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LGBTQ in Comics Cover Art Gallery

LGBTQ Comics

San Diego State University consistently ranks as one of the top LGBT-friendly

universities in national surveys. SDSU is the second university in the nation

and the first in California to offer an undergraduate degree in

lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies.

 

Use the tabs above to learn about comics that explore LGBTQ. Included in this guide are graphic novels and comics. Comic strips and political cartoons are not covered. The guide is by no means exhaustive. There will likely be more comics that cover the topic than the titles we’ve chosen as representative examples, but we hope this will give you a good place to start. Happy researching!

A Distant Soil (Image) (1996-)

Features a gay couple as romantic leads.

 

Batwoman (Character, DC) (2006-)

Katherine (Kate) Kane, an army brat expelled from West Point, is a proud lesbian and has been romantically involved with several women.

  • First Appearance 52 no. 7 (2006)

  • Batwoman Vol 2 (2011-)

  • Batwoman: Elegy (collects Detective Comics nos. 854-860) (2010)

  • Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood (2007-8)

  • Final Crisis: Revelations (2008-9)
     

Blue is the Warmest Color (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013)

"Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine, a high school student, has an average life: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine finds herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity"--From publisher's web site

 

Bread and Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York (Juno Books, 1999)

In this autobiographical graphic novel, Delany, an African-American novelist and professor, and Dennis, a white homeless man on the streets of New York, fall in love.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse)

The Buffy comics feature a number of gay and lesbian characters, including Willow, Tara, Kennedy, and Andrew. The original comic series was published in conjunction with the television show. Willow comes out and falls in love with Tara during season 4, thus comics published after 1999 may feature their relationship (specifically see: Willow & Tara: Wannablessedbe (2000) and Willow & Tara: Wilderness (2001).  The show was continued as a comic from season 8 onward. Andrew comes out in Love Dares You (Season 10, 2015)

 

The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist (Cleis Press, 1999)

In this alternative comic, Hothead Paisan, the over-caffeinated, media- crazed psychotic lesbian "with scary hair and a fetish for guns, grenades, mallets, and sharp objects," returns for more search-and-destroy missions and preventative homicides! A cult favorite, The Complete Collection combines Hothead Paisan and Revenge of Hothead Paisan with new strips in a single volume for the first time. --From publisher's web site

Desert Peach (Thoughts and Images, then MU Press/AEON, then A Fine Line 1980-early 2000s)

This alternative comic imagines that World War II German field marshal, Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel, has a gay younger brother named Pfirsich “The Desert Peach” Rommel.

 

Doom Patrol (DC; Vertigo) (particularly Vols 2 and 3, 1987-2003)

A superheros team of outcasts and misfits, Doom Patrol introduced a number of LGBTQ characters. Amongst them were Kate Godwin, Coagula, one of the first transsexual superheroes; Danny the Street, an actual living sentient transvestite street; and Rebis, a divine hermaphrodite, created when a spiritual being merges itself with both a man and a woman.

 

The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)

Settle in to this wittily illustrated soap opera of the lives, loves, and politics of a cast of characters, most of them lesbian, living in a midsize American city that may or may not be Minneapolis. --From publisher's web site

 

Fun Home : A Family Tragicomic (2006)

Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir deals with the hardships individuals face when coming-out. She shares her story of growing up with a closeted gay father and self discovery of her own sexual orientation.

 

Gay Comix (1980-1998)

This underground comics series featured the work of primarily gay and lesbian cartoonists. Themes included love, coming out, repression, and sex. The title changed to Gay Comics with issue no. 15 in 1992.

 

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir (Candlewick, 2015)

Maggie Thrash's graphic novel memoir shares the story of her first crush at an all-girls summer camp.

 

How Loathsome (Comics Lit/NBM, 2003-04)

Addresses issues of gender identity, sexuality, fetishism, drug use, and goth subculture in San Francisco.

 

Husbands (Dark Horse, 2013)

This continuation of the web sitcom Husbands, is set in world with marriage equality.

Kevin Keller (Character, Archie Comics) (2010-)

Kevin Keller was the first openly gay character in Archie Comics. He makes his first appearance in 2010 in Veronica no. 202. Life With Archie no. 16 (2012) hosts the first gay wedding in comics when Keller marries. In Life with Archie no. 36 (2014), Archie is shot and killed when he intervenes on an attempted assassination of newly-elected Senator Kevin Keller.

 

Legion of Super-Heroes (DC) (Volumes 2 through 4, especially Vol 4 no. 31) (1992)

Transsexual themes are explored.

 

Lumberjanes (Boom!) (2014-)

Set at a summer camp whose attendees are known as Lumberjane Scouts, the story features a transgender girl named Jo.

 

Mantra (Malibu, then Marvel) (1993-1996)

When warrior, Lukasz, dies, his soul is placed into the body of a woman, Eden Blake.

 

Meatmen: An Anthology of Gay Male Comics (Leyland Publications, 1989-2002)

Adult erotic comics featuring gay and bisexual male characters.

 

New Guardians (DC) (1988-89)

Though not stated to be gay due to publication standards at the time, Extraño, is often credited as being one of the first “openly” (implied) gay superheros. He was infected with HIV by a vampire named Hemo-Goblin.  

 

Northstar (Character, Marvel)

Jean-Paul Beaubier, aka Northstar, was Marvel’s first openly gay major character (came out in 1992). A sometimes member of Alpha Flight and the X-Men, Northstar deals with sexuality, homophobia, HIV and AIDS. Notable issues include:

  • Alpha Flight no. 106 (1992)

  • Uncanny X-Men nos. 392 and 414 (2001-2002)
     

Pride High (Pride Comics, independent publisher) (2006-2008) Online

Friends create a gay-straight alliance at their high school for teens with superpowers.

Renee Montoya (character, DC)

Gotham city police detective, Renee Montoya is outed as a lesbian by villain Two-Face in Gotham Central nos. 6-10 (2003) (collected as Gotham Central: Half A Life. Renee Montoya appears in numerous comics. For a more complete list, see the DC database.

 

The Runaways (Marvel) (Vol. 2, 2005)

Xavin is able to shapeshift between his/her human female, human male, and alien Skrull form. She shifts into human female form to enter into a relationship with Karolina Dean, a lesbian.

 

The Sandman: A Game of You (DC) (1993)

Major characters include Wanda, a pre-operative transgender woman, and a lesbian couple, Hazel and Foxglove.

 

Seven Miles a Second (Vertigo, 1996; reprinted by Fantagraphics, 2013)

Tells the story of New York artist David Wojnarowicz, who died from an AIDS-related illness in 1992 at the age of 37. The story depicts his “anger at the indifference of government and health agencies” in response to the AIDS epidemic.

 

Stuck Rubber Baby (1995; reprinted by Vertigo, 2010)

Toland Polk from the fictional Southern town of Clayfield, Alabama struggles to come to terms with his sexuality in the midst of the Civil Rights movement.

 

Tales of the Closet (1987-2016)

A group of gay and lesbian teens at a high school in Queens, New York in 1986 form a bond.

 

Watchmen (DC) (1986-87)

Includes a number of complex LGBTQ characters and issues.

 

V for Vendetta (Vertigo, 1988-89)

Includes a number of complex LGBTQ characters and issues.

 

X-Force and X-Statix (Marvel)

Includes a number of LGBTQ characters and issues. Openly gay characters include Bloke, Phat, and Vivisector.

 

Yousef and Farhad Online

Tells the story of two gay men in Iran.

Here is a short list of some additional LGBTQ characters you might investigate:
 

Anole (Young X-Men, Marvel)

Apollo and Midnighter (The Authority, DC WildStorm)

Bloke (Marvel)

Bunker (Teen Titans, DC - first appears in vol. 4, #, 2011)

Cherry (Last Gasp, then Kitchen Sink Press then Cherry Comics)

Destiny (Marvel)

Enigma (DC)

Freedom Ring (Marvel Team-Up)

Graymalkin (Young X-Men, Marvel)

Green Lantern (DC, Earth 2)

Hector (Marvel Swimsuit Special 1995)

Hulkling and Wiccan (Young Avengers, Marvel 2005)

Icemaiden (DC)

Maggie and Hopey (Love & Rockets, Locas, Fantagraphics)

Mystique (Marvel)

Obsidian (Manhunter, DC, 2004)

Pied Piper (The Flash, DC, The New 52)

Rawhide Kid (Marvel MAX 2002)

Rictor and Shatterstar (X-Factor, Marvel)

Sarah Rainmaker (Gen13, DC)

Vivisector (Marvel)

Voodoo (DC, The New 52)

Wallace Wells (Scott Pilgrim, Oni Press)

 

Also check out the following lists of LGBTQ characters:

ComicVine

Celebrate Pride Month with this List of 63 LGBT Marvel/DC Characters

Gay Comic Book Characters from Cracked.com

 

 

Sheppard, Amanda. "Gender Evolution in Graphic Novels." Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme, and Technique.Hackensack: Salem, null. n. pag. Salem Online. Web. 11 May. 2016. <http://online.salempress.com.libproxy.sdsu.edu>

SDSU Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has some, but not all, of the comics mentioned in this guide. Please contact us and we can pull the comics ahead of time for your use.

 

Location: SDSU Library & Information Access, Library Addition Room 4410
Phone: 619.594.6791
Email: askscua@mail.sdsu.edu