Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Comics/Graphic Novels

10 of the Best Gay Comic Books

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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).

Looking for some of the best gay comic books? We gotcha covered! Gay comic books come in all shapes and sizes, from multi-volume extravaganzas to graphic novels you can read in one sitting. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, but I did try to include a wide range of stories, from the magical to the mundane. Here you’ll find middle grade, YA, and adult comics in a variety of genres — fantasy, sci-fi, romance, slice-of-life, and historical fiction.

I’ve also highlighted both stories that deal with specifically queer issues and stories that don’t. Some of these books are about coming out, and some deal with homophobia. But not all gay comic books are about those things! You’ll also find stories here about baking, playing hockey, friendship, artificial intelligence, mortality, and a whole lot more. In short, here are ten amazing stories that feature gay characters doing all the things that humans (and other sentient beings!) do: falling in love, getting in fights, dealing with family, growing up, making mistakes, pursuing hobbies, and navigating school and work.

Note: this list focuses on gay comics specifically. Be sure to check out our broader queer comics content!

Single Volume Gay Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Artifice by Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson

Artifice by Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson

This is my absolute favorite kind of sci-fi story: a fast-paced adventure that also asks big questions about what it means to be human. Deacon is a powerful android solider who’s just royally messed up his latest mission from his corporate overlords. The Corporation is not happy, so they force Deacon to meet with a robopsychologist. Her only mission is to uncover Deacon’s secrets and make sure he never acts out of line again. Full of romance, action, and beautiful world-building, this is a story about holding onto autonomy in the face of incredible power.

Flamer by Mike Curato

Flamer by Mike Curato

This YA comic does not shy away from some tough material, but ultimately it’s a hopeful story about self-love and acceptance. Aiden Navarro is spending the summer before high school at camp, which turns out not to be the escape he was hoping it would be. He can’t stop thinking about his friend Elias, though he doesn’t want to ponder why. And what’s worse, camp is full of the same kind of bullies that his middle school was. Curato’s story of tumultuous adolescence and self-discovery is one that will resonate deeply with gay teenager (and adults). This is the kind of thoughtful, honest queer representation we need all the more of in comics.


Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

If you’re hankering for a love story set in a bakery, you’re going to want to run to this one. Ari has just graduated high school and dreams of leaving for the big city to become a musician. Instead, he’s stuck working in his family’s struggling bakery. Baking is definitely not is dream job. But then he meets Hector, who loves baking as much as Ari hates it. As the two work together through the summer, baking batch after batch of bread, Ari’s whole perspective changes. This is a quiet but moving story about what happens when you let go of all those preconceived ideas about life and go with your heart instead.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

This absolutely beautiful book is about family, fairytales, language, and the power of stories. Tiến is a Vietnamese American boy who loves his family and wants to come out to them, but he’s not sure how. So he turns to his beloved fairytales, the books he reads his mother each night, for help. Nguyen stunningly reimagines these fairytales into a contemporary story about Tiến and his immigrant family — the love they have for each other, the challenges they face, and the ways they support one another through life’s ups and downs.

You Brought Me the Ocean

You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh

YA author Alex Sanchez teams up with illustrator Julie Maroh (Blue is the Warmest Color) in this coming-of-age graphic novel about an ocean-loving boy growing up in a desert town. Jake hasn’t gone swimming since his dad drowned, but he longs for the water. His crush on his school’s swim team captain, Kenny Liu, doesn’t help. As Jake and his best friend Maria struggle with all the pangs of growing up, Jake turns to the water to help him find the courage to be himself — and to share that self with the world.

There Are Things I Can’t Tell You by Edako Mofumofu

This angsty (but ultimately happy!) manga is all about the complications that arise when childhood friendships change in adulthood. Kasumi and Kyousuke are opposites in many ways: Kasumi is quiet while Kyousuke is outgoing and energetic. They’ve been best friends since elementary school, but find that, as adults, their relationship is suddenly changing. Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always as easy as it sounds! If you love emotional romances that break your heart and then put it back together, this one’s for you.

Multi-Volume Gay Comic Books

The Backstagers by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, and Walter Baiamonte

This charming, joyful, and colorful all-ages comic follows the adventures of a group of queer and trans boys in the stage crew at their high school. Unbeknownst to the rest of the school, the backstage area is actually a portal into a magical world full of monsters and magic. The boys often find themselves in the position of having to save the show (and the whole school!) from the dangers of this mysterious backstage world. In addition to high-stakes adventure, this comic features several adorable gay love stories.

My Brother's Husband volume 1 cover by Gengoroh Tagame

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

This thoughtful and warmhearted manga is about Yaichi, a single dad raising his daughter Kana in Tokyo. Their lives are changed forever with the arrival of Mike, the Canadian husband of Yachi’s recently-deceased twin brother Ryoji. Mike arrives in Tokyo still grieving, and wanting to learn more about his Ryoji’s past and family. Yaichi takes him in, and is forced to confront his feelings about his estranged brother and LGBTQ+ people in general. It’s a generous and ultimately hopeful story about the bonds between family.

Check Please! cover image

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Need a hug in the form of a gay comic book? Here ya go! This utterly heartwarming, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally affirming story follows Eric Bittle, a gay, pie-baking hockey player, over the course of his college career. There’s a slow-burn romance at the heart of this story, but it’s also about the importance of friendships, college life, family, sports, and so much more. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Bitty and his teammates. I guarantee you’ll inhale this as fast as you can, and you probably won’t be able to stop smiling.

cover of letters for lucardo

Letters for Lucardo by Otava Heikkilä

This historical vampire comic tells the love story between Ed Fiedler, a 61-year-old mortal man and royal scribe, and Lucardo von Gishaupt, an aristocratic and eternally young vampire. When Ed and Lucardo fall in love, they’re forced to deal with the disdain Ed faces as a mortal man in the midst of the Night Court, the mysterious immortal society to which Lucardo belongs. This beautifully drawn romance (it contains graphic sex scenes) explores themes of morality and aging.

Looking for more gay comic books? You can find some great ones in our queer comics archive. For starters, check out 25 of the Best Queer Comics, 12 Queer Webcomics You Can Read For Free Right Now.