Comic books have long been a staple in the American comic book industry, and for good reason. They are an incredibly powerful medium that can tell stories with complex plots and engaging characters in a way that no other medium can.
Whether it’s exploring the gritty underworld of crime comics or the lighter side of romance comics, there is a comic book out there for everyone.
But what if you’re not interested in superhero tales or romance? What if you’re looking for gay comics? Well, you’re in luck! There are plenty of great gay comic books out there that are sure to interest you, whether you’re a fan of LGBTQIA+ content or just want something different to read.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best gay comics available today and give you a rundown on what to expect from each one. So be sure to check them out and see why they’re some of the best comics around!
What is a Gay Comic?
For many, it is a comic book that celebrates love and all that comes with it. Whether you are gay, straight, or somewhere in between, these comics are sure to touch your heart. From coming out stories to love triangles, there is something for everyone in the gay comics genre. Here are some of our favorites:
The Normal Heart by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. This graphic novel follows the intersecting lives of several characters in the early days of AIDS. Moore and Lloyd’s beautifully rendered panels portray both the terror and hope of a time when knowledge was scarce and acceptance still far off.
-Love is Love by Marjane Satrapi. This autobiographical series tells the story of an Iranian girl who falls in love with a woman during the Iranian Revolution. The political turmoil and homophobic violence that follow make for a powerful story of love against all odds.
-Booster Gold by Dan Jurgens and Brett Booth. This DC Comics series follows a young man who is given the power to transform into a superhero after he suffers a major injury. Though he initially uses his powers to help others, Booster eventually discovers his true purpose: to fight for justice, no matter who or what is standing in his way.
The Types of Gay Comics
There are many types of gay comics, each with its own distinct appeal. Some focus on lighthearted fun, while others delve into more serious issues. Whatever your preference, there’s a gay comic out there for you. Here are just a few of the most popular types of gay comics:
Silver Age Superheroes: If you’re a fan of classic DC and Marvel superheroes, you’ll love these comics. They take the characters and set them in a world where homosexuality is accepted and celebrated.
Uncanny X-Men: This series tells the story of young mutants who must come to terms with their sexuality while battling the evil forces that would seek to destroy them. It’s an exciting and engaging series that will leave you wanting more.
Gay Romance: This type of comic focuses on heartwarming tales of love between two men. Whether they’re fighting against society’s expectations or simply trying to find their way in life, these stories are sure to tug at your heartstrings.
List of Best Gay Comics
There are so many great gay comics on the market today that it may be hard to start looking or finding the right one for you with such a packed market. In the section below, we have listed some of the best-reviewed and most popular gay comics.
1. Artifice – Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson
If you are a fan of engaging sci-fi stories, Artifice might be exactly the type of gay comic you want. It is a fast-paced adventure that raises lots of questions about what it actually means to be human. It is a story about a powerful android soldier who messes up his latest mission from his corporate overlords.
The corporation is not happy, so they send him to meet with a robopsychologist who is on the mission to uncover Deacon’s secrets and ensure he never again acts out of line. The story is full of romance, action, and detailed world-building.
2. Flamer – Mike Curato
Flamer is a comic that does not shy away from tough material but ultimately delivers a hopeful story about self-love and acceptance. It is a story about Aiden Navarro, who is spending the summer before high school at the camp, which turns out to be far from the escape he hoped it would be.
He constantly thinks about his friend Elias, but he does not want to think about why that is the case. To make matters even worse, the camp is full of the same type of bullies that his middle school had. This is a great story of restless adolescence and self-discovery that deeply resonates with gay teenagers and adults.
3. Bloom – Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
Bloom is a love story set in a bakery centered around Ari, who just graduated high school and has dreams of leaving for the big city to become a musician. Instead, he is stuck working with his family in a bakery that struggles to achieve profits.
Baking is definitely not Ari’s dream job, but a lot of that starts changing when he meets Hector, who loves baking as much as he hates it. They work together all summer long, baking batch after batch of bread, which ultimately changes Ari’s perspective.
It is slow pace, quiet, but very moving story about what happens when you let go of your predetermined plans and ideas about your life and follow your heart.
4. The Magic Fish – Trung Le Ngyuen
The Magic Fish is a beautiful story about family, fairytales, language, and the power of stories. It is centered around Tien, who is a Vietnamese American boy who loves his family and wants to come out to them, but he does not know how to do it.
He then turns to his beloved fairytales, the books he reads his mother each night. The writer reimagines these fairytales into a contemporary story about Tien and his immigrant family. He turns them into the love they have for each other, the challenges they face, and the ways they support each other in testing moments.
5. You Brought Me the Ocean – Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh
Partnered up with talented illustrator Jullie Maroh, Alex Sanchez is the maker of this coming-of-age graphic novel that tells the story of an ocean-loving boy growing up in a desert town. The main character of the story is Jake, who has not gone for a swim ever since his dad drowned, but he longs for the water.
His crush on his swim school team and the captain, Kenny Liu, also does not offer any help in this regard. Jake and his best friend Maria struggle with all the distress of growing up, and during this process, Jake turns to the water to help him find the courage to be himself and share that self with the rest of the world.
6. There Are Things I Can’t Tell You – Edako Mofumofu
There Are Things I Can’t Tell You is an angsty but generally happy manga created by Edako Mofumofu. It is a story about complications that occur when childhood friendships change once we reach adulthood. The main characters are Kasumi and Kyousuke, that are opposite in so many ways.
Kasumi is quiet, but Kyousuke is an outgoing and very energetic person. They have been best friends since elementary school, but when they reached adulthood, their relationship started to change. If you enjoy emotional and romantic stories that break your heart and then put it back together again, this graphic novel is for you!
7. The Backstagers – James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, and Walter Baiamonte
The Backstagers is a charming, joyful, all-ages comic that follows the story of a group of queer and trans boys in the stage crew at their high school. Little that the rest of the school knows, the backstage area is actually a portal into a magical world full of monsters and magic.
The boys are often in situations where they need to save the show and the whole school from the dangers that come from this mysterious portal. It is a high-stakes adventure that features several adorable gay love stories.
8. My Brother’s Husband – Gengorh Tagame
My Brother’s Husband is a thoughtful and heartwarming manga about Yaichi, a single dad raising his daughter Kana in Tokyo. When Mike arrives, their lives completely change. He is the Canadian husband of Yachi’s recently deceased twin brother Ryoji.
Mike arrived in Tokyo, still grieving, in an attempt to learn more about Ryoji’s past and the family. Yaichi takes him in and is forced to confront his feelings about his estranged brother and LGBTQ+ people generally. It is a hopeful and heartwarming story about the bonds that tie family, and it is well worth checking out.
9. Check, Please! – Ngozi Ukazu
Check, Please! is a heartwarming, funny, and affirming story that follows Eric Bittle, a gay, pie-baking hockey player, over the course of his college career. It is also a slow-burn romance story that, along the way, speaks about the importance of friendships, college life, family, sports, and many more interesting topics.
It is a compelling story that instantly connects you with Bitty and his group of friends and teammates. This is a story that you will read as fast as it is possible and probably will not be able to stop smiling even after you are done reading!
10. Letters for Lucardo – Otava Heikkila
Letters for Lucardo is a historical vampire comic that tells the love story between Ed Fielder, a 61-year-old mortal man and royal scribe, and Lucardo von Gishaupt, an aristocrat and an eternally young vampire.
When they fall in love, they are forced to deal with the contempt Ed faces as a mortal man in the midst of the Night Court, which is the mysterious immortal society to which Lucardo belongs. It is a beautifully drawn romance that explores everlasting topics of mortality and aging.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there any LGBTQ+ comic book characters?
Absolutely, LGBTQ characters have existed in comic books for decades now. Some of the better-known examples from mainstream comics include Northstar, Iceman, and Rawhide Kid from Marvel, and Batwoman, Catwoman, and Extrano from DC Comics.
2. Who was the first gay superhero in Marvel comics?
Marvel’s first gay superhero was Northstar, who was introduced back in 1979. He was also the first gay hero in the whole superhero genre. Unfortunately, the Comics Code Authority censored scripts that were explicit on the matter of his sexuality, and for years, writers employed subtext to leave some hints for their audience to pick up.
3. Who was the first openly gay superhero in the history of comic books?
Extrano was the first openly gay superhero character, and his first appearance in comic books was in Millennium in 1988. However, Marvel’s Northstar got much more media exposure in the public since he “came out” in 1992 after he was an established character for ten years.
4. How inclusive of LGBTQ+ themes and characters is the comics industry?
Even though no long-standing US comics company has been unscathed by previous homophobic policies and decisions, nowadays, the larger comic book companies seem to be taking a more cautious and progressive approach by including LGBTQ+ characters.
In the past, releasing a series with prominent gay characters would have been considered a risky move, but in today’s market, companies do not hesitate to hype such series and projects.
5. Are there any LGBTQ+ manga?
There is plenty of anime and manga with narratives that revolve around, or feature, explicitly LGBTQ+ protagonists. There are stories that often explore queer identity or issues faced by members of the LBTQ+ community. You can also find some cool escapist fantasies starring queer characters, so there are plenty of excellent stories.
As you were able to see from our article, there are plenty of choices in the comic book industry the LGBTQ+ population can enjoy. From superhero flicks to manga and novels, today’s industry is rich in queer characters with whom the readers can easily relate to.
We only picked a handful of comics that we found most engaging, and creating this list was actually pretty hard without leaving out some of the major titles.
However, you will find plenty of interesting comics here, and we believe that whichever you decide to opt for, you will find lots of entertaining and engaging reading hours.