LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

Happy Pride month! Check out this selection of LGBTQIA+ graphic novels.

   

Our work is everywhere : an illustrated oral history of queer & trans resistance / Syan Rose ; foreword by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha 

In their own words, queer and trans organizers, artists, healers, comrades, and leaders speak honestly and authentically about their own experiences with power, love, pain, and magic to create a textured and nuanced portrait of queer and trans realities in America. The many themes include Black femme mental health, Pacific Islander authorship, fat queer performance art, disability and health care practice, sex worker activism, and much more. Accompanying the narratives are Rose's startling and sinuous images that brings these leaders' words to visual life. Our Work Is Everywhere is a graphic non-fiction book that underscores the brilliance and passion of queer and trans resistance. 

Gumballs / Erin Nations 

Gumballs dispenses an array of bright, candy-colored short comics about Erin’s gender transition, anecdotal true tales of growing up as a triplet, and fictional stories of a socially inept lovestruck teenager named Tobias. The wide-ranging series is filled with single-page gag cartoons, visual diaries of everyday life, funny faux personal ads, and real-life horror stories of customers at his day job. Gumballs offers a variety of flavors that will surely delight anyone with a taste for candid self-reflection and observations of humanity. 

Bingo LoveThe Lie And How We Told It

Bingo love / Tee Franklin ; by Jenn St. Onge, Joy San, Genevieve FT 

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. Bingo Love is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years. 

The lie and how we told it Tommi Parrish 

A friendship fumbles and falls apart after an uncertain encounter in this graphic novel from a remarkable new voice. Parrish’s emotionally loaded, painted graphic novel is a visual tour de force, always in the service of the author’s themes: navigating queer desire, masculinity, fear, and the ever-in-flux state of friendships. 

Blue Is the Warmest Color Cannonball  

Blue is the warmest color / Julie Maroh 

Originally published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaudeBlue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity. Vividly illustrated and beautifully told, Blue Is the Warmest Color is a brilliant, bittersweet, full-color graphic novel about the elusive, reckless magic of love. It is a lesbian love story that crackles with the energy of youth, rebellion, and desire. 

Cannonball / Kelsey Wroten 

Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball fires the reader straight into the messy life of Caroline Bertram: aspiring writer, queer, art school graduate, near alcoholic, and self proclaimed tortured genius. Wroten tells the story of an artist struggling with the arrival of adulthood and the Sisyphean task of artistic fulfillment. Stunningly drawn in a classic style, with big truths and biting wit, Wroten’s debut graphic novel is Art School Confidential for the Tumblr generation. 

Bloom into You, Vol. 1 On a Sunbeam

Bloom into you / Nakatani Nio 

Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and fantasizes about the day that she too will get a love confession that will send her heart a-flutter. Yet when a male classmate confesses his feelings for her ... she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity and finesse that Yuu is inspired to ask her for advice. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is the alluring Nanami herself, has Yuu's shoujo romance finally begun? 

On a sunbeam / Tillie Walden

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. 

Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss. 
With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love. 

 A Graphic History  A Graphic Guide  

Queer : a graphic history / Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele 

Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Jules Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel. From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged. 

Also check out this book by the same authors: Gender: A graphic guide  

 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Mannie Murphy.  Fantagraphics, $24.99 (216p) ISBN 978-1-68396-410-0  A Family Tragicomic

Mannie Murphy is a gender queer Portland native. This work of graphic nonfiction, told in the style of an illustrated diary, begins as an affectionate reminiscence of the author's 1990s teenage infatuation with the late actor River Phoenix but morphs into a remarkable, sprawling account of the city of Portland and state of Oregon's dark history of white nationalism.  

Fun home : a family tragicomic / Alison Bechdel 

Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir that charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail. 

 Now and Then Bury the Lede  

Luisa : now and then / story and art by Carole Maurel ; English-language adaptation by Mariko Tamaki 

At 32, Luisa encounters her 15-year-old self in this sensitive, bold story about self-acceptance and sexuality. Single, and having left behind her dream to become a renowned photographer, she is struggling to find out who she is and what she wants. In order to help and guide her younger self, she must finally face herself and her past. When Luisa finds herself attracted to a female neighbor, things become even more complicated... Insightful and funny, this is a feel-good coming-of-age story.

Bury the lede / written by Gaby Dunn ; illustrated by Claire Roe ; colors by Miquel Muerto ; letters by Mike Fiorentino 

Cub reporter Madison Jackson is young, scrappy, and hungry to prove that she deserves her coveted college internship at the premiere newspaper in town, The Boston Lede where she fetches coffee for the night crew and dreams of her own byline. So when her police scanner mentions a brutal murder tied to a prominent Boston family, Madison races to the crime scene, looking for the scoop of the century. What she finds instead is the woman who'll change her life forever: Dahlia Kennedy, celebrity socialite, now widow, covered in gore and the prime suspect in the murder of her husband and child. When Dahlia refuses to talk to anyone but Madison, they begin a dangerous game of cat and mouse that leads the young journalist down a twisted path. 

 A Memoir Bloom

Gender queer : a memoir / by Maia Kobabe ; colors by Phoebe Kobabe 

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere. 

Bloom / Kevin Panetta ; illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau 

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band—if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything. 
Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow. 

 Volume One (Heartstopper, #1) Kiss Number 8  

Heartstopper / Alice Oseman 

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn't been too great, but at least he's not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He's heard a little about Charlie - the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months - but he's never had the opportunity to talk to him. 
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner... 

Kiss Number 8 /  written by Colleen AF Venable ; artwork by Ellen T. Crenshaw

Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be… until all of a sudden, it's not. 
Her dad is hiding something big—so big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam… Because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat. 

SuperMutant Magic AcademyMy Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, #1)

SuperMutant Magic Academy / Jillian Tamaki 

Science experiments go awry, bake sales are upstaged, and the new kid at school is a cat who will determine the course of human destiny. In one strip, lizard-headed Trixie frets about her nonexistent modeling career; in another, the immortal Everlasting Boy tries to escape this mortal coil to no avail. Throughout it all, closeted Marsha obsesses about her unrequited crush, the cat-eared Wendy. Whether the magic is mundane or miraculous, Tamaki’s jokes are precise and devastating. 

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late 1960s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a Holocaust survivor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold. 

 

Monstress / Marjorie Liu, writer ; Sana Takeda, artist 

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

My lesbian experience with loneliness / Kabi Nagata

The heart-rending autobiographical manga that's taken the internet by storm! My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is an honest and heartfelt look at one young woman's exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist's burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers.

 *All descriptions are from the publishers.