In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community. Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Movies, books, and TV shows aren’t the only places that you can find great queer content. There’s comics too! I’ve put together a list of 12 LGBT comics you should check out. Old, new, popular, and obscure, this is the kind of content that will keep you entertained for hours on end and maybe open up your eyes to a whole new world of queer stories & creators!
* All summaries were taken from Hoopla Digital Library.
1. Lumberjanes (2018) – via Boom Studios!
By Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, Brooke Allen
Summary: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams.
Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!
Why You Should Read It: It’s funny, weird, and no matter what kind of person you are, these incredibly diverse characters will win your heart! There’s a little bit of something for everyone too. Action? You got it! Comedy? You got it! Crazy adventures with creatures in the woods that might trap you forever under their thrall? You got it!
2. Bingo Love (2018) – via Image Comics
By Tee Franklin; Illustrated by Jenn St-Onge
Summary: When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. From TEE FRANKLIN (NAILBITER’s “THE OUTFIT,” Love is Love) and JENN ST-ONGE (Jem and The Misfits), BINGO LOVE is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years.
Why You Should Read It: It doesn’t hold back from how cheesy and beautiful it is to experience your first love and the things that get in the way of it, especially for two women of color. Also, this comic has small spin-offs of their adventures. So the journey doesn’t end when they get together. It’s just begun!
3. Backstagers (2017) – via Boom Studios!
By James Tynion IV; Illustrated by Rian Sygh
Summary: James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredible yet earnest story about finding a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast. When Jory transfers to the private, all-boys school St. Genesius, he figures joining the stage crew would involve a lot of just fetching props and getting splinters. To his pleasant surprise, he discovers there’s a door backstage that leads to different worlds, and all of the stagehands know about it! All the world’s a stage…but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic!
Why You Should Read It: Tynion wrote the kind of story he wished he had in middle school, one where there wasn’t this one form of queer and one form of masculinity. It’s inclusive and makes you feel like you don’t have to fit in one queer box. Also it’s supernatural, tons of mystery, and a hint of romance at an all boys school.
4. Heavy Vinyl (2018) – via Boom Studios!
By Carly Usdin; Illustrated by Nina Vakueva, Irene Flores
Summary: Film and TV director Carly Usdin (Suicide Kale) teams up with breakout artist Nina Vakueva (Lilith’s Word) for a new series that’s music to our ears! New Jersey, 1998. Chris has just started the teen dream job: working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store. She’s prepared to deal with anything-misogynistic metalheads, grunge wannabes, even a crush on her wicked cute co-worker, Maggie. But when the staff’s favorite singer mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show in town, Chris finds out her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl… her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club! Collects the complete limited series.
Why You Should Read It: Even though I’m not a fan of the 90’s, the references got to me. And don’t get me started on the diversity. There isn’t just one interracial couple. THERE ARE TWO! You have gay dads, music, and a Scooby Doo feel that just makes you want more ASAP.
5. Moonstruck (2018) – via Image Comics
By Grace Ellis; Illustrated by Shae Beagle
Summary: Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late. The first chapter of the brand-new, all-ages, magical, coffee-laden adventure from Lumberjanes creator GRACE ELLIS and talented newcomer SHAE BEAGLE.
Why You Should Read It: BODYYYYY ODYYY ODDDDY! Most comics that I’ve read have these tiny and slim women. These women…well, they look like me! This comic is unapologetically curvy, Latinx, and not subtle when it comes to how queer it is. Also, the mental health aspect. The lead is not comfortable with herself, who she is, and the relationships she’s in. Her growth is worthwhile and I can’t wait for more!
6. Taproot (2017) – via Roar
By Keezy Young; Illustrated by Keezy Young
Summary: Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means . . . leaving him.
Why You Should Read It: This is the kind of queer comic that I wish would be turned into a movie or TV show. It’s a cheesy idea but so lovely and the kind of love that queer people deserve to see in the media they consume! GIVE. ME. MORE. QUEER. GHOSTS!
7. Wuvable Oaf (2015) – via Fantagraphics Books
By Ed Luce; Illustrated by Ed Luce
Summary: Like Sex and the City but with adorable, ex-wrestler hairy gay men (or bears), Wuvable Oaf is Luce’s debut graphic novel. This book fills a romance comics hole by portraying a likeable gay male character that is both fully realized and relatable. Mostly playful, but sometimes serious, Wuvable Oaf captures the levity of loneliness. Luce delivers a rom-com that would leave Zack Galifianakis and Zooey Deschanel feuding over who got to play
Oaf in a hypothetical movie adaptation. Oaf is a large, hirsute, scary-looking ex-wrestler who lives in San Francisco with his adorable kitties, and listens to a lot of Morrissey. The book follows Oaf’s search for love in the big city, especially his pursuit of Eiffel, the lead singer of the black metal/queercore/progressive disco grindcore band Ejaculoid.
Why You Should Read It: I’m always down for a big queer man who adores his kittens and is just trying to find a little love in San Francisco. He might not be the cookie cutter queer man we’re used to but that just makes it better because there are men like him struggling against loneliness and looking for a little love!
8. Sylvania (2017)
By Kristin Kemper; Illustrated by Kristin Kemper
Summary: Sylvania is a story about three sisters who are members of an ancient clan of tree witches. As they learn to use the magical powers they were born with, they’ll each embark on their own path from the deepest heart of the forest into unknown adventures far beyond its borders.
Why You Should Read It: THE WAY THE MAGIC LOOKS! Honestly, it’s spell-bindingly beautiful. Also, this comic is readily available on their website for free. BUT THE ART! The way that their magic flows so easy through them…I can’t stop thinking about it!
9. Namesake (2017)
By Steve Orlando; Illustrated Jakub Rebelka
Summary: Steve Orlando (Supergirl: Rebirth, Midnighter) brings us his only original series of 2016, a gripping story about the nature of identity. Once every seven years, Earth overlaps with Ektae, a world where alchemy is not pseudo-science but the driving force of industry. For seven days, Ektae breaches our world, bringing dirty magic and ideas. Jordan Molossus was born of Earth and Ektae and abandoned by both, but when he receives two cast iron urns containing his estranged fathers’ ashes, he’ll leave everything behind to put his parents to rest before Ektae disappears for another seven years.
Why You Should Read It: Yes, I didn’t love the character all the time. Yes, he had his flaws. But I gave this comic a chance because the lead is bisexual and it’s…JUST A PART OF HIM! No ifs, ands, or butts. Just is. And that’s refreshing.
10. Motor Crush (2017) – via Image Comics
By Brenden Fletcher; Illustrated by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Summary: The team behind the critically acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fi action-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle-racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush.
Why You Should Read It: Dom gets shit done no matter what or who is in her way! Also she’s a POC queer woman who races for a motorcycle competition with a smoking girlfriend. This usually isn’t my cup of tea, the action & racing, but I gave it a chance and loved it because I’ve never seen a woman quite like this.
11. The Infinite Loop (2017) – via IDW Publishing
By Pierrick Colinet; Illustrated by Elsa Charretier
Summary: A dynamically graphic, science-fictiony, poetical, paradoxical wunderkind of a sexy, time-traveling, adventure-packed comic series begins here!
Why You Should Read It: Time traveling/paradox fixing girl meets the woman of her dreams and does what she must to be with her? SIGN ME UP! Also, it’s not subtle about it’s politics or the lines it draws in the sand. Match it up with the vibrancy of the each page and you’ve got a beauty in your hands!
12. User (207) – Vertigo/ DC Comics
By Devin Grayson; Illustrated by Sean Phillips, John Bolton
Summary: Originally published as a groundbreaking three-part Vertigo miniseries, DEVIN GRAYSON’s USER explores sexual identity and online role-playing in the text-based MUDs of the nineties. Featuring breathtaking art by SEAN PHILLIPS and JOHN BOLTON, USER-, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its authentic portrayal of gender fluidity-is as relevant and powerful today as it was when first created.
Why You Should Read It: This GLAAD Media Award nominated comic explores gender fluidity in a time where we most need to talk about it. What looks like a simple story slowly expands into a genuine and inspiring story.
What comics do you think should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community.