Comics/Graphic Novels

8 Don’t-Miss 2022 Queer Graphic Novels & Memoirs

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Laura Sackton

Senior Contributor

Laura Sackton is a queer book nerd and freelance writer, known on the internet for loving winter, despising summer, and going overboard with extravagant baking projects. In addition to her work at Book Riot, she reviews for BookPage and AudioFile, and writes a weekly newsletter, Books & Bakes, celebrating queer lit and tasty treats. You can catch her on Instagram shouting about the queer books she loves and sharing photos of the walks she takes in the hills of Western Mass (while listening to audiobooks, of course).

If there’s something better than a day spent marathoning a stack of queer graphic novels and memoirs…well, maybe it’s preordering a bunch of queer graphic novels and memoirs! There are so many queer comics already out in the world, and my TBR is already overflowing with them. But does that stop me from getting excited about all the upcoming ones? Of course not! There’s no such thing as too many queer comics.

2021 was a brilliant year for queer comics and graphic novels, with so many amazing titles — Stone Fruit by Lee Lai, Red Rock Baby Candy by Shira Spector, The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel, and Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto and Ann Xu (to name a few). If this list is any indication, 2022 is going to be just as good. It’s definitely time to get your preorder on.

For this list, I’ve stuck to single-volume graphic novels and graphic memoirs, rather than traditional comics. We’ve got sci-fi romance, several works of nonfiction that explore gender, a middle grade fantasy, and several titles from Surely Books, the new LGBTQIA+ comics imprint led by Mariko Tamaki. I’m particularly excited about Surely — the few books I was able to find information on look amazing, and they have a few more coming later this fall that I cannot wait to read. There are so many amazing queer comics artists out there, and it’s exciting to see their work being celebrated and uplifted.

Cover of Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota and J.R. Doyle

Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, and J.R. Doyle (February 8)

This near-future queer romance is set in a world where AI and bodily augmentation are commonplace. Fawn is a human-presenting AI, and Indira is an augmented human. They’re both interns at the same gallery, and not too fond of each other. But when they’re assigned to work together on a project, their rivalry slowly turns into something else.

Cover of Messy Roots

Messy Roots by Laura Gao (February 15)

In this coming-of-age memoir, Laura Gao shares her experiences growing up in Wuhan, China, the strangeness of adjusting to life after immigrating to Texas, and how everything changed in 2020, when COIVD-19 suddenly puts Wuhan in the public eye. Smart, moving, and often funny, Gao’s story is about the winding path to self-discovery, and what it means to call a place home.

Cover of Flung Out of Space

Flung Out of Space by Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer (February 15)

The Price of Salt, Patrica Highsmith’s cult lesbian classic, came back into the public consciousness when it was made into the movie Carol. This book is a fictionalized version of Highsmith’s life, exploring the events that led her to write The Price of Salt in the first place. It’s a blend of biography, history, and reimagining that adds up to a moving portrait of a queer artist, and a love letter to a classic work of lesbian fiction.

Cover of Rabbit Chase

Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée and KC Oster (March 29)

This heartwarming middle grade story is about Aimée, a nonbinary Anishinaabe middle school kid on a school field trip with their class. Trying to escape the isolation they’ve felt since coming out as nonbinary, Aimée wanders away from their class, and stumbles into an alternate world populated with characters from Anishinaabe legends. In order to get home, they have to help Trickster on a dangerous quest to protect their home from those who would exploit it.

Cover of Fine by Rhea Ewing

Fine by Rhea Ewing (April 5)

This nonfiction comic collects interviews that Rhea Ewing did with trans and gender-nonconforming people across the midwest, over many years. In order to understand their own feelings about and experience of gender, Ewing decided to ask other people about what gender meant to them. The result is this wonderful collection, which includes a diverse range of people talking about gender in all its complexities. They touch on relationships, family, sex, language, housing, health care, transition, sexuality, and so much more. Through it all, Ewing shares their own journey of discovery.

Cover of The Third Person by Emma Grove

The Third Person by Emma Grove (May 3)

You’re going to want to set aside some time for this nearly 900-page graphic memoir. Grove’s story begins in her therapist’s office in the summer of 2004, where she is seeking approval for hormone replacement therapy. It’s not the first time Grove has been in therapy; she’s visited the same therapist before as two different, distinct people. This is a powerful, vulnerable memoir about gender, trauma, and healing.

Our Colors cover

Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame, Translated by Anne Ishii (May 24)

Fans of My Brother’s Husband will be excited to learn that Tagame has a new book coming out! Sora is a gay teenager living in suburban Japan who longs to live openly as himself but knows how challenging it can be. His whole life changes when he meets Mr. Amamiya, a middle-aged, openly gay man who runs a local coffeeshop. Mr. Amamiya becomes a mentor to Sora through all the challenges the teenager faces.

Cover of M is for Monster

M is for Monster by Talia Dutton (June 21)

Fans of retellings, take note: this is a queer monster story inspired by Frankenstein! After her sister Maura dies in an accident, Dr. Frances Ai is determined to bring her back to life. But the person who does return isn’t Maura at all, but a girl named M who remembers nothing about Maura and doesn’t want any of the things Maura wanted. Frances, still grieving for her sister, attempts to turn M into the girl her sister was — but M is determined to be herself, and no one else.

Looking for more? Rachel made a great list of 2022 comics and graphic novels to add to your TBR. You might also want to check out this list of queer comics from 2019, this list of feel-good queer comics and graphic novels, and this selection of queer comics to read based on your favorite queer book.