We’re Here and We’re Queer: 35 Indie Titles Doing Right by LGBTA Fans

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It’s been a very challenging week for LGBT comic fans.

Without any visible LGBT leads for their All-New All-Different relaunch in the fall, Marvel Comics has given its queer fans a lot to think about. This concern crescendoed with the stone cold declaration that a character who had been identified as bisexual by previous writer Greg Pak — in Incredible Hercules and on his own blog — was now straight. Since then, two Marvel executives retweeted a Gamergate supporter mocking LGBT fan concerns and another stated openly on his own Tumblr blog that the company is waiting for a creative team to “show up, and feel legitimate.”

Well, guess what? There’s a whole lot of creative teams in the comic market producing “legitimate” queer representation. It’s easy for us to point at DC Comics’ five queer-led titles (Midnighter, Constantine: The Hellblazer, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Secret Six) or that its first chapter of the new DC Bombshells digital-first title starred a lesbian couple. But we at Comicosity thought it would also be great to identify where the creator-owned and independent market was knocking LGBT representation out of the park — TODAY.

What follows is not necessarily all the books with prominent queer characters in the indie market, but certainly ones we recommend you check out!

The Spire

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Jeff Stokely

Towering above a strange sci-fi world, the Spire is home to over a million residents and at its center rests lesbian character Shå, the Commander of City Watch.

spire1-1

 

Virgil

Published by Image Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by J.D. Faith

They took his boyfriend. They killed his friends. They should have killed Virgil. Now this once-closeted police officer is going to destroy everyone in his path to get back his love.

virgil-COV-01

 

Effigy

Published by Vertigo Comics
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Marley Zarcone

Chondra Jackson may have played a space-cop on TV as a child, but her whole world as a real cop turns upside-down when those stories creep into a murder scene. And fast on her heels is transgender die-hard fan Edie Chacon, who’s going to help whether Chondra likes it or not.

effigy-110310

 

The Infinite Loop

Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Pierrick Colinet
Art by Elsa Charretier

Teddy needs to map out time anomalies and destroy them. Ano is a time anomaly. And very inconveniently, the two women fall in love.

InfiniteLoop_01-prjpg_Page1

 

The Surface

Published by Image Comics
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Langdon Foss and Jordie Bellaire

Amid the jungles of Tanzania in a post-apocalyptic future world, three polyamorous hacktivists are determined to unearth the truth behind their world.

TheSurface01-CovA

 

The Bunker

Published by Oni Press
Written by Josh Fialkov
Art by Joe Infurnari

5 friends discover a deeply buried bunker in the woods that contains letters from themselves — to themselves — from the future. All except gay character Billy Ryder. What does that mean?

THE BUNKER TPB V1 COVER

 

The Woods

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Dialynas

A school blinks out of existence and ends up on another planet — including a gay and lesbian-filled cast of students — just outside a terrifying set of woods.

4313808-09

 

Bitch Planet

Published by Image Comics
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Valentine DeLandro

In the not-so distant future, women deemed non-compliant — including at least one lesbian couple — are sentenced to Bitch Planet to serve prison terms away from Earth and compete in games for the amusement of the rich.

bitchplanet1

 

Kaptara

Published by Image Comics
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Kagan McLeod

A group of astronauts, survived in part by gay and super-lazy Keith Kanga, find themselves on a strange and dangerous alien planet. So why doesn’t Keith want to go back home?

Kaptara_2015_Present

 

ODY-C

Published by Image Comics
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Christian Ward

In this sci-fi retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, the gods are decidedly genderqueer and the entire universe is devoid of men, making lesbian relationships the default.

Ody-C-3-2-25-15

 

8House: Arclight

Published by Image Comics
Written by Brandon Graham
Art by Marian Churchland

Genderqueer knight Sir Arclight is just one of the defenders of a fantasy homeland besieged by blood magic and alien monsters.

8House-Arclight-1-cover

 

Lumberjanes

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters
Art by Brooke Allen

The story of five girls at summer camp — two of whom are in a relationship with each other — going on adventures and just generally being who they are.

Lumberjanes_Cover

 

The Wicked + The Divine

Published by Image Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie

Gods come back to inhabit humanity in cycles. And this time around, they have fans. Among both groups is a literal explosion of queer characters like you’ve never seen in a book before.

Wicked+Divine02_CoverA

 

Life with Kevin

Published by Archie Comics
Written by Dan Parent
Art by Dan Parent and J. Bone

Kevin Keller is still today one of the only gay male characters to receive his own ongoing series at any major company, and it was at Archie Comics! Riverdale has grown — and soon, so will Kevin as he sets off for New York City in an all-new series.

LifeWithKevin-DanParent-JBone

 

Raven: The Pirate Princess

Published by Action Labs Entertainment
Written by Jeremy Whitley
Art by Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt

Spinning off from Princeless, Raven takes to the open seas with her own series, and is that her lady love I spy through the eyeglass? All signs point to YES.

Princeless4cover-677x1024

 

Wuvable Oaf

Published by Fantagraphics Press
Written by Ed Luce
Art by Ed Luce

Hirsuite gay bear Oaf Jadwiga is just looking for someone to love. Why does it have to be so hard?

oaf-undies

 

Giant Days

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by John Allison
Art by Lissa Treiman

Daisy navigates the disappointment of being rejected by Nadia, and seeing Nadia show up at a formal event with another date. Eek!

GiantDays_05_A_Main

 

Shutter

Published by Image Comics
Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Leila Del Duca and Owen Gieni

Kate Kristopher is a retired explorer, forced back into the game by incredible events. And along the path of danger is her transgender best friend.

shutter

 

Rat Queens

Published by Image Comics
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art by Stjepan Sejic

Winner of a recent GLAAD award, Rat Queens is a fantasy D&D-like tale featuring out lesbian halfling Betty and transgender orc Braga!

RatQueens06-CoverA

 

Jem and the Holograms

Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Sophie Campbell

A re-envisioning of the 1990s popular cartoon, the Holograms now feature bisexual, lesbian, and transgender cast members — and they’re more fabulous than ever.

jem-and-the-holograms

 

Negative Space

Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Ryan K. Lindsay
Art by Owen Gieni

Writer’s block is a bitch when you’re an overweight, gay, depressed, First Nations empath. Especially when you’re trying to write a suicide note.

negspace2cover

 

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Chris Ryall
Art by Tony Akins and John Livesay

Based on Douglas Adams’ best-selling detective novels, this new story has Dirk on a case in San Diego. He quickly befriends Susan and Tonya, the owners of Central Caffe, which Dirk believes to be a centre of the universe.

DirkGently_01-prjpg_Page1

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10

Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Rebekkah Isaacs

Buffy is nothing if not filled with queer characters over its televised and illustrated past, from lesbian Willow to young gay Billy the Vampire Slayer.

BUFFYS101 ECCC

 

Red Sonja

Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Walt Geovani

Reintroduced by Gail Simone in an all-new series, Sonja is decidedly bisexual, and has among her entourage many queer companions of all types! She is also stinky.

red-sonja-16-cvr

 

Hopeless Savages

Published by Oni Press
Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Meredith McLaren and Christine Norrie

A family of musicians — including gay brother Twitch — are returning this fall in a brand new volume, as Zero has her first spring break in college and uses it to go on a road trip with her band.

comics-savages-break

 

Curb Stomp

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Ryan Ferrier
Art by Devaki Neogi

A gang of women — including queer women — are forced into a moment of violence to protect their turf that sets off a gang riot.

curb stomp 1

 

Morning Glories

Published by Image Comics
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Joe Eisma

None of the students at Morning Glory Academy have as many secrets as the school itself. Amazingly enough, however, the very first sex scene in the title occurred between two male students.

morning-glories37-Cover

 

No Mercy

Published by Image Comics
Written by Alex de Campi
Art by Carla Speed McNeil

A group of teenagers — straight and queer — head to Central America on a pre-college service trip. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, things get worse.

no-mercy-cover-674x1024

 

Fresh Romance

Published by Rosy Press
Written by Various
Art by Various

Exactly what it implies, Fresh Romance is a new take on the romance comic tradition, starring queer characters of all types.

Fresh Romance 1 cover

 

Sunstone

Published by Image Comics
Written by Stjepan Sejic
Art by Stjepan Sejic

Ally and Lisa meet on a BDSM online chat forum, and we follow their relationship as it grows from the very first moments onward.

Sunstone_title

 

The Pride

Published by The Pride
Written by Joe Glass
Art by Various

The world’s premier LGBT super-hero team, The Pride defends the city and pushes for change by setting an example for greatness!

The-Pride-1-cover-0a5452

 

Pathfinder

Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Kevin Stokes

In the world of Golarion, same sex couples aren’t seen as an exception. This sword & sorcery title has focused in on gay couples, reflecting the diversity of the RPG world itself!

PathfinderV1HC-Cov-TEMP

 

Help Us Great Warrior

Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Madeleine Flores
Art by Madeleine Flores

Great Warrior slays dragons, goes on adventures, and loots dungeons, but not at the expense of having a great time with her friends, including her BFF Leo, a transgender warrior woman!

BOOMBOX_HelpUsGreatWarrior_001_A_Main

 

Trees

Published by Image Comics
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Jason Howard

With a bisexual woman and transgender woman at the center of the early stories, Trees tells the tale of what happens when aliens land on earth and, more or less, do nothing. Humans not so much.

trees1

 

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics

Published by Vertigo Comics
Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Alberto Ponticelli

The world is governed by laws, and the FBP is there to enforce them — including gravity. Assisting the field agents is a number of scientists, including the transgender Professor Sen.

FBP_Federal_Bureau_of_Physics_Vol_1_19_Textless

 

Want to keep going and see ANOTHER 35 indie comics doing right by LGBTA fans? Read on.

 

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34 Comments

  1. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    AND MORE!

    Writer’s block is a bitch when you’re an overweight, gay, depressed, First Nations empath. Especially when you’re trying to write a suicide note.

    NEGATIVE SPACE
    Published by Dark Horse Comics
    Written by Ryan K. Lindsay
    Art by Owen Gieni
    .
    .

  2. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    Not yet! But here’s hoping!

    And we’re starting to accumulate a similar list for web comics! Thanks for the suggestion. Keep them coming!

  3. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    Saga is on hiatus, no? But nevertheless, tell us more about the LGBT characters in SAGA!

  4. Charlie B. said:

    saga does a thing where Image publishes 6 issues a row, does a three-month break, then comes back with another 6 issues.
    it’s like Tv show seasons 🙂

  5. Charlie B. said:

    a huge chunk of these are on my pull list already!
    I’ll be buying collected editions of many of the others here, that I’m just finding out about 🙂

  6. herebewonder said:

    I think Transformers as a whole would also fit (Robots in Disguise, More Than Meets The Eye, & Windblade). MTMTE has the most obvious relationship between Rewind and Chromedome but there are supposed to be more same sex relationships coming. (Sure, they’re robots but gendered robots nonetheless.)

  7. Sprite Anansi said:

    If you count mentions-of, I think there’s four confirmed same-sex relationships in Transformers comics already. Sure we’ll see more of it.

  8. jpooch said:

    Upsher & Doff are tabloid journalists working on Alana & Marko’s story.

  9. jpooch said:

    Saga has also shown quite a bit of same sex relations and quite graphically. Of course that doesn’t fit in with a lot of the reasoning behind books you did choose. It’s just worth my noting that BKV and Staples are just as graphic with the sex scenes no matter who is having sex with who. That’s important for a different reason, especially when you had some digital outlets refusing to release issues.

  10. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    No, I think that’s great. Definitely a fine addition to the list!

  11. Mathilde Tamae-Bouhon said:

    Thanks for a fantastic list! I’m already reading about thirty of these titles, and your descriptions have made me eager to check out the rest. 🙂

    What about The Autumnlands? Though I guess it’s on summer break at the moment, much like Saga, as the first arc concluded in June… At any rate, it was revealed in issue 5 that Lady Gharta, the supremely badass female warthog Seeker, was in a relationship with another female character.

    And in Copperhead, Deputy Budroxifinicus seems to be sharing his live with a male mate.

  12. Alex de Campi said:

    Thanks for reading No Mercy 😀 We also have a lot of queer characters in my trash horror anthology series, GRINDHOUSE (Dark Horse). If you’re putting together a webcomic list, one book I love is the sex comedy Ménage A 3 by Gisele Lagace, which has lesbian, bi, and gay characters and wow, Gisele draws hhhhhot men and women: http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/sonya_kidnapped_us it is in print, too…. they’re currently doing a Kickstarter to publish volume SEVEN.

  13. Erin Kane said:

    I read Menage A 3 but never came across any lesbian characters in it. Most if not all the main female characters were bi though, last I knew. There was one woman who had a phobia of tentacles who could only have sex with Gary by letting him go down on her, but I wouldn’t call that lesbian exactly.

  14. Erin Kane said:

    This is an awesome list and I found several new comics to check out! I’m a gigantic Lumberjanes fan and I fell in love with the first issue of Raven The Pirate Princess! So fun and I can’t wait for the next issue. I hope it releases on a regular schedule. For some reason the first issue came out early last month but number two won’t be out until the end of this month. 🙁

  15. THE BEANS BRAND said:

    Great list, and I’m hyped as heck to find out about several of these which I hadn’t heard of and happy to see some favorites (THE SPIRE!!!! Rat Queens! Kaptara!) –

    I want to be the one ornery person to point out Marvel does actually have some LGBT leads. They’ve only got one with a solo title, but Angela’s solo comic is coming back as “Angela: Queen of Hel”, and that stars her and a trans woman named Sera she’s in a relationship with. … I mean, I don’t wanna make excuses, it’s still not a GREAT showing, and even less so considering apparently 0 people remember them or their title existing. But still.

  16. THE BEANS BRAND said:

    If you’re makin’ a list of webcomics, Hotblood! is a pretty rad centaur western with gay leads (and some really gorgeous landscape shots, gotdamn). It’s on a brief hiatus until September, but still.

    http://hotbloodcomic.com/

  17. Zerbertina said:

    Image, Boom!, Dark Horse et al. are considered “indie”? Anyhow, how about a similar list of webcomics?

  18. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    Yep. Traditionally, anything not Marvel or DC (i.e. independently owned and operated) would be shortened to “indie.”

    But yes! This list has been so popular, we’ll be working on one for webcomics, as well as small press (i.e. self-published and things that rarely hit Diamond lists). Stay tuned!

  19. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    Angela has NOT been confirmed as LGBT in any way, and as we’ve seen with Hercules, we clearly can’t make assumptions.

  20. THE BEANS BRAND said:

    … For real? What on earth, Marvel. I. I almost feel like it’s so obvious it shouldn’t need confirmation, but you’re right. They just. I feel like there’d be no question what that dynamic’s about if it was a man and a woman. At least Sera’s still trans. (That much was stated outright in the text, so …) Ugh. You’re right though.

    Ah well, time to start reading some of the other stuff from this list. Infinite Loop looks rad.

  21. joroidescons said:

    I really don’t see how it’s relevant to namedrop Gamergate.

    I’m bisexual, I love many of the books here on this list, and I’m also a gamergate supporter, and I really don’t think you know what we really stand for. Gamergate wants in comics what it wants in video games, a platform in which every voices can be expressed without censorship and oppression.

    Most GG supporters are LGBTQ friendly and many are also fans of the comics and creators featured here. Nobody in Gamergate have any desire to silence creators, or opinions, no matter who or how. If they do I’d like to hear from them and tell them how stupid they are.

    In any case the list is great and I thank you for reminding everyone that comics is a wonderful industry full of various voices, the best way to make sure comics are as inclusive as possible is to support with our money the books that are doing things right.

  22. Jackrich Taylor said:

    If I could add to that for the list of web comics:
    Rain.thewebcomic.com is a transgender drama with a full spectrum of queer characters (centers around them but they’re only a 3rd of the cast, so there is a Lot of diversity) and a lot of heart. The art style is simplistic, but this speaks volumes (on a personal level at least) about growing up transgender.
    Thanks for this list btw, hope to hear more from you soon!

  23. Pandanra said:

    This list is great. Thank you. There are some I was always curious about (Arclight and The Spire) and now I’ll definitely try out! Also, Curb Stomp sounds. Awesome! XD

  24. Matt SantoriGriffith said:

    Yes! This was after our conversation, but I did see it and cheered! Marguerite said to me that it absolutely would be shown on the page, clearly. Hurrah!

  25. Jared Sagaz said:

    Saga of BKV have at least five characters nonstraight: Prince Robo, Izabel, Upsher, Doff and The Brand, without take into consideration Gwen that have just her first sexual experience with a girl. Besides there are explicit as straight as diversified sex scenes in the series.

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