By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Photos: PR, Kraven Comics
Whether you want superheroes, sci-fi epics, fantasy, or simply a visual way to communicate a complicated topic, there is a queer comic or graphic novel there for you. Just like a convention like Dragon Con offers a place and opportunity for LGBTQ folks to express themselves fully, the world of queer comic books and graphic novels opens up a world where all colors of the rainbow are represented, and even the most difficult themes from the LGBTQ world are chronicled without judgment.
The Midseason Special is a collection of the first six episodes of Fernando Velez’s Class 6 comic universe with purely LGBTQ+ (and allied) superheroes. We look into the heroes’ pasts and presents, we learn how they’ve become who they are, and we see how their lives are irrevocably interconnected. Great story and an absolutely amazing visual story!
Class 6 Midseason Special By Kraven Comics, available at kravencomics.com
Although not overtly so, Doctor Aphra is definitely a queer character. Borrowing the vibe of sexual fluidity from Young Avengers, Aphra glides through the universe, leaving hints about her sexual identity behind her. In this issue, she’s off in search of rare artifacts from the galactic center to the Outer Rim — and everywhere in between.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1: Aphra by Marvel. See store directory at marvel.com
Iceman is one of Marvel’s highest-profile gay character, so he has faced quite a few challenges – but in this issue, he faces his greatest challenge yet: coming out to his parents! Apart from a great story, the plot delivers a wonderful exploration of the whole mutant metaphor.
Iceman Vol. 1: Thawing Out by Marvel. See store directory at marvel.com.
Midnighter is a superhero who is rarely seen without his costume and mask, which does bear a resemblance to Batman – except for the fact that Midnighter is married to a man. Another comparison point is the relationship between Midnighter and his husband that, in instances, could be paralleled to Batman and Superman.
Midnighter, DC Comics, available on Amazon
As a follow-up “Avatar The Last Airbender,” the queer relationship between Korra and Asami isn’t revealed explicitly until later in the series. In this book, Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin have to take drastic measures to halt the move towards another war in the Earth Kingdom.
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire Part One by, available on Amazon
After James Belly is forced out of the closet, his middleweight championship title is disqualified on a technicality. He vows to return to the top even if it means being coached by the man who killed his father—a very different coming out story.
Kill A Man, available on aftershockstore.com
This story about finding your true self and coming out under difficult immigration circumstances is both compelling and beautiful. Tien reads fairytales with his parents, which helps bridge a language barrier between two generations. The family’s communication skills are put to the test when Tien decides to tell his mother he is gay, a word he cannot find in Vietnamese.
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, available at rhkidsgraphic.com
Catboy is a series that tells a story about Olive, who wishes her cat, Henry, would become her best friend, and he transforms magically to become a catboy who can talk and stand on two feet. Olive doesn’t want him to be naked, so he raids her closet throughout the stories, and of course, he looks cute weather donning a dress or pants. The whole story is draped in this beautiful gender-bending style that is very endearing.
Catboy by Benji Nate, available on Amazon