This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
There’s been something unusual about the world since this past Sunday’s dawn. Beneath September’s waxing moon, the air has been more severe, the darkness more chilling, and the winds more…haunting. What many poor fools may not realize is that something terrible has escaped into the mortal realm. Yes, my friends, I fear the Sanderson sisters have retu—
Oh, wrong occasion.
If you’ve been seeing more pink, blue, and lavender lines in your life as of late: good! This week marks the annual Bisexual Awareness Week, and today, specifically, is Bisexual Pride Day. Members of bisexual and other fluid communities are often overlooked or made invisible in matters of representation—including, disappointingly so, in the LGBTQ community overall.
Take today to celebrate your bisexual friends and let them know that you are, in fact, aware of them—before their invisibility cloaks become accessible to them yet again. And while you do that, consider checking out these recent comics that feature bisexual characters, bisexual creators, or both!
Constantine: The Hellblazer
By James Tynion IV, Ming Doyle, and Riley Rossmo
Published by DC Comics
Every mainstream bisexual comics character does battle with bisexual erasure from time-to-time; many win, many lose, and many…have to wait until next month to find out.
Constantine’s no stranger to this, as his recent television show summoned bad press when show developer David S. Goyer flippantly responded to claims of Constantine’s bisexuality with excuses for erasure. The show was later canceled. Coincidence?
Fortunately, Constantine in recent comics has had no such issue, especially in his recent series. In June’s #1 issue, Constantine admits (in internal monologue) to flirting with a male bartender—openly and eloquently banishing concerns of bisexual erasure to another dimension. That’s one of the perks to having a bisexual writer (Tynion) on his team.
Tynion, Doyle, and Rossmo have crafted a sexy, eerie, and magnetic take on John Constantine; he may be a bad influence, but—darn—is he a charming one.
Long Red Hair
by Meags Fitzgerald
Published by Conundrum Press
Through a limited palette of oranges and greens, Meags Fitzgerald discusses her relationship with romance, red hair, and her bisexuality. It’s a touching, sweet memoir that I—someone who’s queer but not bisexual—felt great kinship with.
And, though the colors are muted and the tone is soft, Long Red Hair is the furthest thing from safe or mundane. It’s affecting and brutally honest with its awkwardness; sometimes memoirs and autobiographies drum up their events to be more Exciting! and Unbelievable!, but, in her comic, Fitzgerald aims for personable and relatable and nails it. Sometimes, good friends drift apart and, sometimes, well-intentioned parents don’t always say the right thing after their child comes out.
The best part is? This comic comes out (no pun intended?) today.
(Also, in this comic, you’ll have to watch out for at least one of the aforementioned Sanderson sisters.)
by Kate Leth and Ian McGinty
Published by BOOM! Studios
Far and away, BOOM! Studios has been a bastion for queer representation in all-ages comics, and the recent run on Bravest Warriors has been a core piece of that.
The comic is based on the hit animated web series—which is created by Adventure Time auteur Pendleton Ward—of the same name; it stars a bunch of teenage space heroes-for-hire as they go about their wacky and regularly weird adventures.
When Leth (who is bisexual) was announced to join this series, I was elated. You know how the old Sumerian saying: “Where Leth goes, gay (in the overarchingly queer sense) will follow.” And it sure did!
By the end of an arc beginning with #26, Bravest Warrior teammate Plum—a mermaid sporting 2/3rd of the bisexual flag colors—developed a crush on scientist adventurer Peach. Every moment shared between the two in the arc got progressively more adorable (due in great part to McGinty’s artwork), and it warmed my heart to see something so important in an all-ages comic.
By Genevieve Valentine, Garry Brown, and David Messina
As a rule, Selina Kyle hates visibility. She probably resents this entire week. Well too bad, Selina, we’re going to celebrate you whether you like it or not!
Last February, Selina Kyle made waves (another thing she hates) across comics media when readers found out that she was bisexual. Genevieve Valentine, who’s been the architect behind Selina’s new role as mob boss, wrote the infamous Catwoman in a relationship with a new Catwoman—Eiko Hasigawa. Selina, the narcissism.
Though many were worried about how this portrayal would be handled—given media’s wonky history with sexualizing queer women and Selina herself—Valentine, Brown, and Messina have proven themselves capable and considerate hands. The run has been subtle, moody, and exciting; it’s a must-read for fans of pulp and noir.