Comic Representation Part 2: Comics You Should Be Reading!

Last week I delved into coming out type comics for the LGBT (mostly L and femme-identified) community. This week I’ll talk about my favorite kinds of comics: fantasy, superheroes, and sci-fi (oh my) where the comic is not about the coming out story. In other words, it’s either normal for people in these comics to express sexualities on the spectrum, or the part where they “come out” isn’t that big of a deal.

Representation in comics is important, and how characters are represented is even more so. Tokenism (when a character is the only one like them in their universe to fulfill some equality checkbox) is just not enough in a modern world. There have been several cases recently where DC or Marvel choose to have a character come out, but then turn it into a PR disaster by being bi-phobic or declaring that she can’t marry the woman of her dreams. So we’re not going to talk about comics like those. We’re going to talk about the good stuff.

Again, listed in alphabetical order rather than order of preference.

{A Woman of Dust} – Complete, NSFW
A Woman of Dust is the story of two immortal creatures whose worlds collide when one lands on the other’s planet. It is the story of a dreamer and one living a nightmare, and the art is gorgeous. Some adult scenes, and one of the two main characters is a woman of color.

Artifice – Complete, NSFW
Smart Guy on Guy Sci Fi! As they like to call it. Artifice is the story of an artificial life form who broke his “programming” and is in prison for it, and the man he romances from within his cell.

Flipside – In Progress
Flipside has been around for a while, but it’s undergoing an art facelift. It took a long break but updates almost 3 times a week now. The two primary characters are Bernadette the warrior and Maytag the jester, the former of whom is a lesbian and the latter is polyamorous and arguably pansexual. There are other relationships throughout, and the story goes a lot of different places with fighting evil in a magical world and so on. Worth the read, but prepare yourself for a lot of archives! I think it has some random adult-ish pages and probably needs a trigger warning for violence a couple of times.

Gunnerkrigg Court – In Progress
Gunnerkrigg Court is being released in large trade paperback novels now, too! This complicated story involves a school of “science” with a deep-rooted past in magic, a forest that houses many powerful magical creatures (including Coyote himself), and a multitude of twists as the students, starring Antimony, navigate from basically 5th grade onward. Antimony never expresses any sexuality (I’d guess she’s either asexual or will eventually admit to being in love with her best friend Kat), but there are at least two other lesbian couples by the time you catch up to the current archives. No adult content so far.

Love is In The Blood – In Progress
Here’s another one with tons of archives. The pansexual mother of all vampires (a fallen goddess by rights) has been together with the reincarnation of her first lover, doomed to kill them over and over throughout history. In modern times she finds a strong soldier lesbian human and falls in love, while they fight other rogue vampires together. The art style shifts around sometimes but generally it’s a good read. Lots of dead vampires and several just-barely-safe-for-work scenes.

Love Not Found – In Progress
By the creator of Red String, this story features several characters of color and explores a world where touch is considered obscene. People have sex with machines in mutual company and even have mini force fields to protect them from bumping into each other in night clubs. Miel, one of the main characters, has two moms.

Misfile – In Progress
Misfile only falls under this category by a string, because there are angels and the two main characters have their lives screwed up by the “misfiling of paperwork” performed by one of the angels. The main character was male and becomes female from the misfile, which is a bit stereotypical. However, the character was based off of the artist’s trans parent, and the very long archive goes over the complicated relationship a straight young woman has with him.

Missing Monday – In Progress
Missing Monday is set back and forth between two different dimensions, though the first is a very mechanical version of our world. The primary character, Foyle, is a young woman of color and an 18-year-old technical genius. This comic has lots of steampunk elements, with the Industrial feel to it. Monday (the comic’s namesake) comes through a door in the top of Foyle’s clock tower and they fall in love. The rest of the story is about Foyle trying to get back to Monday.

RatQueens – In Progress
So much wonderful mayhem! If you like D&D or have ever played any game ever, you’ll love how hilarious these comics are. Also lots of cool things like different sized (mostly female) characters matched up with each other, a trans troll (orc?), witches, warlocks, giant flying squid of doom, and more.

Runaways – Complete
When I found out this was a complete comic series, I was really bummed. The children of super villains break off to fight crime when they find out their parents are plotting to destroy the world. Ultimately, two characters stand out. Karolina Dean is a lesbian (who turns into a giant rainbow of light, go figure), and her partner Xavin presents as female for her sake (they have some conversations about transitioning etc too). Several characters of color in this Marvel comic, and every single female is a total badass. A must read.

Sister Claire – In Progress
Well, if you like the art style of the Power Puff Girls, you’ll enjoy this comic. It’s about a whole lot of lesbian nuns, but spends a really long time getting around to being more than just a hint. Meanwhile those nuns fight evil magic and just try to survive the world. Also there’s a whole short story series that fills in a lot of backstory. I think it goes on for years before it gets around to anyone kissing.

Spinnerette – In Progress
Here’s another comic about super heroes, but this time they’re all second-stringers, maybe even third stringers. This comic includes a cross-dressing hero (has to wear women’s clothes to fight), a pansexual three-headed wolf, a lesbian hero with ALS who has to wear her suit to fight, and the namesake, Spinny, who literally grows extra arms and gets spider powers because of a halcyon collider. The story is fun and the art is great.

Strong Female Protagonist – In Progress
I keep hoping the main character will come out as bi, but for now one of her best friends is a lesbian. The story of a super shero who uncovers a conspiracy by making friends with a super villain. And then the world goes crazy.

Supernormal Step – In Progress
A young Asexual woman named Fiona gets pulled from our world into one very similar–but with monsters and magic. She has to navigate insanity, learn how to use magic to become a “hero” class, and try to get back home where she was alone. In the meantime, she picks up some friends, including a beautiful four-armed lesbian woman who is madly in love with her, to her chagrin. No adult content so far, but many years of archives.

The Disappearance of Melody Dean – In Progress, warning for sexual violence triggers (also warnings in the comic)
A strange story of time traveling portals and the ladies who are navigating them. When one gets into a violent struggle with a would-be rapist, she finds the best way to handle him is dropping him in another time. Now what will happen?

When She Was Bad – In Progress
Every story needs a villain. Told from the perspective of the villainous lesbian who gets super powers “accidentally” when they are being bestowed on the “good gal” (who is a real jerk). The story follows her hijinks and acquisition (literally) of a girlfriend.

Young Protectors – Engaging the Enemy – In Progress, NSFW
This comic is gorgeous, and totally inappropriate for children. The story of a sweet gay teen super hero and his sexual tryst with the biggest supervillain in the universe. And then lots of fighting and fire and super powers. Still in progress. By the same person who did Artifice.

I’m sure I am forgetting some awesome out there, but with this list you’ll have enough archives to keep you busy for a while.

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