The Advocate Magazine Announce the 14 Best LGBTQ Graphic Novels of 2018

Are you ready to have a colorful Christmas, and a glittering New Year? Well, here’s The Advocate Magazine’s most recommended reads before 2018 comes to a close!

 

 

1. Pinky & Pepper Forever by Ivy Atoms

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

After Pinky’s lethal performance art piece, her devoted girlfriend Pepper follows her into death, only to find that in Hell, Pinky is… thriving?!

 

Pinky & Pepper Forever is a dark comedy full of furry fun and gay Catholic guilt. Follow these two puppygirls’ relationship and artwork on Earth and their new life along the River Styx.

 

 

2. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden 

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together.

Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love―only to learn the pain of loss.

With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.

 

 

3. In Zodiac Starforce Volume 2: Cries of The Fire Prince by Kevin Panetta

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

After defeating a former Zodiac Member and her mean-girl minions, the girls thought they’d catch a break! But once a mean magical girl, always a mean magical girl and Libra’s former best friend wants that power back! Determined to bring the goddess Cimmeria into our dimension, her coven opens a portal to the dark dimension Nephos, only they don’t get what they bargained for. A new big-bad has come out to play and demons begin to overrun the town! Zodiac Starforce discovers they aren’t the only Zodiac team in the game and together they form a tenuous alliance to find out who’s behind the demon infestation.
The series Comics Alliance calls “your favorite new magical girl team” returns with even more laughs, crushes, and monsters in their latest adventure! Collects Zodiac Starforce 2 #1-#4.

 

4. The Smell of Starving Boys by Loo Hui Phang and Fredrick Peeters

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Texas, 1872. With the Civil War over, exploration has resumed in the territories to the west of the Mississippi, and the geologist Stingley is looking to capitalize. Together with photographer Oscar Forrest, who catalogues the terrain, and their young assistant, Milton, Stingley strikes out into territory that might one day support a new civilization. But this is no virgin land. As the frontiersmen move west, it becomes clear that the expedition won’t go unchallenged.

 

Stingley has led them into a hostile region: the native Comanches’ last bastion of resistance. In a spectacular landscape, under the looming threat of attack, the boundaries between two worlds dissolve. As social conventions disappear and personal inhibitions go into retreat, an intimate relationship develops between Oscar and Milton. The Smell of Starving Boysis an intense Western about the clash of two worlds: one old, one new; one defined by rationality and technology, the other by shamanism and nature.

 

 

5. Skin & Earth by Lights

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

The full collection of Lights’ masterwork is here! Based on Lights album of the same name, Skin & Earth is a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world. Caught between romance and cults, gods and mortals, and just trying to find a good borscht, Enaia Jin is lead down a dark path by new lovers that reveals a twisted fantasy world and her own true nature.

 

Set in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by the Tempest Corporation, the adventurous tale of loneliness, deceit and self-discovery that ties in with the 14-track corresponding album is compiled for the first time here with the complete comic book series and album in one epic interactive collected edition!

 

6. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families.

 

Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.

 

 

7. The Secret Loves of Geeks by Margaret Atwood, Gerard Way, Dana Simpson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Hope Nicholson

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Following the smash-hit The Secret Loves of Geek Girls comes this brand new anthology featuring comic and prose stories from cartoonists and professional geeks about their most intimate, heartbreaking, and inspiring tales of love, sex and, dating. Including creators of all genders, orientations, and cultural backgrounds.

 

 

8. Justin Case and the Closet Monster by Mark Julien

 

 

Image Via Mark-julien-illustration.myshopify.com

 

 

Justin Case and the Closet Monster is the story about two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man, coming from a different background, has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it.

 

Luckily for these men, members of The Closet Monster’s Guild – a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension – are about to come along and open that door from the other side. A journey of faith, love, and family, this poignant story blends mythology, campy wit, and fantasy to show that while Justin’s path out of the closet has many hurdles, he learns that he is not alone in his quest to accept himself and find true love.

 

 

9. The Bride Was a Boy by Chii

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

A diary comic with an upbeat, adorable flair that tells the charming tale of Chii, a woman assigned male at birth. Her story starts with her childhood and follows the ups and downs of exploring her sexuality, gender, and transition–as well as falling in love with a man who’s head over heels for her. Now, Chii is about to embark on a new adventure: becoming a bride!

 

 

10. Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash

 

 

 Image Via Amazon

 

 

A year and a half after the summer that changed her life, Maggie Thrash wishes she could change it all back. She’s trapped in a dark depression and flunking eleventh grade, befuddling her patrician mother while going unnoticed by her father, a workaholic federal judge. The only thing Maggie cares about is her cat, Tommi . . . who then disappears somewhere in the walls of her cavernous house.

 

So her search begins — but Maggie’s not even really sure what she’s lost, and she has no idea what she’ll find. Lost Soul, Be at Peace is the continuation of Maggie’s story from her critically acclaimed memoir Honor Girl, one that brings her devastating honesty and humor to the before and after of depression.

 

 

11.  Part of It by Ariel Schrag

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Ariel Schrag, a critically-acclaimed memoirist and screenwriter, takes us on a painfully funny tour of her formative years, from her childhood in Berkeley to her mid-twenties in Brooklyn, exploring what it means to connect to others when you don’t yet know who you are—when you want to be “part of it” but the “it” changes daily. We meet hippie babysitters, mean girls, best friends, former friends, prom dates, girlfriends, sex ed students, and far too many LensCrafters sales associates.

These frank, irreverent, and honest comics revel in the uncomfortable—occasionally cringe-inducing—moments from our early years that end up wiring us as people. Part of It further cements Ariel Schrag as “one of the best pure storytellers…in any medium” (Comics Journal).

 

 

12. Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from my Bipolar Life by Ellen Forney

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life is the eagerly awaited sequel/ companion book to Forney’s 2012 best-selling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. Whereas Marbles was a memoir about her bipolar disorder, Rock Steady turns the focus outward, offering a self-help survival guide of tips, tricks and tools by someone who has been through it all and come through stronger for it.

 

 

13. Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer 

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Her Kind of Case is a legal drama that centers on Lee Isaacs, a female defense attorney on the cusp of turning 60, who, out of curiosity, determination, and desire for a big, even impossible, professional challenge, chooses to take on a tough murder case in which a largely uncooperative young man is accused of helping kill a gay gang member.

This beautifully-written novel, which has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, is built around not only a gradually resolving mystery, but by fully fleshed-out characters, particularly the strong-willed and sharp-witted Lee. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone of Lee’s standing achieve career and personal success as an older single woman who grieves the recent loss of her husband, but continues her daily routine of law and karate, fighting tooth and nail to prove her client not guilty.

 

 

14.  Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye 

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

Instead of a traditional written diary, Julia Kaye has always turned to art as a means of self-reflection. So when she began her gender transition in 2016, she decided to use her popular webcomic, Up and Out, to process her journey and help others with similar struggles realize they weren’t alone.

Julia’s poignant, relatable comics honestly depict her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning—from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy. Super Late Bloomer both educates and inspires, as Julia faces her difficulties head-on and commits to being wholly, authentically who she was always meant to be.

 

 

It may be the end of the list, but LGBTQ books are there if you are looking for representation in your personal life, or you like to read a great story or both!

 

 

Featured Image Via Torontolife.com (Photo: Adam Pulicicchio)