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Your Recommendations: LGBT Edition

Let's try this one more time.

Back in July I did a post asking for recommendations of excellent female-oriented or "girl powered" comics that you would recommend. Which series and/or storytellers are doing it right?

Last month I did a list of recommendations of Exceptional Minority Media: POC Edition.

This time we're gonna switch gears and do a post for LGBTs. What excellent comic book series/graphic novel featuring LGBTs would you recommend? Which series and/or storytellers are doing it right?

My personal recommendations and yes I know I'm probably forgetting some true gems:

1. Runaways. This series also wins the Triumvirate Award for making all three lists.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8. Willow Rosenberg and Satsu. Nuff said. Also winner of the Triumvirate Award.

3. The Question: The Renee Montoya run. Another winner of the Triumvirate Award.

4. Batwoman (Detective Comics): One of the best comics out, PERIOD!!!!!!

5. Ultimate X-Men: I genuinely liked the Colossus storyline, I didn't finish the series. I stopped reading before the Ultimatum but from what I saw, I was pleased with how he was handled. I wouldn't mind "handling" Mr. Rasputin (as well as one Scott Summers) myself but that's neither here or there.

6. Midnighter: Part Sabrertooth, part Deadpool, part Batman, this walking BAMF is one of the few people alive who can call Wolverine a pansy. I loved the fact that the baddest badass of the Authority (and possibly Wildstorm) was an unapologetic gay man. Thus showing that gay men are every bit as tough as our heterosexual counterparts.

7. Perry Moore's Hero: Technically a YA novel but it takes place in the superhero genre and definitely a must-read.

8. Young Avengers: Wiccan & Hulkling. I've only read the first trade. I plan to pick up some more this week.

9. X-Factor: I'm still waiting to see how this plays out but it's nice to see the obvious be finally acknowledged, despite Liefeld's protests. Which by the by, the Spartans were like totally gay.

Your turn. Your recommendations.

Also extra points of awesome to anyone who can direct me to more series featuring more badass (and sexy) gay males. And our Trans heroes and heroines? Does anyone have any recommendations? I did a little research last night and the only one I found was Shvaughn Erin from Legion of Superheroes but I don't know how that character was handled. Does anyone know?

Okay NoScans, what would you recommend?


( 66 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
I can name more I can't say whether or not they are good.

New Mutants v2: (Aka New Mutants: Academy X and Mew X-men) Anole is and always was gay. No switches to please masses. He's also green and spikey. The writers were originally going to kill him. Rather, have him kill himself. The story was nixed by editorial, like many things on their run. So Anole was given a loving family. One of the few students that had both parents show up for a family event. They also had both Northstar and Karma as teachers. They intended to give Karma a human female love interest but the book was removed from their hands before that story went through.

That series had a issue where the students all reacted to Northstar having been killed by Wolverine. Anole took it especially hard. Don't worry, Northstar came back.

Also New-Xmen:In the new authors hands Anole got moved to the front of the book. Also had an arm removed. That's Ok. It grew back, ugly. They all but killed the human loved interest of Karma. (Blew up her shop, whether she lived wasn't addressed. Ever.) That book ended.

In an in between issue for that series and the next written and drawn by Scottie Young, (name forgotten) had Anole throw a tantrum and attacked his parents and ranted at Northstar. That part bothered me, since as mentioned he was one of the few kids with parents that still cared for him.

Young X-men: Still has Anole. Now enter Graymalkin a Gollum like youth from before the X-mansion was built. He was buried by his father for being Gay. Luckily his mutation kicked in and he lived in a hole under the mansion until one of the times it blew up resurfaced him. Seemed like a potential love interest for Anole... but he's really ugly. And that book died too.
Jan. 4th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
In an in between issue for that series and the next written and drawn by Scottie Young, (name forgotten) had Anole throw a tantrum and attacked his parents and ranted at Northstar. That part bothered me, since as mentioned he was one of the few kids with parents that still cared for him.

Yeah, but he had PTSD.  It's kinda understandable.
(no subject) - empty_tea - Jan. 4th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 5th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bj_l - Jan. 5th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vengefulacorn - Jan. 5th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Ex Machina: Tag has the gay marriage plot/subplot and Hundred's possible homosexuality as well as THE. STARS. ARE. DOWN

Edited at 2010-01-04 05:38 pm (UTC)
Jan. 4th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - stubbleupdate - Jan. 4th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 4th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
A Distant Soil by Colleen Doran (D'mer definitely qualifies as "badass sexy gay male")

The Desert Peach by Donna Barr

How Loathsome by Tristan Caine and Ted Naifeh

Omaha the Cat Dancer by Reed Waller and Kate Worley

Charm School by Elizabeth Watasin
Jan. 4th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I had totally forgotten about Charm School. I've always meant to read that one.
Jan. 4th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
Secret Six: Starting with Villains United, then the S6 mini and the current ongoing. The leader (for most of the run), Scandal Savage, is a lesbian and her relationship with Knockout was committed and dreadfully sweet. for supervillains. Rather than falling into the 'lesbians are evil' trap in any of its many forms, Scandal's sexuality is just one of the many parts of who she is, and even with her post-Knockout dating, it's fun to read.

Plus, Secret Six is just awesome.
Jan. 4th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Also, I would suggest that maybe this is one of the situations where it's appropriate to split 'LGB' from 'T'. Mostly because I think sexuality is being handled better and better in comics, but trans characters very much aren't. So I'd like a separate list for trans characters just for that reason.
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 4th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - innerbrat - Jan. 4th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 5th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 4th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - innerbrat - Jan. 4th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aliasjack - Jan. 5th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 5th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
And our Trans heroes and heroines? Does anyone have any recommendations? I did a little research last night and the only one I found was Shvaughn Erin from Legion of Superheroes but I don't know how that character was handled. Does anyone know?

There's Coagula from the Rachel Pollack run of Doom Patrol. Other people can say whether or not they would recommend that run.
Jan. 5th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm curious whether the Shade the Changing Woman arc from Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man would also count, or if that's more of a gender bender.
(no subject) - lilacsigil - Jan. 5th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
Y: The Last Man?
Jan. 4th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Ugh yes, I just finished the fourth volume of it and I'm dying to get my hands on more, along with a few other comics.

But definitely Y: the Last Man.

Edited at 2010-01-04 08:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jan. 5th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - schmevil - Jan. 7th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Young Avengers' handling of their gay characters only gets more awesome as the story goes along. My favorite thing about it is how normally it's treated — it's never hidden, but it just shows up in the art and the way Billy and Teddy interact, and no one makes a big deal of it. (I found this especially true in Paul Cornell's Dark Reign: Young Avengers mini.) I definitely wish the powers that be would get it together and give us ongoing Young Avengers again.
Jan. 4th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Children's Crusade is coming out this year, isn't it?

And it's only taken so long to make Young Avengers because they weren't going to solicit it until it was finished finished finished.
(no subject) - mllesays - Jan. 4th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uadlika - Jan. 5th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mllesays - Jan. 5th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
re: marvel maury - hohaiyee - Jan. 6th, 2010 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Very incidentally toward the end of My Faith in Frankie, you get a gay plot developing.
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Age of Bronze: Achilles and Patrocles. 'Nuff said.

Cavalcade of Boys: Tim Fish's quirky, sweet, absurd and surprisingly affecting gay soap opera.

Young Bottoms in Love: Anthology collection in the same vein as Cavalcade of Boys.

Dykes To Watch Out For: Comic collection by the creator of "Fun Home" (which should probably get its own mention here), Alison Bechdel, which fills the female, PoC, LGBT trinity nicely. It follows the lives of its cast in real time, so it's really quite a trip to go through the book and have characters you were introduced to as kids being old enough to date.

Kizuna: I'm actually hesitant to mention this one, because I do draw a distinction between yaoi and LGBT works, and the seme/uke bullshit drives me up the wall. Still, it's not a bad book if you can get past the annoyances of the genre, the art is lovely, and it's got kendo scenes and yakuza all over the place.

Manhunter: I'm surprised this one hasn't come up yet. Damon and Obsidian are supporting characters, but I think they're handled well, and Kate's a fun character in her own right. And, yeah, I'm a sucker for the flash-forward issues.

Maria's Wedding: An unhappy look at a family that's taken sides on the issue of one of their sons marrying another man, and how they function (or don't) at the following family gathering.

Gotham Central: Lays down a good chunk of Rene Montoya's characterization, including her being outed in the second trade. Also features Captain Maggie Sawyer, head of Gotham's Major Crime unit, last seen dancing with Kate Kane over in Detective Comics (which stars Kate, with Rene on back-up feature).

Outsiders: Grace and Thunder have a relationship, which is about one-fifth as interesting as the relationship between frequent guest-stars Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, which is simultaneously sweet, tragic, and completely WTF.
Jan. 5th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
Agreed on Fun Home - I just finished it a couple of nights ago and it's really great.
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Small Favors
Jan. 5th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
I did a little research last night and the only one I found was Shvaughn Erin from Legion of Superheroes but I don't know how that character was handled.

The character wasn't handled badly, I think, but the question of sexuality was pretty much restricted to a couple of blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments. Volume 4, #31 and #50, if you're interested.
Jan. 5th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Fun Home looked awesome. Same author as Dykes to Watch Out For. I haven't read it personally because it hasn't shown up at my LCS and I didn't see it at my bookstore. :( A nice self-contained graphic novel that hit the bestseller lists can't be too bad a gamble.
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
I have read it, and it absolutely qualifies here. Both Alison and her father are gay, and that is one of the main themes of the book, along with growing up, expressing an identity, death and memory.
(no subject) - skalja - Jan. 5th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - schmevil - Jan. 7th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
I probably need an interrupting Kanye Macro or something....



Seriously, though. A poster on my blog recommended Batwoman.
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
Re: I probably need an interrupting Kanye Macro or something....
It looks like wiki has some interesting entries on this, as well.

I had no idea For Better of Worse had a gay character, nor that the creator received death threats (wtf!) for it.
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
I don't know whether it's been collected, but the B&W run of Zot! had a coming-out story, and the reverberations from it continued into subsequent issues.
Jan. 6th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
It has been -- a big TPB of the black and white issues was put out back in '08. Definitely a story worth reading.
(no subject) - cleome45 - Jan. 6th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 5th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
And our Trans heroes and heroines?
Infinity, Inc. volume 2 (DC) had Erik/Erika Storn (Fury IV/Amazing Woman) from Lex Luthor's new Infinity, Inc. team that debuted in 52. The II book was written by Peter Milligan, who does a good job with queer characters.

X-Force/X-Statix (Marvel; also by Peter Milligan) featured several gay men, including Bloke, Phat, and Vivisector. Post-series, Doop was outed as bisexual in one of those I Heart Marvel books a few years ago.

Seconding the rec for Enigma (which is also by Milligan). Its one of the earlier Vertigo mini-series, and has been collected in tpb format.

Also seconding the rec for Manhunter (DC; by Marc Andreyko). Damon and Todd were well handled for a couple of supporting characters. (And yeah, Kate is pretty awesome herself!)

Flash (DC)Piper was a great character in the previous volume of the book, especially in the 1990s when William Messner-Loebs and Mark Waid were writing the title. Unlike Northstar, his Marvel contemporary, Piper actually got a boyfriend (and a retconned in ex-boyfriend in one story), got to kick ass, and occasionally pulled Wally's butt out of the fire.

Power Company (DC) I'm not sure if this one has ever been collected, but the team was headed by a gay African-American man (Josiah Power). Its a pretty fun read if you can track down the back issues.
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
Oh, Ultimate X-men...

I loved Colossus, and I liked that being gay wasn't his defining characteristic. It had been hinted at from very early on, and I think only hardcore denial fanboys were surprised when he officially came out (I remember the wanktastic threads on this one board from the same fan who just couldn't believe they'd RUINED PETER FOREVER!!!!).

But I hated the way his storyline was dealt with once he came out. For one thing, that was Kirkman's time to shine (and "shine" is meant in the sense that a crashed plane in a flaming field might shine). He was absolutely terrible with relationships. And...*sigh* Nightcrawler. Effin' Nightcrawler, formerly a little more reserved than his 616 counterpart but still ready to have piratey fun, turned into the biggest freaking crazypants nutbar in the world. The story couldn't've have been less subtle if it featured a homophobic elephant tramping around wearing a sign reading "I AM SUBTLE."

*deep breath*

Sorry. UXM will always set me off. I miss it being good.

Flash has the Pied Piper. Not sure really if he's in it often enough to make the list, but y'know, he's there and awesome and stuff. And thirding or fourthing votes for Secret Six.

Jan. 7th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
I hated the last Ultimate X-Men arc with Northstar and Colossus, but, I didn't mind Kirkman's handling of them. Yeah, he was trying to nudge them off-screen, but at least he tried to leave them happy while doing it.

I could buy into Ult!Kurt being homophobic...but yeah. Clubbing readers over the head with it and having him pretty much go insane was rubbish.
Jan. 6th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
Hopeless Savages - Particularly volume two, Ground Zero, which has a sidestory about gay punk rocker Twitch Strummer's romantic travails. He's not a major character in any volume, but when he's around, he's awesome.

Scott Pilgrim - Scott's gay roommate, Wallace, is cooler than him.

Catwoman - Holly Robinson.

Girls with Slingshots - Webcomic with some gay/lesbian characters, mostly minor.

Dinosaur Comics - Utahraptor, you guys.
Jan. 8th, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
Was waiting for a Wallace mention, was gonna do it myself if no one else did. :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
I haven't read it yet, but I've only ever heard good things about Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
That's because it is very good. :) And definitely belongs on the list.
(no subject) - canadian_plant - Jan. 8th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
Are you looking for foreign comics, too? 'Muchacho' by Emmanuel Lepage! The hero is gay; there's a character-driven storyline that deals with that, parallel to the plot-driven one where he gets drawn into the rebellion in Nicaragua. The artwork is stunning. I've recced the graphic novel in detail here. It's available in French and German at least but I haven't come across an English translation yet.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
Locas from Love and Rockets has a very unconventional lesbian portrayal, but one that I quite like. It also wins a Triumvirate Award!

I'll also second (or third?) Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
*skates in from metafandom and points to icon*

Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise. Heavily, heavily girl-oriented when it comes to the LGBT aspects, enough that I kind of want to shake the Cartoonist and remind him that gay/bi men exist too, but this was my very first "OMFG this comic is about a romance between two GIRLS!" experience in college, and I still adore it.
Jan. 8th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
from metafandom
oh yes this!

I have to recommend to you T-Gina. It's hard to find, but if you can, it's worth it. It's an excellent humor column-style autobiographical comic by a trans woman, who is relaly great.
Jan. 8th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
I have an abiding fondness for "Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist," though I know it's not for everyone. Violent and ridiculous and funny and mean, and surprisingly thoughtful sometimes. Some nice touching on trans issues. Hothead winds up in a relationship with an MTF character, and their romance is quite sweet.

On the Manga front, I love, love, LOVE anything by Yamaji Ebine. Her yuri graphic novels are all so real and exquisite, but I have a particular fondness for "Love My Life." Wish to god someone would license her stuff in English. Lililicious has the scans for now, anyway, as well as Amamiya Sae's wonderful autobiographical comic strip "Plica," which is cute as hell.

I'm a little hesitant to recommend "Cardcaptor Sakura" because of one kinda creepy teacher/student thing between (straight) side characters. But it happened to be the first comic I ever read with LBGT characters. I was fascinated by the fact that this was a comic aimed at kids which was absolutely packed with relationships, and the many gay ones were all treated EXACTLY the same as the straight ones. Boys crush on boys and girls crush on girls and it's no big deal. It's cute and sweet and I love the damn thing, although because of the one teacher/student relationship in the background, I'd be reluctant to give it to its original intended age group. (I know nine year olds crush on their teachers, and in a fantasy aimed at nine year olds, I guess it makes sense to imagine it being returned and working out, but eyuuuuunnnngh.)

Webcomics-wise, Khaos Komix is a nice little educational soap opera with an interesting story structure. Suffers a touch from "how the hell did all these gay, bi, queer, and trans kids HAPPEN to become friends BEFORE they all came out" syndrome but who the hell cares. Cannot possibly update fast enough to suit me.

Marry Me has its flaws but it's a fun fluffy read, and the male lead's best friend is awesome, crazy, hyper, goofy, and a lesbian. Parker rocks.
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
I just started reading Grant Morrison's Invisibles, since my library got a few volumes in. It is, so far, absolutely amazing, and the volume I started with (2: Apocalipstick) spends a lot of time on a ~trans-ish character - more gay male transvestite than transwoman, but raised as a girl because her family had a tradition of female sorcerors. Bonus: another character is a hot butch black woman going by the name of Boy!

...oh, and the plot appears to be about an ancient semi-lovecraftian conspiracy involving the British royal family? But also there are voodoo gods and ancient central american mythology and. I'm a little confused on what exactly is going on due to starting with volume 2, and possibly also because it is hella convoluted! But awesome!
( 66 comments — Leave a comment )


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