• Amelia Xanthe

Amelia's Top Ten Queer Graphic Novels

Updated: Jun 26

Queer representation in media is so rare and so often only shows the same small slice of our community. In my humble gay opinion, graphic novels are leading the media revolution of including queer stories. I've compiled a list of some of my favorites across a wide variety of graphic novels and comics. Some came out as recently as this year, while others give you a sense of just how far queer representation has come.


1. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

(for ages 16 and up)

This would also be at the top of my favorite graphic novels list in general. The story is set against the backdrop of 1960's Chicago and follows a young girl's investigation of her neighbor's murder. The artwork is unparalleled in detail and visual storytelling. Ferris perfectly captures what it's like to be young, confused, and queer... sometimes you can't help but see yourself as a monster.

If you find yourself not wanting to read graphic novels because they can't live up to your classic literature expectations, I highly recommend giving this one a shot.

2. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung

(for ages 13 and up)

You've probably (at least) heard of Scott Pilgrim, well this is the author's newest series as he works with a stunning new illustrator, Leslie Hung. Snotgirl is the story of a social media superstar as she deals with her complicated personal life filled with secrets (including her horrible, ugly allergies). Snotgirl is my current favorite on-going series. I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a fun read with strong, unique characters.

3. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

(for ages 16 and up)

What could be more timely than a queer, feminist, anti-prison graphic novel? Bitch Planet is an incredibly relevant read that is Orange Is the New Black meets dystopian B horror movie. I'd recommend this one to anyone who's feeling practically angry at the world and needs to satisfy their feminist Image Comics scratch.

4. Paper Girls Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

(for ages 16 and up)

Paper Girls combines all of the things I love most in media: set in the 1980s, time travel, a strong group of female friends, gay love interests, the end of the world, and of course, delivering newspapers. There is a film adaption of this series in the works, so I highly recommend jumping on this read and being ahead of the curve. Basically, if you loved Stranger Things, but also wish it was gayer and had more female characters I'd give this a read.

5. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

(for ages 15 and up)

I feel any queer book list would be incomplete without Fun Home. It is a graphic memoir of the cartoonist, Alison Bechdel, life. The book also inspired the hit Broadway musical of the same name. Fun Home isn't a light read but the story is so specific and universally queer at the same time. I think Fun Home is the first time that many young queer women see themselves reflected in a book.

6. Queer: a Graphic History by Meg-John Barker

(for ages 16 and up)

Okay so now you've read (and probably lived through) several queer stories, but you're thirsty to understand all these complicated feelings around sexuality and gender. Queer is a great starting point to understand basic queer theory and history. If you've taken more than one queer theory class in college, I'd probably only skim through this one. However, it is a great starting point for anyone trying to understand our community's history and theories. A great gift for the young queer in your life.