Comics/Graphic Novels

Best Comics We Read April–June 2020

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Casey Stepaniuk

Staff Writer

Known in some internet circles as Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and librarian who holds an MA in English literature and an MLIS. Topics and activities dear to her heart include cats, bisexuality, libraries, queer (Canadian) literature, and drinking tea. She runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find reviews of LGBTQ+ Canadian books. She also writes a monthly column on Autostraddle recommending queer books called Ask Your Friendly Neighbourhood Lesbrarian. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian, Litsy: CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian, Goodreads: CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian, and Facebook: Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian.

We asked our contributors to share the best comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic that they read from April to June, including new, old, and upcoming. So prepare for a great list of comics you’ll also want to read, because there’s a collection with 30+ LGBTQIA creators, a witch, a teen detective, some weird, and more!

Be Gay, Do Comics Edited by Matt Bors (IDW, August 11, 2020)

This book has 30+ LGBTQIA writers and artists telling the whole rainbow of stories, their own and others. Many of the stories are straightforward testimonies, and there are also history lessons, autofiction, and great musings on LGBTQIA life. The art is great and as widely varied as the stories themselves. I was a little sad there was only one intersex story in the whole collection, but one is better than none!

—Chris M. Arnone

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy book coverThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The wise yet tender advice and simple yet charming illustrations make this book brilliant. Woven with kindness, friendship and self-compassion, this graphic novel makes for a wonderful gift to yourself and to others.

—Yashvi Peeti

Eat and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo

Mindy is living on her own in Montreal and struggling with body dysmorphia and a secret eating disorder. After accidentally discovering a magic chocolate bar, she gains the ability to pop back in time and maybe learn to be happy with who she is. This gorgeous comic is about struggling with body positivity, and though it can be a difficult read at times, it was almost shockingly relatable.

—Rachel Rosenberg

Familiar Face by Michael DeForge

This is a strange and moving work about the challenges of forging connection and fighting exploitation in an exhausting, technology-driven society. DeForge’s trademark childlike quasi-animal figures fit perfectly in this dizzying world. Bodies morph endlessly, but loved ones keep trying to find each other. It would feel cloying if the images were realistic and the story were told straight—thankfully everything is charmingly twisted.

—Christine Ro

Goldie VanceGoldie Vance by Hope Larson, Brittany Williams, and Sarah Stern

I am extremely late to the Goldie Vance party! Mistakes were made! By me! I love me a girl detective, and if that girl detective is a Black teen who solves crimes at the hotel where she lives and has a crush on a girl? GIVE ME IT I NEED IT.

—Annika Barranti Klein

A Sign of Affection Volume 1 by Suu Morishita (Artist & Writer), Christine Dashiell (Translator), Carl Vanstiphout (Letterer)

I haven’t been in the mood for the action-packed, drama-filled manga that’s my usual fare, so this quiet and sweet romance was a welcome change of pace. It features a deaf heroine and a globe-hopping love interest who can speak three languages, and the developing relationship between them when she begins to teach him sign language. I’ve only ever seen Japanese Sign Language featured in one other manga series (Gangsta by Kohske), so I appreciate its careful and well-researched inclusion here.

—Vernieda Vergara

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

One of my new all-time favorite graphic novels, Snapdragon is about a girl who doesn’t quite fit in but finds new friends in a classmate who’s secretly also a bit different and a local who may or may not be a witch. I loved all the family and found-family connections in this gorgeous graphic novel. It honestly just warmed my heart from the inside out. Plus, I’m weak for stories with a touch of magic and a whole lot of big feelings.

—Rachel Brittain

The Search for Sadiqah by Greg Burnham (Writer) Shannon Sapenter (Linework), Patricia Daguisan (Colorist/ Letters), Marcus Williams (Cover Art)

The Search For Sadiqah is a visually beautiful historical fiction comic set during the Tulsa City Riots that follows a young girl named Sadiqah who is forced to abandon her home in the 1920s. This is a great action-packed adventure that combines science fiction and history together. I love that the superhero in this comic is a little Black girl who doesn’t realize how powerful she really is until she is tested.

—Erika Hardison

The Way of The House Husband Vol 3 by Kousuke Oono

Just when I think the saga of the Immortal Dragon turned house husband can’t get any weirder and more amazing, it gets…a billion times weirder and more amazing. With every volume that’s released I love this gem of a series more and more; it doesn’t get more hilariously absurd and wonderful than watching Tatsu fend off old enemies as he searches for the best deal on cabbage, defeats stubborn stains, or makes friends with the neighborhood pups. In this volume, we also get to see Tetsu and Miku, his beloved wife, spend some time together, which is even more delightful than you’d imagine.

—S.W. Sondheimer

Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky

When Sanja meets Lelek at the market, she impresses her with her swordfighting. So witch Lelek kidnaps Sanja and asks her to teach her how to right. Sanja has a terrible family, so it’s kind of a blessing in disguise. As the two girls travel from village to village, they slowly go from enemies to travelling companions to in love. I loved the colour palette and how the story was all filled with queer women, even the side characters the girls met on the road.

—Casey Stepaniuk