Comics Pride: 50 Comics and Characters That Resonate with LGBT Readers
By Andrew Wheeler
We are not the mainstream.
That’s a truth understood by anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or in any other way queer. We are not the audience. We are not the market. We are not the people.
It’s also a truth understood by a lot of people with a passion for comics. We know our love for this medium has traditionally marked us as niche. We are kids with a solitary hobby. We are adults who read picture books. We are customers of stores that other people have never been to. So perhaps it’s not surprising that a lot of LGBT people are proud nerds, and a lot of comic nerds are proudly queer. We already know we’re fringe. Why not embrace it?
As Pride Month draws to a close, ComicsAlliance looks at the intersection of comics and queer identity. We convened an expert panel of cartoonists, writers, editors, journalists and more to vote on the comics and characters that had the most impact on them. With their help we’ve created the Comics Pride list of the 50 most important comics and characters to LGBT readers.
A note on methodology: We asked dozens of LGBT people working in or around comics to nominate comics and characters. You can see a list of contributors at the end of this article. The panel gave us an initial list of over 250 nominees, and voted to cut this down to a ranked list of 50.
Several panelists noted that they pursued a career in comics in part because of a shortage of relevant role models in comics and other media. Not all of the comics in this list are explicitly queer-themed, and not all of the characters are LGBT, but they all resonate with an LGBT audience.