June is Pride month. There has been a blooming of LGBTQ+ comics and graphic novels in recent years.
There are many works I could mention but here is a quick look at some of my recent favourites.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me – written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. A tender tale of growing up with all the associated mistakes and lessons. Perfectly balanced dialogue, recognisable characters and sun-drenched art. This book gathered a lot of praise, and I was a bit worried it might not live up to the hype. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. The characters in this book do suffer from high school homophobia, but this is very far from the focus of the book. An optimistic work about the possibility and even likelihood of change and growth as people and a society. Publishers Website
Finding Home by Hari Conner. In a fantasy world with strict hierarchies two men from very different backgrounds find themselves travelling together. With reflections on mental health and the natural world, a hidden gem. Hari’s art is a breathtaking trip across a world of sun-dappled forests and sophisticated cities with inspiration taken from global cultures far from the usual fantasy cliches. We reviewed the first volume of Finding Home here, but the second volume is now available. More on Hari’s website.
The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang. When your fairy tale wedding isn’t quite what you really want. In a version of Paris rather removed from those you would find in the works of Zola or Hugo a young dressmaker with a taste for the spectacular is hired by a young aristo with his own tastes. Jen Wang’s illustration excels when it comes to fashion but also conveys the personality of her characters perfectly. Website
Queer a Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele. If you want to delve into queer history and theory then this is a very accessible place to start. I can also recommend Jules’ fearless and personal diary comics published as Sleepless which I came across at the Ghost Comics event in Glasgow – reviewed here. Get your copies of these and other works at Jules’ website.