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.