Reading lists

Six must-read LGBTQ graphic novels

These illustrated novels and memoirs are essential additions to your LGBTQ library.

Zainab Juma
LGBTQ graphic novels to add to your bookshelf.
Image: Ryan MacEachern/Penguin

There is a strong tradition of LGBTQ writing in fiction and maybe you’ve already read some of these books – peruse our essential list if you are in need of suggestions on where to start. Happily, that tradition runs through graphic novels and comics too. Here, we pick some of our favourite illustrated LGBTQ stories and memoirs.

A spread from Alison Bechdel's Fun Home depicting her finding an old photograph after her father dies.
Alison Bechdel's Fun Home explores the author's relationship with and realisations about her father.

Stitches by David Small (2009)

Similarly to Alison Bechdel’s Fun HomeStitches is a graphic memoir which tells the story of a family, their secrets, and of pain and triumph. Written from a child’s perspective, we see a younger Small dealing with throat cancer but alongside, we also find out more about his unhappy childhood which involves a mother who was a closeted lesbian, and a father who is numbed by the knowledge that he has likely caused his son’s cancer through multiple X-rays during his early years. Stitches is brilliantly illustrated and the power of the story is enough to appeal to anyone with or without an interest in graphic novels.

Spring Fever from Alison Bechdel's The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.
Alison Bechdel's The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For chronicles the lives of a group of friends.
Daniel Clowe's graphic novel Ghost World.
Daniel Clowe's Ghost World is about two friends growing up and growing apart.

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