Comics/Graphic Novels

2023 Queer Comics & Graphic Memoirs to Add to Your TBR

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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).

I always spend a few hours in January or February scouring the internet for every upcoming queer comic, graphic novel, and memoir I can find. I like to have a list ready to go for when I’m in the mood for some visual storytelling and want to put in a few library holds. And 2023 is already looking fantastic for queer comics! These are the ones I’m most excited about, and just a small sampling of all the great ones coming out soon. The list includes several amazing-sounding retellings: like one of the classic lesbian vampire story Carmilla, a thriller-esque reimagining of The Great Gatsby, and a gay retelling of Northanger Abbey (yes, please)! Plus, two sapphic sports romances, a nonfiction book about gender, a trans memoir from Spain, and more! In short, these books represent just how wonderfully varied queer comics are these days. There is something for everyone.

While a few of these are already out, most of them are slated to be published this spring and summer. You know what to do: support queer comics artists by putting in your preorders now, or request that your local library buy these titles!

Cover of Carmilla

Carmilla: The First Vampire by Amy Chu, Soo Lee, and Sal Cipriano

I mean, a feminist reimagining of the first lesbian vampire story, set in 1990s New York, featuring a murder mystery and elements of Chinese folklore? You don’t need to know any more, do you? The story follows a social worker turned amateur detective when she realizes that homeless LGBTQ+ women are being murdered. The art looks absolutely luscious.

Cover of Mimosa

Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni (March 7)

This is a funny, honest, and heartfelt look at queer life in your 30s. It follows a queer chosen family through the ups and downs of life, from divorce and single parenting to unrequited crushes, career burnout, and complicated friendships. We definitely need more slice-of-life queer stories, and this one looks like it strikes the perfect balance between charming fun and real drama.

Cover of Belle of the Ball

Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa (March 21)

Will there ever be enough sapphic sports romances? No, obviously not. Happily, this is only the first of two I can’t wait to read this year. When high school senior Hawkins finally works out the nerve to ask out her crush…well, it doesn’t go smoothly, because her crush is already dating someone — a girl Hawkins agrees to tutor in order to, you guessed it, get closer to said crush. Yeah, sounds like a whole queer girl teen mess, and I cannot wait to see how it all gets untangled.

Cover of Grand Slam Romance

Grand Slam Romance by Ollie Hicks and Emma Oosterhous (May 23)

Here is the second promised sapphic sports romance, featuring the most lesbian of lesbian sports: softball! It’s about two softball players on rival teams, with a whole lot of unresolved history between them. Are you getting A League of Their Own vibes? Because I certainly am. Oh yeah, and there’s also magic! I simply cannot imagine anything I want to read more.

Cover of Gatsby

Gatsby by Jeremy Holt and Felipe Cunha (May 30)

The Great Gatsby coming into the public domain has been an absolute boon for queer retellings in the past two years. I can’t get enough of them! This one is set in the present, and stars a Singaporean student, Lu Zhao, who’s spending the summer before he starts college with his rich cousin on Long Island. He soon gets caught up in Tommy’s rich circle of friends, which involves drugs and secrets and murder. Think Gatsby, but queer, and with the pacing of a thriller.

Cover of Northranger

Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo (June 6)

A fellow Book Riot writer described this to me as “queer cowboy Northanger Abbey” and, wow. I did not realize I had been waiting for someone to say those words to me until I heard them. This retelling of Jane Austen’s classic is about 16-year-old Cade Muñoz and the eventful summer he spends working at his stepfather’s Texas ranch. Sign me up.

Cover of Us

Us by Sara Soler and Joamette Gil, Translated by Silvia Perea Labayen (June 13)

First published in Spain in 2019, an English translation of this graphic memoir is coming this summer! It’s part love story, part coming-into-self story, as comic artist Sara Soler recounts her relationship with her partner Diana, through their meeting, falling in love, Diana’s transition, and all the ordinary ups and downs they’ve weathered together.

Cover of Gender is Really Strange

Gender is Really Strange by Teddy G. Goetz and Sophie Standing (August 21)

In this nonfiction comic, part of the Really Strange series, queer and trans psychiatrist Teddy G. Goetz explores the weird and wonderful world of gender. He examines gender through a variety of lenses — cultural, societal, biological, etc. — revealing just how complex and varied ideas and experiences of gender are.

If you, like me, are craving more queer graphic novels and comics while you wait for these to come out, you’ll find a treasure trove of them in this list of 2022 LGBTQ+ comics and graphic novels! And if you’re not sure where to start with queer comics, check out this list of comics recs based on your favorite queer book!