Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel Recommendations

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

Today, I’m sharing recommendations inspired by the upcoming Heartstopper series on Netflix! If you haven’t picked up this series yet, Heartstopper is a LGBTQIA+ graphic novel series that follows Nick and Charlie.

In honor of this upcoming series, I thought I’d share some more recommendations for graphic novels that have LGBTQIA+ rep! Please note that while Hearstopper is a YA series, not all of these picks are YA or MG.

Let’s get into the list!

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsChef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez
Published by Oni Press on April 12, 2022
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels / General, Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance
Pages: 160

"A perfect mix of romance and self-discovery." — Publishers Weekly

Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel!

Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right?

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsThe Girl from the Sea: A Graphic Novel by Molly Knox Ostertag
Published by Scholastic Inc. on June 1, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Dating & Sex
Pages: 256

From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love.

Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn't seem so stifling anymore.But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they're each trying to hide will find its way to the surface...whether Morgan is ready or not.

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsAlways Human by Ari North
Published by Simon and Schuster on October 19, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction / Diversity & Multicultural
Pages: 256

"This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...soft, expressive art adds a visceral charge to the couple's very human experiences, which range from excitement and affection to pain and doubt." -- Publisher's Weekly

"This wholesome plot focuses on building understanding, offering mutual support, and budding self-acceptance, as well as the importance of asking rather than making assumptions; avoiding othering; and regarding all those in one's orbit with compassion...A charming, sensitive story of love and acceptance." --School Library Journal

" In a technologically advanced near future, two young women bumble through their first dates and fights together as they enjoy the exhilaration of new love....Always Human by Ari North is an endearingly feel-good sapphic romance set against a diverting futuristic backdrop." --Samantha Zaboski, Shelf Awareness

First serialized on the popular app and website WebToon, Always Human ran from 2015-2017 and amassed over 76,000 unique subscribers during its run. Now reformatted for a print edition in sponsorship with GLAAD, Always Human is a beautifully drawn graphic novel about a developing relationship between two young women in a near-future, soft sci-fi setting. Always Human is drawn in a manga-influenced style and with an incredible color palette that leaps off the page!

In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications-but some people have "Egan's Syndrome," a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these "mods" and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a "natural" appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks.

Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen's bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she's still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.

Rendered in beautiful detail and an extraordinary color palette, Always Human is a sweet love story told in a gentle sci-fi setting by a queer woman cartoonist, Ari North.

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsSquad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Published by HarperCollins on October 5, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction / Girls & Women, Young Adult Fiction / Monsters, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 224

An IndieBound Bestseller

“Squad is a fast-paced and feminist horror story for every girl who’s ever felt like prey, and asks how far a girl should go to hunt the hunters.”—Laura Ruby, author of National Book Award Finalist Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

“Squad is a story fitted with the sharpest teeth that chomps down on the patriarchy, and I adored it with my entire vicious heart."—Chloe Gong, author of New York Times–bestselling These Violent Delights

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But then things get complicated. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure, their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—and Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fierce, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage Song, Lumberjanes, and Paper Girls. 

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsGender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
Published by Oni Press on May 28, 2019
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels / General, Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBT, Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction / Biography & Memoir
Pages: 240

2020 ALA Alex Award Winner
2020 Stonewall — Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award Honor Book

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.

Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

"It’s also a great resource for those who identify as nonbinary or asexual as well as for those who know someone who identifies that way and wish to better understand." — SLJ (starred review)

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsGood Talk by Mira Jacob
Published by Random House Publishing Group on March 24, 2020
Genres: Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs, Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction / Biography & Memoir, Humor / Topic / Marriage & Family
Pages: 368

A “beautiful and eye-opening” (Jacqueline Woodson), “hilarious and heart-rending” (Celeste Ng) graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families,  and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Chicago Tribune • The New York Public Library • Publishers Weekly AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time BuzzFeed • Esquire • Library Journal Kirkus Reviews

How brown is too brown?

Can Indians be racist?
What does real love between really different people look like?

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. 
 
Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.

LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/OPEN BOOK AWARD

“Jacob’s earnest recollections are often heartbreaking, but also infused with levity and humor. What stands out most is the fierce compassion with which she parses the complexities of family and love.”Time

Good Talk uses a masterful mix of pictures and words to speak on life’s most uncomfortable conversations.”io9

“Mira Jacob just made me toss everything I thought was possible in a book-as-art-object into the garbage. Her new book changes everything.”—Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsThe Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Published by First Second on February 13, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Historical, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance
Pages: 276

A fairy tale for any age, Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family.

This title has Common Core connections.

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsThe Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Published by Random House Graphic on April 9, 2022
Pages: 256

Tiến loves his family and his friends...but Tiến has a secret he's been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together.

Real life isn't a fairytale.

But Tiến still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiến, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through?

Is there a way to tell them he's gay?

A beautifully illustrated story by Trung Le Nguyen that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, an instant classic that shows us how we are all connected. The Magic Fish tackles tough subjects in a way that accessible with readers of all ages, and teaches us that no matter what--we can all have our own happy endings.

And of course, if you haven’t checked out Heartstopper yet, I have to include that as a recommendation to check out!

Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel RecommendationsHeartstopper by Alice Oseman
Published by Scholastic Incorporated on January 4, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance
Pages: 384

"Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork. Absolutely delightful. Sweet, romantic, kind. Beautifully paced. I loved this book. -- Rainbow Rowell, author of Carry On Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works."--Provided by publisher.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rae

2 thoughts on “Recommendations: LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel Recommendations

  1. Love this! Hearstopper is such an amazing and gorgeous series, love the couples (Charlie and and Nick the most of course). Great recommendations, totally agree with Prince and Dressmaker and Girl in the Sea. Still hoping to read Chef Kiss.

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