Rob Balder is a professional webcomic creator who has also ventured into game design, comedy music, publishing and new media business development.
Most of his time is consumed writing and producing Erfworld, an epic fantasy/comedy comic about an obsessive strategy gamer who is summoned to fight a real war. Erfworld was co-created in 2006 with illustrator Jamie Noguchi, and continues now with the talents of illustrator Xin Ye. Time magazine named Erfworld one of its top ten graphic novels of 2007, and Wired.com called it “Geekiest Comic Ever.” The first physical book of the series, “Erfworld: the Battle for Gobwin Knob,” was published in February of 2011. In March of 2012, Erfworld’s “Year of the Dwagon” Kickstarter raised just under $85,000 in fan donations for developmental projects related to the comic.
From 2004 to 2011, Rob also wrote and performed comedy songs, and recorded two solo CDs. The title track from his first CD, “Rich Fantasy Lives” was co-written with Filk Hall of Famer Tom Smith. It won the Pegasus award for Best Filk Song of 2007. In 2009 he collaborated with -=ShoEboX=- of Worm Quartet on a CD called “Baldbox: the Dumb Album.” Rob’s songs have often been heard on the Doctor Demento Show. In January 2007, he and six other comedy music performers founded The Funny Music Project, where they present new songs every single day, released under a Creative Commons license. The FuMP won the 2009 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Music Podcast. The annual Logan Awards for Excellence in Comedy Music were his brainchild, and Rob served as the first year’s chair in 2011, organizing a jury of musicians and fans which included “Weird Al” Yankovic. In October 2011, Rob reluctantly announced he was putting all music-related activities on indefinite hiatus in order to focus on comics and business.
In 2001, Rob created the clip-art comic strip “PartiallyClips,” which is widely read online and has appeared in more than two dozen newspapers and magazines. A book collection of the strip, “Suffering for my Clip Art: the Best of PartiallyClips, volume 1” was published in 2005. Since 2010, the strip has continued under the authorship of Tim Crist.
He is the Associate Editor of Nth Degree, a fanzine covering genre fiction, gaming, comics, fandom and more. He writes science fiction and fantasy, including one unpublished novel and many short stories and poems.
Rob also teamed up with Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance to create “Get Nifty,” a stand-alone card game themed around Pete’s comic. Get Nifty debuted in stores in 2006, through Blood & Cardstock Games.
In August 2010, Rob launched a collaborative project with 6-time Hugo award winner Ben Bova. “A Duel in the Somme” is a 24-page color comic based on a story by Dr. Bova, and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Bill Holbrook. The comic appears in its entirety at http://www.duelinthesomme.com, and physical copies can be had with a $10 donation to the creators.