Books of the Week: LGBTQ Graphic Novels and Comics

Are you interested in learning more about the LGBTQ graphic novels and comics we have available at the GLBT Library? This blog post, and the similar post on the GLBT Student Support Services at IUB Facebook page, highlights this genre and some of our most interesting items.

The first item, “No20140211_113400 Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics”, is a collection of queer comic books, strips, graphic novels, and web-comics that present LGBTQ themes from the perspective of an insider (Hall, Editor’s Note). This collection is not a complete anthology of queer comics. Instead this work provides readers with a starting point within the queer comic genre. The works included in this collection were created by diverse authors with unique perspectives. A brief history of queer comics is presented as well as a list of additional notable works for interested readers.

Another sub-genre of LGBTQ graphic novels and comics that is massively popular focuses on main characters that are superheroes. In “Northstar”, the superhero and his X-Men teammates battle an evil psychic intent on provoking disasters that will destroy humanity. This item is particularly unique because it includes the historic comic in which Northstar publicly announced he was gay, one of the first superheroes to do so.

20140211_113425The next item, “Are You My Mother” by Alison Bechdel, details the author’s turbulent relationship with her emotionally distant mother. What makes this item especially unique is the author’s use of characters, such as Virginia Woolf and psychoanalytic theorist D.W. Winnicott, to work through the tangles of her past.  Alison Bechdel is also the author of the pivotal series “Dykes to Watch Out For” (

The last item, “A+E 4ever”, is vastly different from the previous three items and takes the reader on a journey into genderqueer life. This graphic novel explores the love and friendship between Asher (an androgynous guy) and Eulalie (a lesbian girl) as they discover that affection is sometimes ambiguous. “A+E 4ever” was also a 2012 Stonewall Honor Book in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Each of these items shows the diverse nature of the LGBTQ graphic novels and comics genre. Items within this genre can focus on superheroes, friendships and romantic attractions, issues with family and friends, historical perspectives of how the genre has changed over time, and a variety of other ideas. If you would like more information about how LGBTQ graphic novel and comic book characters have evolved over time, check out this blog post by Comic Book Resources: LGBT Characters, Themes Throughout Comics History

Be sure to stop by the GLBT Library and browse the 9.850-9.858 call number range for more graphic novels and comics!


Book of the Week – Skim

skimThis graphic novel, released in 2008 to overwhelming critically praise, tells the story of Skim, a Japanese-Canadian girl attending a Catholic school in the early ‘90s.  It’s a simultaneously funny and sad coming-of-age tale, full of all the struggles of adolescence; and it does not shy away from difficult and complex subjects, including depression and suicide, teenage sexuality (including homosexuality), cliques, and unhealthy friendships.  The artwork is gorgeously detailed, evocative of its particular time and place, and often cinematic in scope.

Comic Books

A belated marriage congratulations to Northstar! In case you missed it, over the summer this X-Men character married his boyfriend in issue #51 of Astonishing X-men.  Just as in real life, the road to LGBT marriage in comic books hasn’t been an easy one.  Comic Book Resources’ blog post LGBT Characters, Themes Throughout Comics History gives a good look into the evolution of LGBT comic book characters.

If you’re looking for an action-packed read, you might want to try some of these comics available at the GLBT Library.

Enigma: by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo  [9.854 MILen 1993]

 Gotham Central Half a Life

by Greg Ruck and Michael Lark

[9.856 RUCgo 2005]


 The Authority Relentless

by Warren Ellis

[9.854 ELLau1 2000].


 Prism Comics Your LGBT Guide to Comics:

2009-2010 edition edited by Jonathan Riggs

[9.850 PRIsm 2010]

a great resource for finding comic books

Try browsing the library in the 9.850-9.858 range for more comics, manga, and graphic novels!