Comics That Show Our Pride

By Jason Larsen

While June is the start of summer, it also is the start of Pride Month! To help celebrate Pride, the IAS library wanted to share some of our favorite comics that highlight works of LGTBQ+ creators and characters. These selections include materials that are in our physical stack collections as well as our digital collection via ComicsPlus. We hope you will find these selections as enjoyable as we do and find a new favorite comic. And if you like any of the selections below, we encourage you to look beyond our recommendations and explore the IAS comic collection for other works you might enjoy!

Comics Available on the Shelf

Be Gay, Do Comics!: Queer History, Memoir, and Satire from The Nib (Various)

Be Gay, Do Comics! is an anthology that contains dozens of stories about LGBTQ+ experiences from over thirty different comic creators. This anthology encompasses the many different experiences of those in the LGBTQ+ community and includes a wide range of topics. The stories cover a lot of content ranging from personal creator stories, to satirical pieces about co-opting pride, to the current pronoun panic, to queer history. And if those do not touch on your interests, then one of the other many genres that are included in this book most certainly will.

On a Sunbeam (Tillie Walden)

Comic creator Tillie Walden always delivers amazing stories that delve into life with multi-faceted characters. This science fiction story continues that tradition and adds to her already impressive body of comic works. Follow two stories where one is about a crew in the deepest reaches of space, and the other is about two girls at school falling in love. As the stories progress it soon becomes clear how these two stories are connected.

Bingo Love (Tee Franklin, Jenn St. Onge, and Joy San)

This comic is a love story for the ages as two women meet at a bingo game and fall in love. However, in 1963 the world was a vastly different place and their families and society force the two women apart. They move on and marry men, have children, and moved on with their lives. Yet when they meet again decades later at another bingo game, they find that their love for one another is still there. What they do next surprises everyone as they show that true love endures all.

Bi-visibility: A Bi-sexual Anthology (Various)

This anthology is part of the library’s crowdfunded comic collection and contains nine different stories that cross various genres. The stories are created by twenty different creators who focus on exploring bisexuality from varying perspectives. The campaign creator wanted to create a book that increased bisexual representation in comics and has since produced a larger second-volume follow-up to this first anthology. Whether you are interested in comics about high fantasy, romance, drama, or many other genres this anthology has something for you.

Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition: An Up and Out Collection (Julia Kaye)

Julia Kaye is a comic creator who used her webcomic Up and Out as a medium to explore her life as she transitioned gender. She created this comic in part to let others who were going through similar experiences know that they are seen and not alone. This collection is the first of two, to date, which collect those comics in a physical form. The comics take an unflinching look at the highs and lows of the transition process as well as the various personal and societal challenges she encounters through it.

Comics Available Through ComicsPlus

Killer Queens (David Booher, Claudia Balboni, and Harry Saxon)

This sci-fi thriller from Dark Horse Comics is about a gay duo who are former assassins. Being on the run, they need cash to survive and find themselves taking a job from one of the pair’s former flames. What should be a simple kidnap ransom gig soon finds the pair going up against a moon dictator and his forces. And if that were not enough to deal with, their former boss is closing in on them for payback. Oh, did we forget to mention their ex-boss is a monkey with a jet pack….

The Banks (Roxane Gay and Ming Doyle)

Roxanne Gay is a multi-New York Times bestselling author whose work has expanded in the last decade to include comics. The Banks is a heist thriller set in Chicago and is centered on a generational family of women thieves. The potential score of a lifetime brings all three generations of the Banks family together. Can the three generations of women, which consist of the matriarch grandmother, her daughter, her daughter’s wife, and her granddaughter work effectively together to pull off not only their biggest job but also get some payback for past wrongs done to the family? Maybe. But to succeed they will have to live up to their family motto: “Never get greedy.”

Wynd (James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas)

The GLAAD-winning team of James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas reunite to take you on a trip to a world filled with magic and adventure. After being hidden away from the world at an early age at the castle’s local bar, Wynd sets out on a quest to explore the magical world around him. Joined on his journey by his best friend and the castle groundkeeper’s son, Wynd will not only find out about the magic that surrounds him but also the magic within himself.

I Want to Be a Wall, Vol. 1 (Honami Shirono)

This manga series explores a married couple’s relationships through a unique perspective. Yuriko and Gakurouta have recently married but each harbor a secret from the other. Yuriko is asexual while Gakurouta is gay. These newlyweds may not have the traditional storybook romance but together they will find that the connection between them is becoming something more as they navigate life together. Their relationship will be like nothing either of them could have imagined.

Luisa – Now and Then (Carole Maurel and Mariko Tamaki)

What if you had a chance to speak to the younger version of yourself? Would you try and steer yourself away from your worst experiences? Impart some future information for your own benefit? Luisa finds herself confronted with this most unlikely of circumstances. Her teenage self has arrived in the present and while at first the Luisa of the present thinks she is helping her younger self, in truth both versions are helping the other by leading them to discover who they are and the courage to live that life authentically.


The above selections are some of our current LGBTQ+ favorite comics but there are many more to choose from in the library catalog and ComicsPlus application, so we encourage you to seek those that match your interests.

If you are unfamiliar with the ComicsPlus application, check out the video links below as they provide additional details on the application.

Welcome to ComicsPlus

How to Locate and Access ComicsPlus

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Comics for the Changing Seasons of Life

By Jason Larsen

With graduation just around the corner, many students are just days away from a big move into a new phase of life. The IAS Library wanted to share some of our favorite comics that center around the themes of the life changes we all experience to celebrate not just our graduates but also our students, faculty, and staff. These selections include materials that are in our physical stack collections as well as our digital collection via ComicsPlus. We hope that all of you have a great summer break and that you enjoy these selections and even find a new favorite comic. If you like any of the selections below, we encourage you to look beyond our recommendations and explore the comic collection for other works you might enjoy! 

Comics Available on the Shelf 

Giant Days, Volume One (John Allison and Lissa Treiman) 

For those who are graduating (or have already), you may find yourself recalling your early university years and for those just beginning, you may feel seen in this series. This first volume follows the story of three young women who meet during their first year of university. Follow Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they start university and learn about the challenges of making new friends, romance, personal experimentation, nu-chauvinism, and more all while balancing their academic lives. They can absolutely make it to the end of their spring semester, right? 

Tomboy (Liz Prince) 

Growing up can be challenging for all of us. It can be especially challenging when you don’t seem to conform to expected gender norms. This autobiographical memoir follows the creator Liz from her early childhood years through adulthood. You get to experience Liz’s life as she was pushing back against the stereotypical girly girl image, but also still experiencing misogyny as she was not a boy/man. Liz’s work is relatable to anyone who has ever felt like they do not fit in and/or feel trapped between the different lenses society puts on us. 

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell) 

Learning how to navigate relationships is a key part of growing up, especially as we enter adulthood. What might be equally important is learning how to have healthy relationships. The graphic novel focuses on Freddy Riley, whose relationship with Laura Dean is a classic on-and-off again relationship. Freddy is finding her life in constant chaos as she loses friends and her self-respect because of Laura– yet she cannot seem to end things with her. With some new friends and new advice, Freddy may yet learn the importance of moving past toxic relationships and seeking the healthy ones that sustain us. 

Paying the Land (Joe Sacco) 

Follow a trio of young women who are navigating the looming leap of their senior year of high school to university. They find themselves with differing schedules, ever-increasing responsibilities, and extracurricular activities. To keep their lives and friendships together they form a supper club where they can have quiet time together outside their changing lives while making and sharing a meal together. Are comfort food and companionship enough to help their friendships endure as life’s challenges begin to pile up near the end of school? 

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures (ND Stevenson) 

Nate Stevenson is an Eisner, Daytime Emmy, and GLAAD Media award-winning creator with notable works such as his webcomic Nimona, Lumberjanes, Marvel’s Runaways, and the creator and executive producer of the Netflix show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. To capture the experience of the highs and lows of his life as a creator, Nate made a series of essays and comics to put down his thoughts on these life events. The book translates things we all feel into experiences we can relate to as we navigate the various phases and events in life. 

Comics Available Through ComicsPlus 

I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation (Natalie Nourigat)  

As we head off from school to pursue our careers, we think we know what the road ahead will be like. You can do all the research about a profession you are seeking to enter but may still find yourself completely unready for what you experience. In this autobiographical work, Natalie takes us as readers along with her as she discovers that what she thought she knew and studied about a career in animation did not align with the reality of what she finds. Exploring the good and bad moments of her career turns this book into a reference guide with advice for those who may choose to follow her into the field. 

Always Never (Jordi Lafebre)  

Young love is something many of us experience, but what about the phase of life you enter when your hair is greying yet you are still seeking love and companionship? This comic is a unique work in that it follows a couple whose deep connecting relationship is finally beginning but in their later years. The end is the beginning as each chapter goes back through their lives to view all the moments that were, the moments that almost were, and those moments that kept their relationship going by what could yet be. A moving book that shows how love can survive over time despite all the complexity of life with family, responsibilities, career, and persistence.  

Life Between Panels (Ethan Young) 

This comic is a semi-autobiographical work from creator Ethan Young. Like many his age, Ethan is living with his parents and working a day job while also creating comics in his free time. Blending his job, his creative works, and his family and friends into a fantasy world he soon finds the lines between reality and his fantasy are beginning to blur. He eventually finds he cannot discern the difference between the two settings. Can he find his way back? 

Any Empire (Nate Powell) 

Creator Nate Powell has created (or been part of creative teams) for notable and award-winning works such as March and Save it for Later. This comic focuses on how war and violence influence life in small-town America. A trio of childhood friends is forced to examine how they view their fantasies around the concept of violence when mutilated turtles begin to show up around town. Moving ahead to their adult years they are again forced to examine their lives through their various positions of privilege, what duty means, and how they view the differences of what is betrayal and what is courage.  

It’s Not What You Thought It Would Be (Lizzy Stewart) 

We all have expectations of what the future holds for us. Yet sometimes when we meet the reality of what our future is against what the ideal was, it can be jarring. Lizzy Stewart has created a series of interconnected vignettes that focus on relationships at various stages. Some of these focus on what our childhood friendships become as we age, while others are more introspective of career or education choices and how our feelings about those decisions change. 


Whether about graduation and moving on or simply moving into a new life phase, these comics are some of our favorite selections. There are many more comics to choose from in the catalog and ComicsPlus application, so we encourage you to seek those that match your interests.  

If you are unfamiliar with the ComicsPlus application, check out the video links below as they provide additional details on the application.  

Welcome to ComicsPlus 

How to Locate and Access ComicsPlus 

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Spring Forward: Nature and Climate in Comics

By Jason Larsen

Cover of Nausicaa Of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki

Spring has finally sprung! To celebrate the arrival of warmer weather and blossoming flora and fauna, we at the library wanted to share some of our favorite comics about nature and weather. Our selections include options found both in our physical stack collections as well as our digital collection via ComicsPlus. So, sit back, relax, take an allergy pill if need be, and enjoy reading these potentially new favorite comics. And if you find yourself enjoying these types of comic works, keep an eye out for the new Graphic Science collection that will be launching soon at the Funk ACES library. If you are interested in learning more contact librarian Kelli Trei. As always, we encourage you to not just take our recommendation but to go and explore the comic collection for other works you might enjoy!

Comics Available on the Shelf

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind (Hayao Miyazaki)

Nausicaä is considered an all-time classic manga story– it was turned into an anime before it was even finished in manga form! The story focuses on a young princess who explores a future Earth that has been mutated and poisoned by an event called the Seven Days of Fire. Nausicaa must navigate not only natural dangers all around her but also the warring factions fighting for the scant resources left. As forces seek to use the ecological horrors to their advantage, she begins to learn the truth behind the most toxic part of their world called the Sea of Corruption. What will Nausicaa do with this knowledge, and can it be used to save their dying world?

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science (Philippe Squarzoni)

This work from journalist Philippe Squarzoni explores climate change and transforms the various concepts and theories around it into clear information for the reader. Examining the topic through various interviews with experts as well as scientific data, it presents a realistic view of the current situation and what actions can be taken to change it. Whether helping to affirm evidence-based action, busting myths about false hopes, or highlighting the call to action to effect meaningful change, the situation, the comic keeps the material relatable and grounded in everyday life.

Swamp Thing: the Bronze Age omnibus (Various)

Before the cartoon Captain Plant championed cleaning up the environment on Saturday morning TV, DC’s Swamp Thing was engaging the issues and dangers of environmental pollution among other horrors. The character today is known as a defender of the plant life on Earth known as the Green. Explore the early stories of this modern-age character as he slowly evolves from a swamp monster into his current eco hero form with this complete collection of the Swamp Things early stories.

Cover of Paying the Land by Joe Sacco

Paying the Land (Joe Sacco)

Joe Sacco’s works range from smaller works like his travelogue journeys throughout the world, to more expansive works that focus on regions like Palestine and Bosnia. His most recent book focuses on his research and exploration of the Canadian Northwest Territories and centers around the Indigenous people of the region of the Dene. The history of the region is explored through various interviews with different members of the society ranging from trappers, activists, priests, and chiefs. Touching on an array of topics including policies such as residential schools, to the land having so many natural resources, it is attracting new government interest. All of these have impacted the Dene’s way of life and become the central focus of this work that highlights the cost of these policies and resource extraction efforts on both the land and the people who live on it.

Comics Available Through ComicsPlus

Animal Castle (Xavier Dorison and Felix Delep)

Animal Farm was a book that had the narrative that all animals on the Farm were equal. In this work influenced by the book, the concept is taken a step further in that the animals know upfront that they are not equal, especially those that rule from the castle on the farm. The story focuses on a farm ruled by a despotic bull and his army of attack dogs. As the animals are worked to death, a rat arrives on the farm and begins to show the others the power of civil disobedience. Are these new ideas the beginning of a revolution or instead the cause of a more vicious crackdown?

Cover Guardian of Fukushima by Fabien Grolleau and Ewen Blain

Guardian of Fukushima (Fabien Grolleau and Ewen Blain)

Over a decade ago a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan sent a tsunami wave into the northern region of Japan. In addition to the almost 20,000 lives lost, it also triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. This manga follows the real story of a farmer who survived the wave and then returned to the irradiated region to care for his animals and the land. It is a story that touches on mythology, tragedy, and the human will to persevere– it is not to be missed.

Avatar: The Last Airbender–The Search (Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru)

When the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series ended, there were several plot lines that were left unresolved. The creators of the show worked with Dark Horse comics to continue the story, picking up right after the show ended. The second arc of that series explores the bombshell dropped at the end of the series; Fire Lord Zuko’s mother was still alive. Gathering Team Avatar and an unexpected ally to help him with his search, Zuko begins a quest to answer the biggest mystery of his life, where did his mother go after his father banished her?

Rewild (Devin Grayson, Sal Cipriano, and Yana Adamovic)

What if a magical world was being damaged by our physical world? Would they let us continue our ways or would they decide to show us they exist? And how unprepared we would be to handle their judgment? This graphic novel centers on an engineer who is approached by a homeless woman claiming she is a fairy. She demands that he create a new type of park to mollify environmentally mutated magical creatures, or else our world will suffer. Is this just the rant of a mentally disturbed homeless woman or is it something far more real and frightening?

Cover of Seen: True Stories of Marginalized Trailblazers by Birdie Willis and Rii Abrego

Seen: Rachel Carson (Birdie Willis and Rii Abrego)

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist who became an author that focused on America’s environmental crisis in the 1950s and 60s. Her bestselling works became the drive behind the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and warned of the dangers that using chemicals like pesticides would have on the environment. This biographic work explores her life from early childhood up to the time of her death.

Taproot: A Story about a Gardener and a Ghost (Keezy Young)

When his best friend passes away, Hamal is still able to be there for him. You see Hamal is as unique as a gardener can be in that he can see the ghosts in the world around him. But as his deceased friend adjusts to the afterlife, he starts to understand that Hamal’s gift is potentially at the center of local spiritual disturbances. How far does your love for someone extend when you are dead but they go on living?

The above-selected comics are some of our favorite stories about nature or science, but there are many more to choose from in the catalog, the upcoming Graphic Science Collection, or the ComicsPlus application.

And if you are unfamiliar with the ComicsPlus application, check out the video links below as they provide additional details on the application.

Welcome to ComicsPlus

How to Locate and Access ComicsPlus

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Women Creators in Comics

By Jason Larsen

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

March is Woman’s History Month, and the library wants to celebrate by sharing some of our favorite women comic creators with you! Our selections provide options in both our physical collection, as well as our digital collection via ComicsPlus. We hope these comics provide you with some new favorites to read and encourage you to explore our collection for other women creators whose works you might enjoy!

Comics Available on the Shelf

Ducks : Two Years in the Oil Sands (Kate Beaton)

Kate Beaton pivots from her satirical comedy work of Hark! A Vagrant to tell her personal story of working in the Canadian Oil Sands. This autobiographical work covers her life from 2005 to 2008 and explores what life was like living on-site for one of the extraction companies. From constant sexual harassment to dangerous working conditions, she takes an unflinching look at what happens when society’s capitalistic, consumption-driven nature drives people to extremes in order to survive– even people just like you. We would like to warn readers that this comic could be triggering for some as it deals with sexual harassment and other forms of intimidation, and depicts some bodily injuries.

Flung Out of Space : Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith (Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer)

Many consider Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt to be an essential piece of lesbian literature. This graphic novel examines and reimagines the life of Patricia during the 1940s when she was working as a writer for various Golden Age comics. These events were set before she would write her first novel and included moments that would be the foundation for her future groundbreaking lesbian romance novel. The creators of this graphic novel not only explore the foundations for Salt but also the life and times of its highly flawed (and at times controversial) LGBTQ + author.

Mamo (Sas Milledge)

Orla is a young woman who finds she must return home after the passing of her grandmother. Her grandmother wasn’t just anyone though– she was in fact the town’s witch. When the land turns toxic and the town becomes haunted, can Orla rise to the occasion and take on a responsibility she never wanted? The only solution seems to be becoming the new hedge witch, but will that be enough to everything right again?

Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers

Hot Comb (Ebony Flowers)

Hot Comb is an autobiographical comic that offers the opportunity to glimpse the relationship black women have with their hair. Through a series of short stories, creator Ebony Flowers shows the dynamic experiences black women encounter in their daily lives when it comes to their hair. Stories include getting her first perm, her sister’s experiences with microaggressions as the only Black athlete on a sports team, and several others.

The Night Eaters (Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda)

The Night Eaters is a new fantasy horror series from the creators of Monstress. When their restaurant is in trouble, Chinese American twins hope to find help from their parents. The parents are concerned they have raised them not to be self-sufficient enough and come up with a plan to teach them a lesson. They are to help their mother clean up the old run-down house next door where a murder happened years ago. Working through the night the family encounters supernatural horrors and things that make those bumps in the night. Could their children be more than what they appear to be?

Sunrise Blossom (Nina Aberlein)

Sunrise Blosson is a coming-of-age LGBTQ+ fantasy selection from our crowdfunded comics collection. The story follows Ivy who is a young falcon harpy on a journey to explore human society. She eventually finds herself traveling with a human who helps her learn about herself and the world. As these travel companions go on their various adventures, Ivy starts to realize that she may have romantic feelings for her human companion.

Comics Available Through ComicsPlus

Air by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

Air (G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker)

Air is a comic series about a flight attendant with both a fear of heights and the ability to control flight and bend reality. As she pursues a traveler who may actually be a terrorist, she soon finds herself in a world of dark conspiracies, secret societies, and sinister political agendas. The world she knows becomes more mysterious as she discovers the advanced technology behind it. How far is she willing to go using her reality-warping powers to find the answers she seeks?

Goldie Vance (Hope Larson)

This comic tells the story of a young woman whose life of mystery and intrigue is about to begin. Goldie lives with her father who runs a resort and she dreams of becoming a detective. Her chance to enter the world of mystery solving begins when the current resort detective agrees to mentor her in exchange for her help in solving his latest case. Without proper training, does Goldie have what it takes to solve the mystery?

Man-Eaters by Chelsea Caine and Kate Niemczyk

Man-Eaters (Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk)

The toxoplasmosis virus has mutated and is infecting young girls. If they are infected and hit puberty, it transforms them into flesh-eating wild cats once a month. The world creates response teams and policies to contain the threat of young women entering adulthood. This is the story of Maude as she turns twelve and starts to worry if she is a man-eater, and her father the detective responsible for investigating recent cat attacks. Author Chelsea Cain’s series is heavy on satire and 100% about taking on the patriarchy.

Drawing Lines: An Anthology of Women Cartoonists (Various)

This anthology collects works of more than twelve stories from over twenty different women comic creators. The stories they tell will cover the gambit of experiences women face. Some of them are humorous, and others are jarring real-life experiences. No matter type of story you read, it is certainly guaranteed to be representative of some of the best work from women comic creators in the industry.

While the above comics are some of our favorites, there are many more to choose from in our catalog and the ComicsPlus application.

If you are unfamiliar with the ComicsPlus application, check out the video links below as they provide additional details on the application.

Welcome to ComicsPlus

How to Locate and Access ComicsPlus

Happy reading!

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Crowdfunded Comics: A Unique UIUC Collection

By Jason Larsen

Cover of "The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories" crowdfunded comic

You probably already know that the University Library houses an expansive comic collection which is always available for checkout to take home and read. You probably also know that we have an electronic comics application called ComicsPlus that offers free access to over 20,000 comics from over 80 publishers right at your fingertips. You may be surprised to learn, however, that the library has a truly unique collection of crowdfunded comics, many of which are only available through the UIUC library.

Over the last several years, the library has been collecting crowdfunded comics. For those unfamiliar with the term, crowdfunded comics are created via the backing of donors through sites like Kickstarter. Many of these books come from BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ creators that rely on crowdfunding to have a presence in the comic space. Until now, there have been no academic libraries collecting these comics in significant quantity. To try and help ensure these materials are seen and discoverable, we have acquired to date 188 different crowdfunded comic projects and are actively adding them to our collection.

The library is excited to be able to share this unique and growing collection with you. And to celebrate both Black History Month and this unique collection, February’s selections will primarily, though not exclusively, focus on some of the different crowdfunded comics we have acquired from Black creators. If you see something you like, make sure to check it out, and hopefully discover something new and unique to enjoy!

Comics Available on the Shelf

The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories (Various)

This modern anthology series comes from Iron Circus, one of the pioneering publishers of crowdfunded comics. The book takes classic African folklore and updates them with modern twists and takes. While the book may seem more suited for juvenile readers, many fables and folklore stories have been the basis for connecting people of all ages to other cultures as well as our own pasts.

The Lunatic, The Lover, & The Poet (Brian Hawkins and Marcio Loerzer)

The comic is a horror mystery series that feels like a slasher movie set against a Shakespearean backdrop. It is the story of a playwright who has big Broadway ambition yet is stuck working on a small-town rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, he then finds himself wrapped up in a murder plot that ripples through the town. After their lead star is murdered, can he change the script of this drama before anyone else becomes a victim?

The Nekros (D.C. Burton and Olumide Emmanuel)

A demon is stalking the citizens of a small village. When this mythical monster takes the lead character’s father in one of its raids, it sets in motion a quest to put an end to its reign of terror. The series is set in a dark fantasy world where our mythology influences which gods and monsters we see. As the series progresses, the hero and his party find themselves placed in situations that their training never prepared them for, but the hero always wins in the end…right?

Black Spartans (Brandon Calloway)

In this manga series, we follow a novice magical bounty hunter as he begins his career hunting all sorts of magical and mythical nuisances. Along the way, he meets a female bounty hunter who will either be a great partner or…a bitter rival? Will these two become the heroes everyone needs when great evils have started to be freed from captivity? Or will they decide the world is too full of darkness and corruption to be worth salvation? The creator’s love of Shonen manga really shines through as he world-builds around the two protagonists.

Image from Ennead - The Rule of Nine Kickstarter project page

Ennead – The Rule of Nine (J.L. Johnson, Luke Horseman, and Edward Lilly)

This expansive high fantasy series (currently on its sixth issue) follows four different characters as they grapple with their destinies. The story around each of the four characters is different, yet the tales overlap as they are all traveling in the same land. Whether you are following the soldier running from his past, the young queen struggling to take control of the reins of power, the old king trying to change the history of the world by ending generations of war, or the spy trying to prevent the world itself from burning, you will find yourself likely enthralled with what happens next in the land of Amashik.

Real Hero Shit (Kendra Wells)

Real Hero Shit is another selection from crowdfunding publisher Iron Circus, and you won’t want to miss reading this one! Real Hero Shit is set in a Dungeons & Dragon style world that breaks down the boundaries of traditional fantasy to include queer representation. A rogue is tasked with rescuing villagers but finds his options slim. To aid him in this quest, he gathers a mismatched group of fellow adventurers, including a local prince who is more about partying than adventuring. The group, especially the prince, is about to receive a hard lesson about the system and what being a real hero means.

Toddlerhood! (George Gant)

Crowdfunded comics cover a wide variety of topics and interests. And Chicago-based creator George Gant’s collection of comic strips about the hilariously absurd task of raising a toddler, is a great example. The series was originally published as a webcomic on the Webtoon application before King Features Syndicate picked it up in mid-2022 and now publishes the series through their website.

Cover of Ruca by Kayden Phoenix, Amanda Julina Gonzalez, and Alexis Lopez

Ruca (Kayden Phoenix, Amanda Julina Gonzalez, and Alexis Lopez)

Kayden Phoenix is a third-generation Chicana creator who has been creating her own Latina superhero universe via crowdfunding. This book has an all-Chicana creative team, with one of their stated goals to create superhero characters that are true representations of Latinas by challenging stereotypes about them and other marginalized Americans. The book is the origin story for the character as she discovers her powers, and along the way delves into the world of child kidnapping and trafficking.

Zufan (Beserat Debebe and Stanley Obende)

Zufan is an Afrofuturistic series inspired by the attempted Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1896. It takes the core of its story from the historical unification of the various and highly fractured Ethiopian provinces to repel the Italians, and in so doing, being the only African country to retain its independence during what is known as the Scramble for Africa era in the late 1800s. The creators apply this historical event to an alien invasion of Earth where instead of provinces, the country of Africa must find a way to unite in a Pan-African alliance to survive.

Comics Available Through ComicsPlus

Cover of Farmhand by Taylor Wells and Rob Guillory

Farmhand (Taylor Wells and Rob Guillory)

Farmhand is an exploration of the life of Jedidiah Jenkins, the world’s most unique farmer. You see his farm doesn’t produce crops but instead produces body parts! After years of amazing business, the truth about the root of Jenkins’ success bubbles up from below the surface. When his estranged son returns home, will this spell doom for everyone or will it save the family from a greater evil? Find out in this new horror/comedy series from creator Rob Guillory, who won fans the world over with his run on the Image series Chew.

While the above comics are some of our favorites, there are many more to choose from in the catalog. The easiest way to locate the crowdfunded comics material is to type “Kickstarter” in the catalog search box. You can then filter the results list using the Subject topics on the left-hand navigation pane such as Comic Books Strips Etc. and Comics Graphic Works among others.

And if you are unfamiliar with the ComicsPlus application where Farmhand can be found, check out the video links below as they provide additional details on the application.

Welcome to ComicsPlus

How to Locate and Access ComicsPlus

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