We hope everyone had a great Toronto pride weekend! To celebrate this month, we are showcasing comics in our collection about and by people from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. (LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer; the plus (+) refers to the spectrum of gender and sexuality.) We cover a wide range of stories from “slice-of-life” everyday fiction, speculative fiction, anthologies and zines, to non-fiction comics, biographies, and visual essays.
We have also gathered resources on LGBTQ+ comics below, such as diverse publishers, digital archives, and databases. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for something to add!
LGBTQ+ -owned graphic novel publishers:
“Power & Magic Press is an independent comics publisher in Portland, OR. Our mission is the creative and economic empowerment of queer creators, creators of color, and creators at the intersections. The driving force behind P&M Press is Joamette Gil, a queer Afro-Cuban cartoonist and editor of the award-winning POWER & MAGIC: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology.”
“Northwest Press is a book publisher dedicated to publishing the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics collections and graphic novels and celebrating the LGBT comics community. It was founded in 2010 by comics writer and LGBT comics activist Charles “Zan” Christensen.
Northwest Press’ mission is to publish quality queer comics work and help rising talents reach wider audiences, and to increase the visibility of LGBT comics in general. In addition to NWP’s original print releases, the company has amassed a great catalog of top-notch digital work, presented with polish and style.”
“A writer/artist duo consisting of Michelle Parker and Jey Pawlik. Topaz Comics currently posts the webcomics Dead City and Gender Slices every Tuesday for free on topazcomics.com”
Czap Books publishes comics that celebrate and explore the poetic, the personal, and the weird. Our goal is to nurture and support a growing, diverse family of artists.
Publishers who prioritize publishing LGBTQ+ creators:
“Arsenal Pulp Press is a book publisher in Vancouver, Canada with over 400 titles currently in print, which include literary fiction and nonfiction; books on social issues; gender studies; LGBTQ and diverse literature; graphic novels and non-fiction; cookbooks; alternative crafts; visual arts; and books in translation. We are interested in literature that engages and challenges readers, and which asks probing questions about the world around us.”
“Hiveworks Comics is a creator-owned comics and graphic novel publisher focused on free to read webcomics. Launched at the end of 2011, Hiveworks began as a cooperation between longtime webcomic creators Erin Burt, Chloé C, Isabelle Melançon, Megan Lavey-Heaton, Yamino, and Chris Hazelton, and run by internet enthusiast Joseph Stillwell. In 2013, Hiveworks Comics launched Blindsprings by Kadi Fedoruk, its first completely produced and page-rate paid graphic novel, followed by Mary Cagle’s Sleepless Domain in 2015. An internet company as well as a publisher, Hiveworks works to develop tools and resources for the webcomic industry.”
“Many of the webcomics supported by Hiveworks feature a mix of queer stories and queer creators. Sister Claire, Sfeer Theory, Balderdash, Go Get a Roomie!, Knights Errant, and Sparkler are just a few.” (BookRiot)
“Iron Circus Comics is Chicago’s largest comics publisher. Dedicated to publishing strange and amazing comics, amplifying unique voices, and giving artists a fair deal, ICC has blazed the trail for the small-press Kickstarter renaissance. Owned and operated by C. Spike Trotman, ICC was founded in the spring of 2007 to publish the print edition of Spike’s webcomic, the eccentric and acclaimed Templar, Arizona. It has since gone on to single-handedly revitalize the small press comics world with collaborative anthologies like the Smut Peddler collections, creator-owned works like E.K. Weaver’s Eisner-nominated The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, and Melanie Gillman’s Stonewall-Honored, Eisner-nominated As the Crow Flies.” (TCAF website)
“At Street Noise we make books that combine words and images in a powerful way, as in nonfiction graphic novels and memoirs. Our books have a radical, intersectional feminist, queer and inclusive vision, and seek to provide a platform for the voices of marginalized people.”
“Not so secret anymore” (Douglas Wolk, Publisher’s Weekly), Secret Acres is a comics publishing company, founded in 2006. The company publishes original graphic novels, story collections and artist monographs. Secret Acres also distributes its creators’ mini-comics and other self-published works. Secret Acres can be seen exhibiting at better comics conventions.” (TCAF website)
“Lion Forge is a trans-media studio with a focus on comics publishing across all age groups. In its first year of solo-branded print publication, Lion Forge Comics brings approximately 20 titles (single issues, serials, trade paperback collections, and original graphic novels) to market.
As a company committed to “Comics for Everyone,” we strive to publish titles that reflect the diversity of our world in the characters, the creators, and the Lion Forge team, and to create content that is just as original.”
“Founded in 2007, Koyama Press is a Toronto-based small press. Our mandate is to promote and support a wide range of emerging and established artists. Projects include comics, graphic novels, art books, and zines. We are known for our alternative edge and diverse range of titles that include a myriad of genres from autobiography to photography, from horror to humour, and more”. Founder, Annie Koyama “stresses that her goal is to publish good work; she has no mandate for gender representation. Simply by looking for undiscovered talent, she has developed a reputation for publishing female and LGBT creators.” (PSmag)
“Groundwood Books was established in 1978 and is dedicated to the production of children’s books of the highest possible quality for all ages, including fiction, picture books and nonfiction. Our primary focus has been on works by Canadians, though we sometimes also publish outstanding books from other countries. Many of our books tell the stories of people whose voices are not always heard. Books by the First Peoples of this hemisphere have always been a special interest, as have those of others who through circumstance have been marginalized and whose contribution to our society is not always visible.”
An amazing resource that spotlights marginalized comics creators. The Queer Cartoonists Database was created/ is maintained by cartoonist MariNaomi.
Created by Aydin Kwan and Le Button as a Capstone project for the University of Washington’s iSchool program, with support from Geeks OUT.
“Prism Comics is the leading non-profit, all-volunteer organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual and LGBTQIA-friendly comic books, comics professionals, readers and educators. In the 80’s and 90’s LGBT comics and creators were often marginalized. In 2003 a small group of comics fans and professionals gathered together to form Prism Comics – an organization and website where LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly comics creators could network and share their comics and readers could find works that spoke directly to their experiences and lives.
Comics and graphic novels have become a very popular and accepted medium over the years since Prism was founded. The acceptance of LGBTQ comics, stories and characters has changed greatly. Many LGBTQ comics creators have reached prominence and in both mainstream and independent comics, and every day new creators looking to “speak their voices”. Prism is here to foster all of our LGBTQIA voices and provide a welcoming community of diversity in comics and popular geek culture.”
“The mission of the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is to establish a “living history” archive of past and present queer zines and to encourage current and emerging zine publishers to continue to create. In curating such a unique aspect of culture, we value a collectivist approach that respects the diversity of experiences that fall under the heading “queer.” The primary function of QZAP is to provide a free on-line searchable database of the collection with links allowing users to download electronic copies of zines. By providing access to the historical canon of queer zines we hope to make them more accessible to diverse communities and reach wider audiences.”
“The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based in Worcester, Massachusetts at the College of the Holy Cross, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than fifty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections. By digitally localizing a wide range of trans-related materials, the DTA expands access to trans history for academics and independent researchers alike in order to foster education and dialog concerning trans history.
The DTA uses the term transgender to refer to a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices. We treat transgender as a practice rather than an identity category in order to bring together a trans-historical and trans-cultural collection of materials related to trans-ing gender. We collect materials from anywhere in the world with a focus on materials created before the year 2000.”
Queer Books for Teens (link to comics)
“Created in part with support from the Carnegie/Whitney Grant from the American Library Association and the GLBT-RT resources committee, this website should act as a resource for anyone interested in Young Adult literature with significant LGBTQIAP+ content published between 2000 and 2017. This website aims to create a comprehensive bibliography of Young Adult fiction with significant LGBTQ content published between 2000 and 2017 in the United States and some books published in Canada. The focus was originally on books published by major and minor presses; however, self-published books are now being added. Additionally, since there are as many different intersections of queer identities as there are queer people, this website can be searched in a multitude of ways and across a host of identities.”
A resource we created back in November to highlight LGBTQ+ Canadian webcomic creators
Queer comics on display for the month of June at CCOL:
Click on cover images for more info, visit our online catalogue to view more LGBTQ+ comics , and visit us to read these wonderful comics!
Please let us know if there are any comics resources you would recommend we add to this list or suggestions for improving this resource.