LGBTQ graphic novel reading list 

A list of graphic novels written by LGBTQ authors or addressing LGBTQ themes. Since Pride is digital this year, we still wanted to get this list out! 

Links below are primarily to Bookshop.org which supports local bookstores or directly to an online format where you can read the graphic novels from your preferred device. We also encourage you to check these out from your local library. If your library doesn’t have a copy, encourage them to include these in their collection!

Antiracist graphic novel reading list 

A list of graphic novels written by LGBTQ authors or addressing LGBTQ themes. Since Pride is digital this year, we still wanted to get this list out! 

Links below are primarily to Bookshop.org which supports local bookstores or directly to an online format where you can read the graphic novels from your preferred device. We also encourage you to check these out from your local library. If your library doesn’t have a copy, encourage them to include these in their collection!

Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack–his very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophomore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.

Adventure Zone by Clint McElroy

MARVEL At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in real time.

Join Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior for an adventure they are poorly equipped to handle AT BEST, guided (guided) by their snarky DM, in a graphic novel that, like the smash-hit podcast it’s based on, will tickle your funny bone, tug your heartstrings, and probably pants you if you give it half a chance.

With endearingly off-kilter storytelling from master goofballs Clint McElroy and the McElroy brothers, and vivid, adorable art by Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: Here There be Gerblins is the comics equivalent of role-playing in your friend’s basement at 2am, eating Cheetos and laughing your ass off as she rolls critical failure after critical failure.

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable

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.

Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman

In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor–also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk–robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor’s plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist.

— “Journal”

Motor Crush by Brenden Fletcher

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED) — The creative team behind a successful Batgirl run reunite for the thrilling story of foxy motorcycle racing phenomenon Domino Swift. She competes in the prestigious World Grand Prix by day, and at night she battles rival bikers in an ongoing conflict over Crush, a valuable and rare engine-boosting stimulant. This series, a spiritual successor to Speed Racer’s rubber-burning mayhem, is packed with fun characters, visceral high-speed action, romance, and a general sense of unbridled action. The whole package is worthy of note, and Stewart and Tarr’s art really grabs the reader by the eyeballs. It’s heavily animation-influenced and practically leaps off the page. A number of comics have attempted to evoke the edge-of-your-seat allure of racing combined with a strong narrative; most have come up short, but this must-read gem makes it work.

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, Vol. 1: Poor Boys and Pilgrims by E. K. Weaver

E.K. Weaver’s critically-acclaimed road trip romance comic is collected here in this award-winning, commercially-successful omnibus edition. Less Than Epic tells the story of Amal (just out of the closet and freshly disowned by his parents) and TJ (a mysterious and eccentric vagrant) and their journey across the continental United States.

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.

Stuck Rubber Baby 25th Anniversary Edition - Howard Cruse

“Painstakingly researched and exquisitely illustrated, Stuck Rubber Baby is a groundbreaking graphic novel that draws on Howard Cruse’s experience coming of age and coming out in 1960s Birmingham, Alabama.

This 25th anniversary edition brings this rich and moving tale of identity and resistance is back in print–complete with an updated introduction from Alison Bechdel, rare photographs, and unpublished archival material that give a thorough, behind-the-scenes look at this graphic novel masterpiece.

As a young gay man leading a closeted life in the 1960s American South, Toland Polk tries his best to keep a low profile. He’s aware of the racial injustice all around him–the segregationist politicians, the corrupt cops, the violent Klan members–but he feels powerless to make a difference. That all changes when he crosses paths with an impassioned coed named Ginger Raines.

Ginger introduces him to a lively and diverse group of civil rights activists, folk singers, and night club performers–men and women who live authentically despite the conformist values of their hometown. Emboldened by this new community, Toland joins the local protests and even finds the courage to venture into a gay bar.

No longer content to stay on the sidelines, Toland joins his friends as they fight against bigotry. But in Clayfield, Alabama, that can be dangerous–even deadly.” Bookshop.org

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

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.

The Wicked and the Divine Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and Phonogram reunite to start a new, ongoing, superhero fantasy with a beautiful, oversized issue. Welcome to The Wicked + The Divine, where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Collects The Wicked + The Divine #1-5.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill

A sweet and positive fairy tale in which two princesses meet and embark on an adventure to overcome their own personal obstacles.

2014 Cybils Awards Finalist

2014 Autostraddle Comic Art Award for Favorite Graphic Novel

2017 ALA Rainbow Book List Top Ten

2018 Sakura Medal Nominee

“It’s super cute, super queer, and feminist as all get out.” — BookRiot

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all. Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what “happily ever after” really means–and how they can find it with each other.

Kim Reaper Vol. 1: Grim Beginnings (1) by Sarah Graley

Part-time grim reaper. Full-time cutie! Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim’s job is pretty cool: she’s a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife.

Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka’s crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn’t know that.

Unaware of the ghoulish drama she’s about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it… and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain. 

Make a Suggestion

Are we missing your favorite graphic novel? Have we glaringly missed a great read? Send us your suggestions and they will be reviewed in a timely manner.

7 + 11 =

Bloom by Kevin Panetta

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. 

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia 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 and fundamental violation 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.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Library Journal (starred review)

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft. Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any townhome. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

MOONSTRUCK by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle

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.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters

Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?!

Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things. It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake. And with the talent of acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, talented newcomer Grace Ellis writing, and Brooke Allen on art, this is going to be a spectacular series that you won’t want to miss. Collects Lumberjanes #1-#4.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a “superstar” talent (NPR.org).

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED) — Gr 9 Up-The book opens with a 12-year-old girl named Erin having an incredibly vivid and confusing dream. She wakes up and starts her paper route. Because it’s November 1, there’s a lot of residual Halloween weirdness out on the streets, and soon she finds herself the target of some teenage boys who are wearing costumes while vandalizing the neighborhood. Erin is rescued by several newspaper delivery girls who are traveling together for safety, and then the narrative takes a surreal turn. Some folks in the neighborhood start disappearing, and people who appear to be wearing Halloween costumes seem to be from different times or places. The papergirls try to figure out who is attacking them and why, who are their allies or enemies, and just what on earth is going on. The tale ends with a striking cliff-hanger that will let readers know that the girls’ adventures are far from over. Vaughn’s reputation has already skyrocketed with the success of graphic novels like Saga, and this title helps to showcase his abilities as the author of far-out fiction that will make readers think. Colorful and captivating, the artwork expertly captures the strange qualities of this memorable outing. Strong language makes this more appropriate for mature readers. VERDICT An awesome selection for older teens and adults looking for an exciting sci-fi tale with unexpected twists.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison and Whitney Cogar

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

Rat Queens Vol. 1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Laura Tavishati

Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

Life with Kevin Vol. 1 By Dan Parent

Kevin Keller returns in this new collection by Dan Parent and J. Bone! Kevin’s made his big move to the Big Apple, and Veronica Lodge is not far behind! To succeed in New York, he’s going to have to learn how to make time for dating while juggling a high-pressure journalism gig. Will his new life in NYC be a dream come true or will the big city eat him alive? Kevin will learn one thing for sure: when it comes to city living, expect the unexpected!

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY, the beloved and charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives–and eventually her own.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic By Alison Bechdel

In this groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. 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.

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.