Robert Loss is a writer, educator, cultural critic, and musician living in Columbus, Ohio. He is an Assistant Professor in the Writing, Literature, and Philosophy Department at the Columbus College of Art and Design. He's also the mentor for the Young Writers' Studio at the Thurber House.
Loss divides his time between cultural criticism and creative writing. His cultural criticism focuses primarily on American popular music, comics, aesthetics and history. His book of music criticism Nothing Has Been Done Before: Seeking the New in 21st-Century American Popular Music was published by Bloomsbury in November 2017. His critical writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, Heavy Feather Review and elsewhere. He writes a monthly column for PopMatters, "Ties That Bind," which focuses on the intersections of popular music, politics, and American culture. His writing about comics has appeared in The Comics Journal, The Comics Grid, and the International Journal of Comic Art. He has presented papers on the art form of comics at SECAC, FATE, the SVA conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists, and the International Comic Arts Forum. In 2012 and 2013, he organized the Mix comics symposium at CCAD, an event which brought together nationally-recognized comics studies scholars and cartoonists such as keynote guests Chris Ware and Jeff Smith. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, MAYDAY, Filigree and elsewhere.
Loss was raised near Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1996, spent six years kicking around as a solo musician, interned at the Cleveland Playhouse, and moved to Columbus in 2002. He completed Ohio State's MFA creative writing program in 2005.
Since 1996 he has played music as a solo performer and in bands. He formed The Wells in 2003 and released an EP and full-length album. He now plays in Blind Engineer and is working on new studio material. He's played the best dive bars, hootenannies and coffee shops this side of the Mississippi River, from Nashville to D.C.
At various points he's been a bookseller, seller of pens at a harness racing track, ice-cream truck driver, tutor, editor, and grant writer. He once acted in a political ad only to see his scenery-chewing wind up on the cutting room floor.