Posted on June 1, 2022 at 6:00 am
Every year, I find myself reading more and more graphic novels and manga. I hadn’t read any until I was well into my adult years, but I’ve found that there are intriguing, well-written, and beautifully drawn graphic novels and manga for all ages.
I’m also finding that each year more and more books about LGBTQ+ characters are being published, including many in graphic novel and manga form. I’m sharing a few of my favorite LGBTQ+ graphic novels and manga below to help you celebrate Pride month!
This is a super quick read (53 pages) with beautiful illustrations and fantastic characters. It’s geared towards a middle-grade audience (ages 9–12), but as an adult I absolutely loved it. The two main characters in this story are princesses, and they save each other rather than a prince or knight saving them. It’s the type of book I wish was around when I was in middle school.
Heartstopper was recently adapted into a Netflix series, and it’s not hard to see why. This graphic novel series is about two high school boys in England: one has already come out, and one is just figuring out that he might not be straight. The storyline gets heavier in its topics in the later volumes, but this series still just makes my heart swell.
The characters in Bloom have graduated high school and are figuring out their next steps. Ari’s parents want him to continue to help out in their family bakery, but Ari has other plans. When Hector arrives, Ari starts rethinking things. You may want to have a few baked goods on hand when you read this one!
The main character in this story, Yaichi, is thrown for a loop when Mike, the Canadian husband of his deceased, estranged twin brother, shows up on his doorstep in Japan. Yaichi’s daughter, Kana, immediately takes to Mike, but Yaichi is much more hesitant. This story is both adorable and frustrating—due to the still-closeted society in Japan—but it has great character development, and I enjoyed it so much that I’m sad there are only two volumes.
Not all relationships are sunshine and rainbows, and that is true with LGBTQ+ relationships as well. This story focuses on the struggles in relationships and highlights characters who aren’t that great at being a partner to someone else as well as characters who give up their friends, hobbies, and more when they enter into a relationship. The story is close to heartbreaking, but it is also beautifully drawn and written.
Whip up a pie and turn on the hockey game to get in the mood for this two-part series! I’ve recommended this graphic novel series to everyone I know who loves hockey and/or enjoys LGBTQ+ love stories. It’s full of interesting, fully fleshed-out characters, an adorable romance, hockey, and pie. What’s not to love?
This graphic novel follows two characters, both of whom aspire to more than their current situation. The dressmaker wants to create her own line of clothing, while the prince dreams of being able to live his life openly and honestly. It’s a wonderful story of hope and living your best, most true life.
Andrea Brumbaugh is the Social Media Specialist for Spokane County Library District. When not at work, she can be found with her nose in a book, next to a body of water, or spending time with her wife and kids. Or maybe all of the above at the same time.