Queer Words: 3 Graphic Novels You Shouldn’t Miss
Our Bee Musawah is back with another installment of Queer Words. This month she looks at graphic novels for queer young adults.
Happy Pride season to you! To all of the loud and quiet queers, trans and non-binary folk reading this (and to anyone in the LGBTQ+ fam who identities differently!). And to all of you who are still closeted or unsure, as well as those who can’t celebrate pride in their countries; we see you and we value you.
So on to our second installment of Queer Words, this time with a different genre. This post features three graphic novels featuring queer teen romance; because this season is all about joy and love. These fab graphic novels feature gay, lesbian and genderqueer characters.
Kevin Panetta (Writer) and Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrator)
(First Second, 2019)
High school is over for Ari Kyrkos and he wants to leave his job at the bakery in his town, move to the big city and play music with his friends. But he’s finding it difficult to convince his parents who are struggling with the family bakery. He spends his summer being an angsty teen, hanging out with his friends and crushing on his bandmate.
As Ari tries to look for his replacement at the bakery so that he can escape to the city, he meets Hector; a boy who is visiting for the summer. Hector loves to bake and makes Ari feel that maybe he doesn’t need to escape in order to feel happy.
A simple, sweet and beautifully illustrated romantic teen drama unfolds between the two and it’s adorable.
I Love This Part
(Avery Hill, 2017)
A short and tender story told in fragments. It is a simple premise: two high school girls who become friends and kill time together by sharing music, watching videos and telling each other stories about themselves and the things they like. But soon they start to feel that the small bond they have is the biggest and most important connection.
As you watch them accept their love and let go of their self-doubts, they settle into moments of comfortable silence knowing that they’re with the person who understands them the most.The world that Tillie Walden creates through her art and short narratives will make you feel so immersed in the story.
Walden makes you feel that sometimes life can be about the quiet subtle moments too.
The Prince and The Dressmaker
(First Second, 2018)
Set in Paris in the 19th century, Sebastian is a Prince who is set to be married and groomed to be the next King. His parents arrange meetings with Princesses from all over the world in the hopes he will fall in love with one of them, but all he can think about is becoming Lady Crystallia. He hires Frances, a seamstress who creates the most extravagant dresses and he shares his secret with her.
Their friendship and love flourishes and their night outs and sneaking around begin. Frances dreams of becoming a great fashion designer and Sebastian wants to live a life unbound by gender binary and expression.
This is a wonderful and hopeful story with a fantastic ending. It’s both incredible and reassuring that younger teens have books like this to turn to.
Queer young adult graphic novels are getting their moment of glory within publishing lately, and I am living for it!
Are you into graphic novels? If so, watch out for future installments of Queer Words featuring further recommendations including characters across the spectrum.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve got comments or recommendations for books you think I should read and review or if you just want to gush about any of the books I mentioned. Drop me a line at email@example.com or tweet us here.