This list of queer comics is sponsored by Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu and published by First Second Books.
Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman Samwell University hockey player is a whole new challenge. First of all? There’s checking (ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there’s Jack—his very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the megapopular webcomic series, this is a hilarious and stirring coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life—including updated art and a curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.
Once relegated to subtext and hard-to-find zines, LGBTQ stories can now be found all over the wide world of comics. Though the industry still has a long way to go, the past few years have seen an extraordinary range of stories across the spectrum of queer experiences hit the stands. Here’s just a sampling of the best and brightest:
America by Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones
America Chavez, aka Miss America (though few people bother with the “Miss”), is Marvel’s first queer Latina heroine to headline her own series. Plus, she kicks butt so hard she can kick into other dimensions. This #ownvoices series was sadly short-lived, but once you finish the trades, you can find America in the new West Coast Avengers.
The Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh
At the all-boys school of St. Genesius, the theater department’s stage crew share a secret: there’s a door behind the stage that leads to magical worlds. The art is playful and charming and the cast is diverse in terms of ethnicity as well as sexual identity.
Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Ruck and J.H. Williams III
Kate Kane became a vigilante after being dishonorably discharged from West Point for refusing to lie about her sexuality. In this gorgeous, moody book, Williams’s stunning art echoes Kate’s pain and confusion as she battles the super villain Alice, whose dark secrets will upend Kate’s entire world.
Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology edited by Sfé R. Monster and Taneka Stotts
Queer comics are at the forefront of finding success outside of the tradition publishing model for comics, and Beyond is one of the poster children of this wave. Originally Kickstarted, both volumes of this inclusive, #ownvoices, all-ages series can be found digitally and in print via the Beyond website.
Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love by Sarah Vaughn and Lan Medina
Deadman is a (dead) superhero who can possess the living. Berenice is a young woman who can speak to the dead…and has just inherited a mansion with a tragic history. Despite boasting one of DC’s goofier heroes, this book is about as sumptuously gothic as they come, with a gorgeous queer love story at the heart of it.
Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
If you’re interested in seminal texts in the field, you can’t find a better landmark than Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel’s quarter-century-long, self-syndicated strip (which also gave us the Bechdel Test!). Fun Home, meanwhile, is Bechdel’s memoir about her relationship with her closeted father, his suicide, and her own sexuality (oh, and it’s now a Tony Award–winning Broadway musical).
Iceman by Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti
In 2015, original X-Man Bobby Drake was revealed to be gay, making him retroactively one of the oldest queer characters in mainstream comics. Two years later, he got a solo series to explore his new status quo. Though it was summarily canceled by Marvel “We Love Canceling Things” Comics, a new series (with Grace back on writing duties) picked up where this one left off a few months ago.
Jughead by Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson and others
Don’t let Riverdale fool you—as of this 2015 series, the Jughead Jones of the comics universe is one of the industry’s few canonically asexual characters. His recent solo series is a droll, imaginative romp through the Archie universe for old and new fans alike.
Kim & Kim by Eva Cabrera and Magdalene Visaggio
Kim & Kim is the story of two best friends on a wild, interdimensional bounty hunter adventure. Centering the stories of queer and trans women, it’s a joyful, punk rock escapade.
The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
Who doesn’t love a road trip story? Especially when it meets the opposites-attract love story of Amal (who recently came out and was disowned by his family for it) and TJ (a burnt out vagrant), who make a drunken pact to drive cross country together. This long-running webcomic is now available in omnibus form.
Love Is Love from IDW Publishing and DC Comics
In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, IDW and DC came together to publish this anthology remembering and mourning the victims and celebrating the LGBTQ community. All proceeds go to the victims, the survivors, and their families.
Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen
No list of queer comics would be complete without Book Riot favorite Lumberjanes, the zany adventures of five best friends at a summer camp plagued by supernatural creatures. All fans of Hardcore Lady Types welcome!
Midnighter by Steve Orlando and ACO
Midnighter and Apollo have been one of comics’ longest-running queer couples, but in this series, Midnighter strikes out on his own. This is a gleefully violent punch-’em-up with an undercurrent of heartbreak running through it, featuring a Batman-like character with the gritty dial turned all the way up.
Moonstruck by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle
Is there anything softer and cuter than an all-ages romance comic about a lesbian werewolf barista? I didn’t think so!
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi
By turns charming and gut-wrenching, this sexually explicit memoir details one woman’s struggles with depression, disordered eating, and her own sexuality with soft, cartoony art providing a playful counter to the darker or more serious parts of the story.
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics edited by Justin Hall
If you’re interested in digging into the history of queer comics, this volume is the place to start. It collects over 300 pages of queer comics from a wide range of voices, including some of the most important names in the field.
O Human Star by Blue Delliquanti
Inventor Alastair Stirling wakes up 16 years after his death to find a new, high-tech world – and himself in a robot body. Though the trappings are sci-fi, the heart of this story is a warm family drama and the shifting nature of identity.
Oglaf by Doug Bayne and Trudy Cooper
Look, it’s a sex farce. But it’s a gleefully absurd (and beautifully rendered) sex farce that takes clear joy in upending every fantasy trope you can think of while being thoughtfully inclusive across spectrums of race, gender, and sexuality. NSFW in the slightest!
Peritale by Mari Costa
Webcomics have long been more inclusive and experimental than the mainstream stuff. This one is the story of Periwinkle, a fairy with no magic who is determined to prove her worth by joining two particular humans in matrimony—whether they’re on board with the plan or not!
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Prince Sebastian would rather spend his evenings turning heads in the fashion world as the fabulous Lady Crystallia than seeking a bride. Only one person knows his secret: his brilliant dressmaker Frances. But Frances has dreams of her own, and they don’t involve staying anyone’s secret for long.
Skim by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
The Tamaki cousins are masters of the coming-of-age story. This is the tale of Kimberly Keiko “Skim” Cameron, a student at a school reeling from the suicide of a possibly-outed classmate, who finds herself falling in love with her very female drama teacher.
Smut Peddler edited by C. Spike Trotman
One of the first comics projects to show what crowdfunding could do, Smut Peddler is an inclusive anthology of sex-positive science fiction and fantasy erotica that includes two volumes, plus the related My Monster Boyfriend anthology.
Steven Universe by Melanie Gillman and Katy Farina
Do you love Steven Universe? Well, then you’ll love the continuing adventures of the gems in this tie-in series from Boom! Comics!
Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
There’s been a few runs of this team, which features a number of queer characters, including fan favorite couple Hulking and Wiccan, but the Gillen and McKelvie series from 2013 is probably the best loved.
Looking for more queer comics? Check out our queer comics tag for recommendations of anthologies, queer lady heroines, all-ages books, queer graphic memoirs, and more! And definitely have a browse through the impressively comprehensive Queer Comics Database. Happy reading!