Introduction

With Pride month this year, the No Flying No Tights team wants to celebrate the possibilities of LGBTQ+ existence by looking at queer fantasy and sci-fi comics. Between travels in space and explorations in fantasy lands, we hope there’s a queer comic for you.

Across a Field of Starlight

Blue Delliquanti

Fassen is a soldier in a rebel army fighting against a powerful empire; Lu is a researcher who lives in a peaceful commune whose secret location provides a buffer. After a chance encounter, Lu and Fassen become friends communicating over secret messages; their reunion, however, brings a lot of difficulty to their heads. As the conflict intensifies, Lu and Fassen will have to come up with a solution that stays true to their ideals.

Appeals to

Delliquanti's beautiful art and worldbuilding that explores technology and different societies make Across a Field of Starlight an absolute treat for fans of contemplative science fiction.

Creator Identities:

Nonbinary |

Main Character Identities:

Assumed Black |

Nonbinary, Trans |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Always Human

Ari North

Sunati sees a young woman on her commutes that doesn't use mods and finds her striking. Eventually, she gets the chance to talk to her, and it turns out Austen has a condition that prevents her from using them. As they get to know each other and start dating, Sunati has to learn to acknowledge her biases, and Austen learns to open up. Together, they work to be better humans.

Appeals to

As a Webtoon with a physical print, it's hard not to recommend other Webtoons such as Crumbs or Lore Olympus that explore relationships in fantastical settings. It has the pain of growing up and becoming better partners like Bloom, and a dreamy sci-fi setting like On a Sunbeam.

Creator Identities:

Queer |

Main Character Identities:

Queer |

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Aquaman The Becoming

Brandon Thomas

Diego Olortegui

Aqualad Jackson Hyde, beloved in the animated series Young Justice, aims to prove himself as the new Aquaman mantle in this new superhero series from DC. He thought he was all set with support from mentors, family, and even a cute guy, but then everything gets blown up, and he's accused of sabotaging his own life.

Appeals to

Superhero fans and anyone who enjoys good banter and aquatic action.

Creator Identities:

Black |

Main Character Identities:

Black |

Gay |

Recommended by

Robin Brenner

Backstagers

James Tynion IV

Rian Sygh

When the play begins, how does it all look so good? Why the stage crew of course! When new kid Jory joins the Backstagers, he finds himself surrounded by friends and a whole, strange world in The Backstage. However, the fun of exploring becomes dangerous when something becomes determined to escape The Backstage.

Appeals to

Readers who like the friendship and magical adventures in Lumberjanes; theater kids

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Cosmoknights

Hannah Templer

In a galaxy where gladiators who use mecha suits to fight for the hand of royal (and often reluctant) princesses, Pan never really worried too much that her best friend Tara was a princess...until everything fell apart and Tara had to escape off-world. Now Pam meets two gladiators who will bring into the world of royal schemes, gladiator battles, and maybe a chance to destroy the hierarchy once and for all.

Appeals to

Any who loves queer adventure tales, especially with witty banter, strong found family, and a few smash-y fights to mix it up.

Content Notes

The fighting violence is mainly mecha battle suits. There is also a sequence of forcing a character outside their desired gender expression.

Creator Identities:

Lesbian |

Main Character Identities:

Black |

Lesbian |

Gender Nonconforming |

Recommended by

Robin Brenner

Girl Haven

Lilah Sturges

Meaghan Carter

Ash has been trying to move on from her mom disappearing three years ago, even joining the Pride Club at school and making friends. But she just can't let it go, and in a desperate moment of vulnerability, shares her mom's secret world with these friends. It turns out that the world is real, and in trouble, but...if it's a world only for girls, how is Ash there? Everyone says Ash is a boy. And what happened to her mother?

Appeals to

This is a great story for fans of portal fantasy books like the Wayward Children series, and for fans of stories like The Witch Boy, covering topics of identity in the framework of fantasy. It's so positive and heartwarming, with resources about gender identities, pronouns, and other basics that make it also a great educational tool.

Creator Identities:

Trans |

Main Character Identities:

Trans |

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Life of Melody

Mari Costa

A fairy and a beast find a baby in the forest and make an arrangement to raise her. What turns into a formal arrangement becomes something more.

Appeals to

Readers looking for a sweet, quirky, fantasy story

Creator Identities:

Brazilian, Portuguese |

Lesbian |

Main Character Identities:

Gay |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Mamo

Sas Milledge

The village of Haresden has been in turmoil ever since their witch, Mamo, died. Orla, Mamo's granddaughter, reluctantly begins to investigate, with the help of Jo who loves Haresden and knows its ins and outs. As Jo and Orla work together and become closer, the hints of a trap about to spring come into focus. Can Orla and Jo set things to right and overcome them?

Appeals to

Fans of stories that weave darkness and love and challenging magic such as Studio Ghibli's fantasy stories; readers who loved the magic and relationship elements in stories such as Girl from the Sea, Snapdragon, and Witch Boy

Content Notes

Brief implications of abuse

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Monstress

Marjorie Liu

Sana Takeda

Take a highly detailed alternate 1900s Asia setting, add cosmic horror, talking cats, and discussions of trauma and you get Monstress. This comic has, to date, won 12 awards since its start, and there's a reason. It's brutal and beautiful, intense and mesmerizing. Following Maika's journey as she becomes a monster to save the world and confronts the monstrousness of her lineage sometimes hard to look at, but hard to look away from.

Appeals to

Monstress in some ways feels like reading a doorstopper fantasy novel because the world and plot are dense and convoluted. In that way, it's a great recommendation for readers of Die, which deals with similar themes. If readers of Saga are looking for something while the new chapters come out, there's the messy relationships and epic scope of Saga, but in a fantasy setting.

Content Notes

This series deals with many dark themes, so there's violence, blood, gore, cursing, experimentation on children, discussions of genocide, and psychological manipulation.

Creator Identities:

Japanese, Taiwanese-American |

Main Character Identities:

Missing Limb |

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Mooncakes

Suzanne Walker

Wendy Xu

Nova Huang runs into her childhood crush, Tam, when investigating paranormal activity in her quaint New England town. The catch? Tam is a werewolf and unsavory forces are after their powers. This teenage witch will do everything in her power to protect Tam so that they can figure out if this old flame is worth rekindling.

Appeals to

Readers who love a friends-to-lovers story like The Prince and the Dressmaker will love this cozy occult love story.

Creator Identities:

Chinese-American |

Queer |

Genderqueer |

Hearing loss |

Main Character Identities:

Chinese-American |

Bisexual, Queer |

Gender Nonconforming, Genderqueer |

Hearing loss |

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

On a Sunbeam

Tillie Walden

After Mia graduates, she joins a construction crew that restores old buildings on planets all over. When she discovers her friends have a connection to her former girlfriend Grace and the isolated planet she calls home, Mia comes up with a dangerous plan so she can finally finish the conversation they were having when Grace mysteriously vanished from school.

Appeals to

Walden's beautiful artwork, subtle characterization, and plotting make On a Sunbeam a treat for readers who love science fiction tales with strong world-building and a thoughtful story. This will especially appeal to folks who want a good queer story with star-crossed lovers and powerful relationships.

Content Notes

Brief misgendering; some violence

Creator Identities:

Lesbian |

Main Character Identities:

Lesbian |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Princess Princess Ever After

Kay O'Neill

When Princess Amira rescues Princess Sadie from her tower, their adventure is just beginning. As Amira tries to figure out just what it means to be a hero, Sadie fights to overcome her sister's negative influence and her own doubt. Fortunately, they have each other and other allies, among them a cookie-obsessed unicorn and a chunky dragon!

Appeals to

Readers seeking a gentle fantasy and fans of unusual princess stories will find much to enjoy here!

Creator Identities:

Nonbinary |

Main Character Identities:

Assumed Black |

Lesbian |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Saga

Brian K. Vaughan

Fiona Staples

In this epic space opera that feels like Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars, lovers Alana and Marko overcame the odds and fell in love despite their races' long-standing war. The story follows these two as they raise their daughter Hazel while on the run from their respective governments. With a delightful queer supporting cast and constant action, you will not be able to put this series down.

Appeals to

Anyone looking for a sci-fi story that is less white and queerer than mainstream media, this series is for you.

Content Notes

Violence, blood and gore, nudity and depictions of sexual situations, depictions of childbirth.

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Snapdragon

Kat Leyh

A chance encounter with a mysterious old woman pulls Snapdragon into a world of taxidermy and magic. As she and Jacks form a bond over their mutual interests and Snap works on exploring her own magical gift, they discover they have more connections than they realized.

Appeals to

Readers who like magical coming-of-age stories such as The Okay Witch and Witch Boy will find much to enjoy here.

Content Notes

Scary moment with an ex-boyfriend

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Squad

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Lisa Sterle

In this Heathers-meets-Mean Girls-meets-Teen Wolf tale, new girl Becca is adopted by the popular girls only to find out at a party during the full moon that under their plastic smiles are sharp teeth. Before she knows it this pack of popular girls has bitten off more than they can chew.

Appeals to

Anyone who's wished that your classic teen movie had a little more carnage, this graphic novel is for you.

Content Notes

Blood and gore, Murder, Man-eating (literally)

Creator Identities:

Japanese-American |

Bisexual |

Jewish |

Main Character Identities:

Black, Japanese-American |

Lesbian |

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

The Girl from the Sea

Molly Ostertag

When 15-year-old Morgan is saved from nearly drowning by the mysterious Keltie, who seems to be more at home in the water than on land, her plan to keep her head down and wait to live as her authentic self once she leaves for college starts to fall apart. As both girls become closer they learn that neither of them can keep their secrets hidden forever.

Appeals to

Readers who have outgrown Ostertag's Witch Boy series will be excited to check out her sapphic take on the selkie myth.

Creator Identities:

Main Character Identities:

Korean-American |

Lesbian |

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

The Hazards of Love

Stan Stanley

When a cat steals their name, Amparo is cast into Bright World, a world that chews up the humans unfortunate to come there. Amparo is determined to get home, but they'll have to scrap and deal with the monsters of Bright World. And at what cost to them?

Appeals to

Fans of dark fantasy and horror

Content Notes

Some violence, blood; and dismemberment

Creator Identities:

Mexican |

Queer |

Main Character Identities:

Nonbinary |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Witch Boy

Molly Knox Ostertag

In Aster's magical family, girls are witches and boys are shapeshifters. However, Aster is drawn to witch spells only to be thwarted by his family. Over the course of this trilogy, Aster's unique gifts help him to support his family and friends.

Appeals to

Readers looking for a charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship and gender identity will find much to enjoy here.

Creator Identities:

Queer |

Main Character Identities:

Gender Nonconforming |

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

  • Megan

    | She/Her

    Features Writer

    Megan earned her MLIS from Simmons College and is currently the evening librarian at Bay State College in Massachusetts. She satisfies her voracious appetite for graphic novels and manga through regular visits to her local public libraries and puts her love of graphic novels to good use by adding to Bay State’s collection whenever possible. Megan maintains a personal blog, Ferret with a Strobe Light, where she discusses awesome books she’s read lately. When not engaged in reading or library work, she likes running, drinking tea, and working on her own stories and art.

  • Shannan

    | She/They Teen Services Librarian, San Antonio Public Library

    Features Writer

    Shannan waffled between English professor and librarian as career choices for all of college; eventually librarian won. She is a Teen Services Librarian with the San Antonio Public Library. When not running TTPRG games for their teens or teaching them how to bake, she's doing what she can to promote comics to anyone who will listen. At home they're likely deep in the middle of their latest cosplay project or watching B movies with her husband, while generally pushing the cats out of the way.

  • Tayla

    | She/Her Branch Librarian

    Features Writer

    Tayla Cardillo (she/her) is the Branch Librarian of the Oaklawn branch of the Cranston Public Library in Cranston, RI. She is also a member of the ALA Graphic Novel and Comic Round Table and the chair of the Rhode Island Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. She completed her MLIS at the University of Rhode Island and her B.A. in English at Rhode Island College. Tayla has known that she wanted to be a librarian since she was 17 years old. When not doing library wizardry, she enjoys playing tabletop games and cosplaying.

  • Martha

    | She/Her Youth Services Librarian, William Hall Branch of the Cranston Public Library

    Features Editor

    Martha Boksenbaum is Youth Services Librarian for the Youth Services Librarian for the William Hall Library of the Cranston Public Library. She purchases graphic novels, comics and anime for children and teens, and runs a manga and anime club for teens. She has served on ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable (GNCRT) Conference Committee and is currently a Member-at-Large for the GNCRT. She has also served on YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Selection Committee. She works every day to champion graphic novels, manga and anime from her small library branch, and tries to keep up with the amazing number of comics being published today.

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