Shut Up & Love the Rain
by Robert Wildwood Author
Queer anarchist happiness thru good living
In Shut Up and Love the Rain, Oakland-based zinester Robnoxious takes us along his path from early sexual exploration to his current sex-positive, constantly-deprogramming, über-healthy queerness! Rob's writing and comics show us that experimentation should start early, that guilty pleasures needn't be guilty, and that talking it over and being honest with each other will lead to nothing but good. Over the course of 64 pages you get personal history and sex/queer-related reviews. There's hilarious, illuminating essays, intimate accounts of relationships outside the margins, and a touching, inspiring interview with Rob's parents after his mom came out as transgender. Subheadlined “To Queer Anarchist Happiness Thru Good Living,” Rob's comix and writing zine is just that—happy, living well, queer, anarchist, and damn proud!
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Comments & Reviews
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"Shut up & love the rain is a great read for anyone looking for a good combination of humorous and sad (sometimes depressing) stories ranging from robots having sex to teenage boys “experimenting”."
Wildly uncomfortable to read...Great essays on how being queer means more than just being attracted to other guys...his dad is coming out as a transgendered woman at the age of sixty five.
"There’s a lot of value to be found in this digest sized book, at just $3 for 64 pages. It’s a mix of traditional comics with some essays, free form thought pieces, and interviews about sexual awakening in all its glorious permutations. Whether it’s about self-pleasure, the power and sensuality of sex, or more complex topics presented to any vanilla middle class sensibilities, the forthcoming nature of the writing is the strongest hook. Microcosm uses a bit of mission statement style text which indicates, and I’m paraphrasing, that they wish to “empower the disenfranchised to nurture their creative side,” and this particular book is a great example of that ethos. More than anything, the stories relayed by the creator seek to engrain a sex-positive vs. sex-negative culture, regardless of who’s having the sex, how they self-identify, how they choose to do it, who they choose to do it with, and what society-at-large’s perception of those attributes might be. It succeeds because it functions honestly, with care and compassion, and plenty of socially graceful articulation. In a way, it’s almost Rob’s life story told by way of his awakening sexuality and all of his varied experiences, including those of his family of origin that have touched him significantly. We learn that the truth is always in flux, as identity can be continually defined and redefined. From a technical standpoint, there are actually dozens of typos found in the book, including getting the name of a Yoshihiro Tatsumi book incorrect while reviewing it(!). However, the wide eyed figures are seen taking in the world around them without judgment, and their accepting faces remind us to love people and things in spite of our pre-conceived notions of perfection or normalcy. Grade A-."
"I just finished reading Robnoxious‘ zine Shut Up & Love the Rain and he managed to make my world a better place to live in the span it took me to read the stories he had to tell. I especially liked the comic stripes that told stories from his childhood, or rather his own private sexual-biography and education (actually let me re-phrase that, Rudimentary Rubbings, Early Attempts, and Romantic Sprout are all pretty freakin’ brilliant examples of storytelling/comics)."
Took me by surprise, delivering a warm, charming family narrative that stayed with me for days afterward.
"This is a personal exploration of all things queer by Robnoxious. It’s got cartoons about fooling around with body parts and ideas of all sorts. The stories are about his varied and unique perspectives when it comes not just to sexuality but everything else as well. Neither straight nor gay nor bi, Robnoxious simply identifies with queer and goes on to define this in a simple, yet straight forward way. To him the word queer simply means “I am not normal” I like that. This is a well-written and very honest zine that does an excellent job at examining the grey areas of human sexuality and life."
"Robnoxious brings us along as he walks us along through his path of experimentation that led to his now very sex-positive homosexuality. The most interesting part of to me was the interview with his parents after his father came out as transgender."
The book deals primarily with Rob's early sexual explorations and includes a touching essay about his father, who came out as transgendered late in his life. It's a quirky mixture of simplistically drawn comics and prose work that's been fucked up and photocopied in the grand zine tradition. While the book may feel like it's targeted to anyone who's ever had to deal with an "alternative" sexuality, I think it has a universal theme and would appeal to anyone who's ever had to deal with sex, period. Rob's writings and drawings are frank and honest, candid in the way that we need more sexual discussions to be. Personal stories like his are an important and necessary part of sex education because, at it's core, sex is always about people."
"Illuminating essays, comics, a touching interview with Rob’s parents after his father came out as transgendered and more. Subheadlined 'To Queer Anarchist Happiness Thru Good Living.' Interesting for anybody of any sexual identity."
"Comix and diary-style zines and interviews about youthful sexual exploration. Perhaps the warmest, most endearing, most honest presentation of underage gay sex you'll ever read. Transgendered relatives, self-blow jobs, and failed love notes made Rob the man he is today...a man who is far from noxious."