Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert Rodi  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: 1950 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:

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Illinois Connection

Robert was born and still lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Robert Rodi was born in Chicago in the conformist 1950's. His first novels, which quickly gained him cult status, were deftly drawn satires of the city's gay scene ("Fag Hag," "Closet Case," "Drag Queen"). While continuing to write fiction he's branched out into nonfiction, the better to share his enthusiasm for dogs and all things Italian. Having written for both Vertigo and Marvel, Rodi also created several comic-book series, including 4 Horsemen, Codename: Knockout, and The Crossovers. A man of many talents, Rodi is also an actor, spoken-word performer, jazz singer, and the front man for the Chicago-based fusion rock band 7th Kind.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Fag Hag (Plume Fiction)
ISBN: 0452269407

Plume. 1993

Secretly in love with an unattainable gay artist named Peter, Natalie Stathis subtly poisons all Peter's romances with men until Lloyd Hood, a gay survivalist gun shop owner, enters Peter's life. Reprint.

Closet Case
ISBN: 0452272114

Plume. 1994

A brash, outrageous novel from the irresistible author of Fag Hag. Lionel Frank is a man as desperate to conceal his homosexuality from his ad agency colleagues as he is to indulge it at night. But poor Lionel is playing the straight man in a world where every success takes him one step closer to disaster.

What They Did to Princess Paragon: A Novel
ISBN: 0452271630

Plume. 1995

The relentlessly irreverent author of Fag Hag and Closet Case is back with a new novel that asks the burning question: Is the world ready for its first lesbian superhero? Brian Parrish, a brash gay cartoonist, is charged with updating the image of Princess Paragon, a creaky and virtuous heroine whose market share is expressed in decimals. His solution: change her hairdo, streamline her Spandex, and haul her out of the closet. It's a blockbuster idea sure to make Brian famous and attract a whole new readership. But for one devoted fan, it's an abomination. Jerome T. Kornacker worships the princess

his bedroom is her shrine. And for Jerome, the only way to save her from sapphic scandal is to put an end to Brian Parrish's career. With this in mind, he stalks Brian at a Chicago comic-book convention, where the cartoonist is scheduled to unveil his princess-cum-dyke. But when the outraged fan confronts his quarry, the result is an odd alliance that neither could have predicted - and that plunks their heroine into a creative Mixmaster. As if Jerome weren't enough to deal with, Brian also must contend with an editor who has her own plans for a politically correct princess

a lover who's absent without leave

and Jerome's mother, a malaprop-spouting demoness in peach. And only when it's too late does Brian understand what he's really done to Princess Paragon. Abounding in high camp, low farce, ferocious wit, and a perversely insistent morality, What They Did to Princess Paragon further establishes Robert Rodi as one of the most blistering and brilliant satirists of his day.

Drag Queen
ISBN: 0452273447

Plume. 1996

The well-ordered life of Mitchell Sayer, a gay attorney, is thrown into upheaval. His mother drops a bomb - he has a long-lost brother. This sibling isn't hard to find, but he may be hard to take. For while his driver's license reads Donald Sweet, he's better known as Kitten Kaboodle.

Kept Boy
ISBN: 0452273455

Plume. 1997

Once the favorite companion of the wealthy, fiftyish Farleigh Nock, Dennis Racine enlists the help of his two best friends, Lonnie Roach and Paulette Ng, as he tries to win back his man. Reprint.

The Birdcage: The Shooting Script
ISBN: 1557042772

Newmarket Press. 1999

A Writers Guild Award nominee for Best Screenplay, here is the complete script and special section "Talking with Nichols," with the director's comments on actors, directing, comedy, collaborations and more

commentaries on the production by Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and others involved in the film, stills, and complete cast and crew credits. 50 b/w photos.

The Newmarket Shooting Script Series features an attractive 7 x 9 1/4 inch format that includes a facsimile of the film's shooting script, as chosen by the writer and/or director, exclusive notes on the film's production and history, stills, and credits.

Bitch Goddess
ISBN: 0452283108

Plume. 2002

In Bitch Goddess, Robert Rodi turns his riotous wit on Hollywood sex and stardom. Told entirely through interviews, e-mails, fan magazine puff pieces, film reviews, shooting scripts, greeting cards, extortion notes, and court depositions, this is a hilarious account of the on-again, off-again career of Viola Chute, the B-grade sex symbol who slept her way to the middle-and slid downward from there.

After making a big comeback on a nighttime soap, Viola decides it's time to pen her memoirs. But when E. Manfred Harry, her ghostwriter, turns up some serious dirt, the bitch goddess fires him. The ever-resourceful Harry turns the book into an unauthorized tell-all biography, and Viola's star once again begins its descent...

Will she be asked back for a second season?
Will she make Celebrity Magazine's "Best-Dressed" list again this year?
Will her agent ever return her calls?


Praise for Robert Rodi:

"Rodi whips action around faster than Julia Child working up a souffle." (The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

"Irrestibly funny!" (Quentin Crisp)

When You Were Me
ISBN: 0758215339

Kensington. 2007

With the help of a "fusion witch" named Francesca, millionaire Jack Ackerly switches bodies with a hot young party boy named Corey Szaslo in an attempt to recapture his youth, and as they each live their new lives to the fullest, reality sets in when Jack's former lover returns.

Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World's Least Likely Agility Dog
ISBN: 1594630542

Hudson Street Press. 2009

Recounts the author's experiences training his Shetland sheepdog, Dusty, to perform in national agility competitions, strengthening their relationship.

Codename: Knockout Vol. 1: The Devil You Say
ISBN: 1401227988

Vertigo. 2010

Featuring artwork inspired by the "good girl" pin-ups of the 1950s and '60s, CODENAME: KNOCKOUT tells the fast-paced story of Angela St. Grace, a buxom agent for the clandestine agency of G.O.O.D. (Global Organization for the Obliteration of Dastardliness), and her loyal gay assistant Go Go Fiasco. Together they battle the forces of E.V.I.L. (Extralegal Vendors of Iniquity and Licentiousness) in exotic locales across the globe. There's just one snag: her mother is the head of GOOD and Angela's about to discover that mom has been less than honest about the fate of her supposedly dead father!

Seven Seasons in Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People
ISBN: 0345521056

Ballantine Books. 2011

Siena seems at first glance a typical Italian city: within its venerable medieval walls the citizens sport designer clothes, wield digital phones, and prize their dazzling local cuisine. But unlike neighboring Florence, Siena is still deeply rooted in ancient traditions—chiefly the spectacular Palio, in which seventeen independent societies known as contrade vie for bragging rights in an annual bareback horse race around the central piazza.

Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi. A Chicago writer with few friends in town and a shaky command of conversational Italian, he couldn’t be more out of place. Yet something about the sense of belonging radiating from the ritual-obsessed Sienese excites him, and draws him back to witness firsthand how their passionate brand of community extends beyond the Palio into the entire calendar year. Smitten, Rodi undertakes a plan to insinuate himself into this body politic, learn their ways, and win their acceptance.

Seven Seasons in Siena is the story of Rodi’s love affair with the people of Siena—and of his awkward, heartfelt, intermittently successful, occasionally disastrous attempts to become a naturalized member of the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. It won’t be easy. As one of the locals points out, someone who’s American, gay, and a writer is the equivalent of a triple unicorn in this corner of Tuscany. But like a jockey in the Palio outlasting the competition in the home stretch, Rodi is determined to wear down all resistance. By immersing himself in the life of the contrada over seven visits at different times of the year—working

in their kitchens, competing in their athletic events, and mastering the tangled politics of their various feuds and alliances—the ultimate outsider slowly begins to find his way into the hearts of this proud and remarkable people.

By turns hilarious and heartwarming, and redolent with the flavor of the Tuscan countryside, Seven Seasons in Siena opens a window on daily life in one of the most magical regions in all of Italy—revealing the joys to be found when we stop being spectators and start taking an active part in life’s rich pageant.

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers
ISBN: 0785149686

Marvel. 2011

There are two sides to every story. You've heard Thor's -- now it's time to hear Loki's. Odin's least favorite son rewrites Asgardian lore from his perspective, featuring the breathtaking painted artwork of Esad Ribic (WOLVERINE). In this story, Loki's insatiable lust for power, his conflicted sentiments toward Sif, his antipathy toward Balder, and the deep-seated feelings of longing and resentment toward his older brother, Thor, and uncaring father, Odin, will take on new meaning. And if that's not enough, just stare at the lush painted art by Ribic - you won't be disappointed!

COLLECTING:

Loki #1-4, Journey Into Mystery #85, Journey Into Mystery #112 (Tales of Asgard backup)

Thor: For Asgard
ISBN: 0785144455

Marvel. 2011

Get ready for an epic adventure showcasing the God of Thunder as you've never seen him before! The vassals of Asgard are in armed revolt...Odin is missing...Balder is dead...and the entire continent is battered by a years-long winter. How can Thor put the empire back together - especially with his mighty hammer Mjolnir mysteriously denied him?

COLLECTING:

Thor: For Asgard #1-7

Astonishing Thor, Vol. 1, No. 5
ISBN: 0785148760

Marvel. 2011

The God of Thunder finds himself battling a mysterious surge of natural catastrophes-hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes. At first, the Son of Odin suspects Zephyr, immortal mistress of the winds, but soon he finds that the climactic upheaval must be attributed to a much larger force... EGO, THE LIVING PLANET! From ROBERT RODI and MIKE CHOI! Spinning out of the destruction of Asgard, ASTONISHING THOR is an out-of-this-world adventure-where the entire universe hangs in the balance!

Thor: The Deviants Saga
ISBN: 0785163069

Marvel. 2012

Beneath the ruins of Asgard, the Deviant villainess Ereshkigal seeks a mystic means of saving her race from extinction--and finds instead a weapon capable of dissolving all reality. With the Eternals who would oppose her mysteriously vanished, Thor stands alone--to stop the entire Deviant race from dominating the world!

COLLECTING: Thor: The Deviants Saga #1-5.

Bitch In a Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen from the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps (Volume 1)
ISBN: 1469922657

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

Novelist Rodi (Fag Hag, The Sugarman Bootlegs) launches a broadside against the depiction of Jane Austen as a “a woman’s writer … quaint and darling, doe-eyed and demure, parochial if not pastoral, and dizzily, swooningly romantic — the inventor and mother goddess of ‘chick lit.’” Instead he sees her as “a sly subversive, a clear-eyed social Darwinist, and the most unsparing satirist of her century.” In this volume, which collects and amplifies two-and-a-half years’ worth of blog entries, he combs through the first three novels in Austen’s canon — Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park — with the aim of charting her growth as both a novelist and a humorist, and of shattering the notion that she’s a romantic of any kind. “Hiarious ... Rodi’s title is a tribute. He’s angry that the Austen craze has defanged a novelist who’s ‘wicked, arch, and utterly merciless. She skewers the pompous, the pious, and the libidinous with the animal glee of a natural-born sadist’ … Like Rodi, I believe Austen deserves to join the grand pantheon of gadflies: Voltaire and Swift, Twain and Mencken.” - Lev Raphael, The Huffington Post

The Sugarman Bootlegs
ISBN: 1468071157

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

When two friends discover old video footage of an unknown saloon singer, they try to pass it off as bootlegs of a long-lost cabaret legend. But their prank backfires when the viral sensation takes on a vivid—and lethal—life of its own…and as its fame increases, so does the body count. Scaldingly funny, brutally unsentimental, nerve-shreddingly suspenseful—and featuring a mid-story switcheroo on par with Hitchcock’s "Psycho"—THE SUGARMAN BOOTLEGS reads like the bastard child of "All About Eve" and "Frankenstein". It’s a highly addictive cross-cultural mash-up as only Robert Rodi (FAG HAG, KEPT BOY) could do it. "A take no prisoners tale of the dark side of fame—with recognizably over-the-top characters and an 'oh no she didn't' twist. Will keep you reading—and guessing—until the very last page." - Cynthia Ashworth, author of HER LATEST SUPPORTING ROLE

Avery Overman's Adventures In Underbed
ISBN: 1484947517

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

Avery Overman has a very high temperature. In fact, his mom says he's "burning up" and makes him stay in bed in the middle of the day. Avery doesn't like being treated like a baby, but he has to admit he isn't feeling very good

he's dizzy and he's sweating a lot. When he accidentally falls out of his covers, he notices how much nicer it looks under the bed: darker, quieter, and cooler. So he shimmies beneath the box spring...and discovers that Underbed is actually a bigger place than he ever imagined—a strange world filled with cattle rustlers and mobsters and robots and alligators, and a slippery menace called Copperhead who seems to be after Avery himself. His only hope of survival is a charming but mysterious protector who is never quite what he seems to be. ~ Wickedly funny, fast-paced and suspenseful, Avery Overman's Adventures In Underbed is a 21st-century descendant of Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, with more crazy changes of scene than you can get from flipping TV channels. It's a wild ride through sheer imagination, with an ending that warms the heart.


Awards

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