I am back again with another recommendations post for Pride month. This time around I am going to be recommending graphic novels and comics that have LGBTQ+ characters and themes.
Graphic novels and comics are totally having a moment for me right now, but I will go into that more in another post, so it only made sense to share the 7 comics and graphic novels that I am really excited to read. I hope that some of them might catch your interest, whether you love graphic novels and comics or haven’t quite gotten into them yet.
Fun Home: A Family Traicomic by Alison Bechdel
Bechdel? Bechdel? Where have you heard that before? Well the Bechdel Test for one. Yep, that’s right. This fabulous lady created the Bechdel Test, which is a test used to evaluate the protrayal of women in fiction. There are three steps (1) there are at least two named women, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something other than a man. This test is often used in relation to movies. But enough of that awesomeness.
This graphic novel is a memoir of Bechdel’s life and her relationship with her father. Her father, who was distant and exacting, was an English Teacher and a funeral home director, Bechdel and her family called the funeral home the Fun Home. Bechdel had recently come out as a lesbian and gone to college, when she found out her father was also gay, however soon after he died and she was left to resolve the mystery of her father.
(Lesbian and Gay characters)
The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
This one is a WebComic, or at least it started as one. In the span of on day, Amal breaks off his arranged marriage, comes out to his conservative parents, and goes on a bender. When he wakes up he finds TJ making him breakfast in his kitchen. TJ says they had made a pact to drive all the way from Berkley to Providence. The rules? Amal does the driving and TJ pays the way. The reason for this trip? Amal promised his sister he would be there for her graduation from Brown University and TJ has his reasons. But that’s a lot of time in a car for things to get interesting.
This just sounds like all kinds of adorable. I’m sure there will be lots of stops along the way, getting to know each other, and interesting moments in this one. I can’t wait to see where it ends up.
Blue Is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
Now, there is a movie by the same name, based on this graphic novel, that I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about. Well, to be honest, I have heard a lot of bad reviews. That being said, I haven’t heard a lot about the graphic novel. Either way, I’m intrigued.
Clementine is a junior in high school. She seems average enough. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town she wanders into a lesbian bar. There she meets Emma; a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Clementine finds herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and ideas about her identity.
This one sounds like it’ll be a look at what it’s like to be a teenager questioning their sexuality, which many people have experienced. It will also be interesting to see how Clementine’s family and friends react to the situation.
(Lesbian and Gay characters)
Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Young Avengers is exactly what it sounds like, Avengers, but young. However, these Avengers are the children of previous Avengers, but they don’t want to be like their parents. They want to be themselves. It’s what they do that is important, not what their parents did. This series brings Wiccan, Hulkling and Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop with Kid Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America together. When a figure from Loki’s past emerges, Wiccan makes a huge mistake that has huge consequences for everyone.
I will be honest. Just the fact that these are kid superheroes has got me hooked. But, to make it even more amazing pretty much all of these characters are LGBTQ+. There are male/male relationships, female/female relationships, bisexual characters, and characters with unidentified sexualities. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like my kind of comic.
(Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and undisclosed characters)
The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
This one is written by the same team that worked on Young Avengers. Every ninety years, twelve gods are reincarnated as humans. In two years they are dead. They are both loved and hated. This series is filled with LGBTQ+ representation. From traditionally male characters being reincarnated as female, genderqueer characters, transgender, ambiguous sexuality and gender identity this series has got you covered. The story follows Laura who interacts with these deities and supernatural reincarnations. As the reincarnates discover who they are it grants them great fame and supernatural powers.
This seems like a great read for the lover of the supernatural. I mean, one of the characters is Lucifer reincarnated as a girl named Luci. So… I don’t know, supernatural gods and goddesses with superpowers who become famous pop stars? But also have a limited life span? Sounds intriguing to me.
(Genderqueer, transgender characters, and ambiguous sexualities)
The Backstagers by James Tynion IV
Jory transfers to an all-boys school. He is the new kid and is taken in by the only group who doesn’t treat him as such. The lowly stage crew, called The Backstagers. Jory is then introduced to the magical world that lives beyond the curtain. They venture into the unknown and try to create the best play the high school has ever seen.
This comic series is filled with all different kinds of boys, displays of masculinity and femininity. There are gay, trans, and varying expressions of being a young boy. I think it’s actually amazing to have a comic that highlights all the different ways to be a teenage boy, looks into the world of theater, and explores male sexuality.
(Gay, bisexual, and transgender characters)
This concludes my Pride Month recommendations! Though pride never really ends, and let’s be honest there will always be more LGBTQ+ books/graphic novels/comics I will want to read. So, there will most likely be more of these recommendations in the future. As well as reviews and recaps for all things LGBTQ+ literature.