bisexual Fiction edited by Sheela Lambert: bisexual authors and characters

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin: Photo book, trans teens, genderqueer, bisexual, pansexual

Bi-Normal by M. G. Higgins: YA, bisexual males

The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists For Those Who Go Both Ways by Nicole Kristal and Mike Syzmanski: Humor, coming out, nonfiction

Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau: Sci-fi, bisexual male, bisexual author, non-con, erotica

Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez: YA, LGB characters, poc characters

Burnt Toast B&B by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz: Romance, trans bisexual male, explicit sex

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: “big queer meta Harry Potteresque fanficion book thingy”

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare: Fantasy, Indonesian bisexual male 

Clearcut by Nina Shengold: Bi male characters, historical fiction, polyamory

Climbing the Date Palm by Shira Glassman: Fantasy, Queer and ethnic diversity, feminist 

Closer to Home: Bisexuality and Feminism, edited by Elizabeth Reba Weise: Non-fiction anthology, bisexual scholarship/academia

Coda by Emma Trevayne: YA, dystopian, bisexual male, sci-fi

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: YA, horror, vampires, bisexual male, transgender woman

Death’s Door by Sam Saturday: Comic book, horror, romance, pansexual author 

Fairest vol.2 by Lauren Beukes and Bill Willingham: Comics, fantasy, bisexual female

Fake by Sanami Matoh: Yaoi, bisexual male

Far From You by Tess Sharpe: YA, mystery, bisexual female, disability

Fireflies at Absolute Zero by Erynn Rowan Laurie: Poetry, bisexual author

Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson: Sci-fi, bisexual females, polyamory, explicit sex

Frenemy of the People by Nora Olsen: Contemporary fiction, romance, bisexual female, disability

Gender Failure by Rae Spoon and Ivan E. Coyote: Personal essays, non-binary transgender authors

Gender Outlaws: the Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman: Essays, genderqueer, transgender, bisexual authors

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin: Intersex protagonist, tw rape

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith: Dystopian YA, bug apocalypse, bisexual male

Heart Body Soul, Erotica with Character by various authors: Pretty much every queer configuration of erotica you could ever ask for.

Honeybee: a Collection of Poems About Letting Go by Trista Mateer: Poetry, bisexual author

The Horizontal Poet by Jan Steckel: Poetry, bisexual author

Inheritance by Malinda Lo: Sci-fi, bisexual female, romance

James Baldwin: A Biography by David Leeming: Biography, black history, bisexual male

Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin: Poetry, black author

Joy Street by Laura Foley: bisexual poetry 

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves: Non-fiction, diverse array of queer authors

Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner: Non-fiction, bisexual feminist politics

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Sci-fi, dystopian, YA, bisexual female

Map of Home by Randa Jarrar: Bisexual Middle Eastern protagonist

Murder On The Mountain by Jaime Fessenden: Mystery, bi male

My Education by Susan Choi: Contemporary fiction, bisexual female, high-brow

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics edited by Justin Hall: Comics, queer diversity

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming: Memoir, bisexual author, tw domestic violence

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz: YA, bisexual female poc, mental health struggles.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg: YA, gay coming out

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis: Fantasy, diverse characters, bisexual disabled author

Out in Africa: Same-Sex Desire in Sub-Saharan Literatures & Cultures by Chantal Zabus: Scholarship, non-fiction, African queer culture

Pantomime by Laura Lam: Steampunk fantasy, YA, bisexual intersex character

The Pendragon Legacy by Sarah Luddington: Historical fantasy, bisexual and gay males, romance, TW rape 

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander by Ann Herendeen: Historical romance, bisexual male 

Promises, Promises: A Romp with Plenty of Dykes, a Unicorn, an Ogre, an Oracle, a Quest, a Princess, and True Love with a Happily Ever After by LJ Baker: Fantasy satire, humor, lesbian characters, anti-heteronormativity, lacking bisexual content 

Qu33r: New Comics From 33 Creators edited by Rob Kirby: Comics, queer and ethnic diversity

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler: Memoir, gay coming out

Saga vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples: Comic, Sci-fi, queer and ethnic diversity

Seducer Fey by Cullyn Royson: Sci-fi, fantasy, bisexual and pansexual characters, diverse ethnicities, non-cis characters

Shadowplay by Laura Lam: Steampunk fantasy YA, bisexual intersex character

She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya: bisexual male poc, Hindu mythology

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Gay coming out YA with bisexual characters and zero biphobia

Some of Us Did NOT Die: New and Selected Essays by June Jordan: Non-fiction, bisexual feminist black author

Sparks by S. J. Adams: lesbian coming out YA that doesn’t demonize bisexuality

Starling by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae: bisexual male supporting character, contemporary fiction 

The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj: Sci-fi, erotica, agender characters, polyamory, explicit sex

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: YA, Afro-Brazilian characters, bisexual male, dystopian

That’s So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community edited by Kevin L. Nadal: Essays, diverse queer subjects and authors

Tides by Betsy Cornwell: Fantasy, adult queer romance

Tommy’s Tale by Alan Cumming: Contemporary fiction, bisexual author and characters, explicit sex

The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt: Historical fiction, bisexual male

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, and the Erotic Edge edited by Tristan Taormino: BDSM non-fiction anthology, queer and ethnic diversity TW: Nudity and explicit depictions of sex and BDSM 

Wallflower by Heidi Belleau: Erotica, genderqueer, Asian and Inuit leads, explicit,

White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison: Supernatural Mystery, female bisexual, vampires, fantasy 

A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz: Historical fiction, bisexual males, western lit

A Woman Like Me by Bettye LaVette: Memoir, black bisexual author

Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen: Comics, bisexual black male, diverse ethnic and queer cast 

Books With Problematic or Mediocre Elements That We Still Recommend:

American Savage by Dan Savage: Non-fiction, essays, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Dan Savage will always be a tool.

The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television by Maria San Filippo: Non-fiction, academia, scholarship 

Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence by Rebecca Walker: Memoir, parenthood, bisexual in passing

Bad Company by K. A. Mitchell: Erotica, bisexual male, explicit sex

Bad Dyke: Salacious Stories From a Queer Life by Allison Moon: Memoir, bisexuality, BDSM, polyamory, internalized biphobia 

Best Bisexual Women’s Erotica edited by Cara Bruce: Erotica, hit and miss

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin: Screenplay, queer protagonists

Bi Lives: Bisexual Women edited by Kata Orndorff: Non-fiction, essays, internalized biphobia

Bisexuality: A Reader and Sourcebook edited by Thomas Geller: Essays, dated

The Book of Joel by AR Fiano: Mystery, widespread in queer and ethnic diversity, see review for long list of trigger warnings 

Bound By Honor by S.E. Jakes: Erotica, Bisexual males, BDSM

Coming Around: Parenting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Kids by Anne Dohrenwend: Non-fiction, No good bi content

Corona by Bushra Rehman: Semi-autobiography, queer Pakistani representation 

Daddy by Madison Young: Memoir, bisexual female, BDSM, explicit sex

Different Slopes by Bill Lee: Historical fiction, bisexual male, light reading with an erotic edge

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour: Lesbian YA

Diverse Energies edited by Joe Monti and Tobias S. Buckell: Sci-fi anthology, queer people of color

The Dom with a Safeword by Sorcha Black, Leia Shaw, and Cari Silverwood: Erotica, female biseual, BDSM, explicit sex, disjointed narrative

Ebenezer by JoSelle Vanderhooft: Fantasy, holiday, bisexual female,

The Elementals by Saundra Mitchell: YA, historical fiction, bisexual females, doesn’t stand well on its own

The Faith, Love, and Devotion series by Tere Michaels: Romance, bisexual males, cliche 

Flagrant Conduct: the Story of Lawrence v. Texas by Dale Carpenter: Historical non-fiction, bi erasing

For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home edited by Keith Boykin: Non-fiction anthology, cissexist gay

Franky Gets Real by Mel Bossa: Contemporary fiction, bisexual male, lighthearted romance

Gabriel’s City by Layla Hunter: Fantasy, erotica, bisexual male, explicit sex

Giving an Inch: The Professor’s Rule by Heidi Belleau: Erotica, bisexual male, explicit sex, short story, no plot

Graveyard Sparrow by Kayla Bashe: Fantasy, bisexual female, romance, plodding clunky writing

Hild by Nicola Griffith: Historical fiction, bisexual female, slow-paced

How I Paid For College by Marc Acito: Contemporary fiction, horrible characters

The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block: Fantasy, YA, bisexual female, transgender male, sexual assault TW, transphobia 

The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy edited by Tom Cardamone: Comics anthology, gay men

Let it Ride by L.C. Chase: bisexual cowboy romance, TW explicit sex 

Lips Like Ice by Peggy Barnett: Sci-Fi, bisexual female, transgender male 

Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe by Harrie Farrow: bisexual male coming of age, polyamory, explicit sex 

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva: YA, bisexual male, monosexism

Pink by Lili Wilkinson: YA, bisexual female

Polished by Alyssa Turner: Erotica, explicit, bisexual male, BDSM, polyamory

The Price of Salt by Claire Morgan (pseudonym for Patricia Highsmith): Historical fiction, bisexual female, misogyny

Red Sonja vol. 2 by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani: Fantasy, bisexual female, comics

Revival by Stephen King: Horror, surprise bisexual female

She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters: lesbian YA, bisexual villainy

Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff: Supernatural fantasy, bisexual female 

Skim by Mariko Tamaki: Lesbian coming of age, Comics

Sleeping Moon by Kano Miyamoto: Yaoi, supernatural mystery, bisexual male characters, erasure, bi tropes

Spit and Passion by Cristy C. Road: Autobiographical graphic novel, queer Cuban author, explicit sex

Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau: Erotica, bisexual male, explicit sex, BDSM, unsympathetic characters

Stumptown vol. 2 by Greg Rucka: Comics, bisexual female, queer coding, violence

The Swede by Robert Karjel: Good but somewhat disjointed crime novel. No real bisexual content.

That’s Revolting: Queer Strategies For Resisting Assimilation edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: Diverse queer authors and themes, Personal essays, politics

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci: Sci-fi, bisexual female, bisexual cliches

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice: Supernatural contemporary fiction, queer characters, lacking in ethnic and gender diversity

When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience edited by Kate Lynn Hibbard: Poetry anthology, queer authors and subjects 

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson: Memoir, often aimless 

Books That Are Awful:

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar: Fantasy, vague bisexuality, extremely boring

The Bisexual Spouse edited by Ivan Hill: Non-fiction, bisexual erasure

Bisexual Vegetarian Zombies by Ron Albury: Zombie fiction, bisexual characters, misogyny

Bottled Up Secret by Brian McNamara: Coming out fiction, m/m, chock full of biphobia 

Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri: Wildly inconsistent anthology

Collide by J. R. Lenk: bisexual coming out, terribly written

Confessions of a Bisexual Husband by Mark Bentley Cohen: Memoir, bisexual male, non-consent, infidelity, bisexual stereotypes

Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian: Just nope.

A Desired Past by Leila J. Rupp: bisexual erasing, transgender erasing, historically inaccurate 

The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George: YA, beautifully written biphobic villain garbage

Directing Herbert White by James Franco: phobic, slut shaming, boring

Double Crush by Sally Bosco: Too cliche

The Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger: Terrible addition to otherwise good series of novels

King of Angels by Perry Brass: Contemporary fiction, coming of age, bisexual and gay males, underage explicit sex, murder

Matched by Ally Condie: Dystopian romance, heteronormative, boring 

The Meadowlark Sings by Helen Ruth Schwartz: Dystopian, Bisexual erasure

No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace: Best part of this book is its cover

Otherwise by Linda Oatman High: forced agender, nonsensical

Plan B by SJD Peterson: Erotica, transphobic

Reclaiming Queer, edited by Erin J Rand: Non-fiction, biphobic, bisexual erasure

Second Hand by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton: romance, bisexual/gay males, poorly written

Songmaster by Orson Scott Card: queer phobic garbage, Sci-fi

Starstruck by L. A. Witt: bisexual male, romance, explicit sex, bi erasure

Stonewall by Ann Bausum: Historically inaccurate, bisexual erasing, transgender erasing 

Swans and Klons by Nora Olsen: YA, dystopian, terrible

This Is a Book For Parents of Gay Kids by Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo: Extreme biphobia, all the nope

The Tolerance Trap by Suzanna Danuta Walters: Non-fiction, boring, bisexual erasure

When Your Lover is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal by Susan Forward: Non-fiction, biphobic garbage

Winterspell by Clare Legrand: bad bisexual tropes, YA fantasy, TW sexual coercion 

Wonderland by David-Matthew Barnes: Rushed, cliched, confusing 

You Can Tell Just By Looking by Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini, and Michael Amico: Cissexist garbage

2

Can we talk about what this means though?

Okay, so this means Zelda, FZero and Animal Crossing are all canon to Mario, DK and Yoshi’s universes. 

Pokemon is a game in Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem is a game in Mario, meaning that they exist as games in that world. 

Kid Icarus Uprising proves that all those are games in his world and that it’s connected to Metroid (Komaytos), which is connected to Kirby (Dreamland 3’s Samus cameo).

So the universe hierarchy for Nintendo is: 
KI/Kirby/Metroid/ROB are the highest Nintendo Universe. 
Mario/AC/Zelda/F-Zero are games for them.
Pokemon/FE is a game for THEM.

JESUS

Hey folks! SPX is THREE DAYS AWAY! And here’s my list of LGBTQ creators and LGBTQ content at SPX. Check these tables out! And see you there.

A12A » Anna Archie Bongiovanni
A14 » L Nichols
B5B » Declan McCarthy, Miles Cook
B6B » Molly Ostertag
C10 » Jess Fink
C14 » Kevin Jay Stanton & Paul Reinwand
D6 » Margaret Trauth
D7A » Tony Breed
D10B » Hazel Newlevant
E12 » Penina Gal
F4 » Kris Dresen, JD Glass
G1 » Rachel Dukes
G3 » Chris Kindred
G11 » Ed Luce
H1 » Dechanique
H8 » Sabin Cauldron
H9 » M.R. Trower
H12A » Dylan Edwards (Northwest Press)
H12B » Rob Kirby (Northwest Press & Ninth Art Press)
H13B-14 » RM Rhodes & Sara P
J14 » Bex (California College of the Arts)
K9 » C Spike Trotman (Iron Circus, Smut Peddler)
N4 » Kou Chen, Eric Alexander Arroyo, Emily Forster, Aatmaja Pandya, S. M. Vidaurri (Boy I Love You)
N12A » Blue Delliquanti
N13 » Kevin Czapiewski, Annie Mok, Cathy G Johnson, Jessi Zabarsky (Czap Books)
W19A » Joyana McDiarmid
W32 » Evan Dahm
W33 » Danielle Corsetto
W76-78 » Jeremy Sorese (Nobrow)

Also, so you may see these folks walking the floor:

Kaylee Rowena
Kathy Rex 

Whit's Thursday Review: 'QU33R' [Edited by Rob Kirby]

Let’s be honest. Reviewing an anthology is hard. Why? Because you are judging it on two levels: that of the individual stories and that of the editing. What do I mean by this? Well, one deals with evaluating each story on its own merit. When reviewing an anthology it’s near impossible to cover all of the stories adequately. And further, it’s impossible to like all of them. On the other hand, you have to judge the editing. The editor is crucial to the success of an anthology, as the editor must select and combine separate stories into a book in a way that makes sense. Weaker parts of an anthology can subtract from the stronger parts making for an uneven product. As I said, it’s  inevitable on some level. But the importance lies in the editor having a vision that weaves a thread throughout the whole piece, tying everything together by the end of the book.

In the case of QU33R, an anthology edited by Robert Kirby, all I can say are positive things. Why? Because the individual stories are quite strong and Kirby’s editing makes for a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Kirby has been editing anthologies for a while, and it’s quite clear to me that he’s very skilled at it. QU33R however, is a big leap forward for him for several reasons. First, visually it’s quite arresting and clever, for instance using a rainbow header that spans the book. The feel of the book is nice and the jacket is colorfully covered with individual faces exploring multiple identities. Second and more importantly though, Kirby has an editing style that does not stifle individual artists from exploring their visions, but one that allows for their pieces to complement each other.

The book starts off quite strongly with Eric Orner’s “Porno” and Anne Murphy’s “Mother’s Sister”. Both artists deal with being haunted by the past, but in opposite ways. Orner recalls his process of coming out and regrets concerning a possible sin of omission, while Murphy reconstructs the life of her Aunt Helen, a dynamic yet somewhat mysterious family member who was most likely a lesbian. In Steve MacIsaac’s story “Vacant Lots”, he runs into an old bully at the supermarket years later and learns to make peace with his painful past.

Many of the stories such as those by MariNaomi, Rob Kirby, and Sina Sparrow delve into past romantic relationships, exploring their complexities as well as the fickleness of love. The take away from these concerns the struggle between sexual attraction/chemistry and miscommunication in certain relationships that we all experience at some point in our dating life. The most developed exploration of this is in Justin Hall’s “Seductive Summer”, which was one of my favorite stories in the collection. He experiences young love, wrestling with what his relationship boundaries are as he learns more about himself and what his needs are. Ultimately he realizes that you can’t make other people into who you want them to be.

While many of the autobio stories stir up painful emotions, some are humorous and lighthearted such as Carrie McNinch’s “Toot Toot HEYYYYYYY Beep Beep”, a first love situation that charmingly allows McNinch to discover her love for disco. Ed Luce’s “Kindness of Strangers” while most likely more semi-autobiographical, bring us into a subculture that the protagonist initially finds himself somewhat terrified of but eases into.

Not all stories are autobiographical or semi-autobiographical. There are some campy and pop culture-based pieces woven throughout the book, making for an engaging pace. “Just Another Night in Carbon City”, by Jennifer Camper, is an homage to old-school crime dramas complete with a scandalous and dangerous lesbian dalliance. “So Young, So Talented, So What?” by Jennifer Camper and Michael Fahy, satirizes the “typical” artist’s move to the big city to well…make it big. Things don’t quite turn out as planned, leading to a somewhat disturbing ending. Eric Kostiuk Williams explores the popularity of the show ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, in “Sissy That Walk”, which will make you chuckle if you’re familiar with the show. He explores how bonding over pop culture, especially material that pushes boundaries, is community building. Sasha Steinberg also does a short story about drag queen who destroys a Walmart with her superpowers. That description does it little justice, but I assure you it’s fierce.

There’s no dearth of creative pieces in QU33R. Andy Hartzell’s “Manning/Lamo Project” follows a controversial political exchange while the protagonist explores their gender identity. Nicole J. Georges'’"Grief" is a very personal and thoughtful meditation on self-defeating behaviors. Ivan Velez, Jr.’s “Oso Oro: the night I got my hero card… ” takes the reader on an erotic adventure into a secret gay mask bar full of all sorts of fantastical creatures. In his untitled piece, John Macy remembers his historical and fictional muses, ultimately acknowledging his passion for being a cartoonist. Marian Runk leads us through the transition from winter to spring in a sweet and quiet journal comic with lovely pastel colors. And L. Nichol’s “Confession” is a perfect way to round out the book, as it highlights the juxtaposition between not defining yourself (ie. gender identity; in this case identifying as either male or female) and identifying as part of a larger group (ie. being queer). This is a nuanced sentiment to leave with, and one that I assume Kirby intentionally thought about when organizing the pieces.

Kirby certainly has a vision. It’s one that celebrates 33 contemporary queer artists, allowing them to authentically tell their own diverse stories in whatever storytelling style they want. And they may all be contemporary, but their work often wrestles with their past or explores their worries and hopes for the future.

Many of the themes throughout the anthology deal with LGBTQ-specific issues such as “coming out”, living in secrecy about one’s sexual identity, HIV/AIDS within the community, and gay erotica. Overall though, the deeper themes represent what it means to be human, whether it be exploration, concerns about exposure, miscommunication, community, or self-discovery. And that’s why providing a space for those with historically marginalized identities is vital to us on a larger scale. It lets us realize our shared humanity.

Toronto Comics Art Fair 2013

The Toronto Comics Art Fair (TCAF) is nigh! Friday I’ll be on 2 panels: one on LGBTQ Comics in Libraries at 9:45am, and the other on maintaining life and work balance as a cartoonist (or, “my life as a headless chicken”) at 1pm. Then, I do a signing event at Glad Day Books (the world’s oldest LGBT bookstore!) with Zan Christensen that night at 7pm. Saturday and Sunday I’ll be tabling with my buddy Robert M. Kirby at table 202 in the Toronto Public Library! Come and check out our wares! Finally one more panel at 12:15pm on Sunday on Queer Comics. Whew!