I’ve read comics for as long as I have been able to read. Likewise, I’ve been gay for as long as I’ve been alive. Now I sell comics for a living. This mini-syllabus is the manifestation of some feverish daydream of mine as I sift through many hundreds of titles, finding any with queer content to be few and far between.
This course aims to explore the depth of LGBTQ+ representation in graphic novels, webcomics, comics, manga, and ephemera. Available here is a breadth of genre convention, subject matter, art style, narrative form, and overall content.
Rather than aim to be accessible to heterosexual and/or cisgender readers, these comics refresh and revitalize queer stories by approaching queer experience through the eyes of queer people. Intersections of LGBTQ+ identity with race, religion, socio-economic position, disability and mental health status are only a few of the themes present and integral to the narratives therein. The works here originate from oft-ignored, overlooked, or disturbing perspectives. Honest and thoughtful, these works also draw from the personal experiences of authors and their own queerness, regardless of whether they are truly autobiographical in nature.
Students are encouraged to connect with and express their interest in these texts on a personal level.
- Frontier #11: BDSM by Eleanor Davis (Youth in Decline, 2016)
- Knight’s Errant (vol 1) by Jenn Doyle (Sparkler Monthly, 2016)
- Motor Crush (vol 1) by Brendan Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr (Image Comics, 2017)
- I Hear the Sunspot (vol 1) by Yuki Fumino (One Peace Books, 2017)
- As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (Iron Circus Comics, 2017)
- Jeremiah by Cathy G. Johnson (One Percent Press, 2015)
- My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi (Seven Seas Entertainment, 2017)
- On Loving Women by Diane Obomsawin (Drawn & Quarterly, 2014)
- The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (Scholastic, 2017)
- Skim by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (Groundwood Books, 2010)
- Check Please! (vol 1) by Ngozi Ukazu (self-published, 2015)
- Spinning by Tillie Walden (First Second Books, 2017)
Terrence Abrahams lives and writes quietly in Toronto. His poetry and essays have appeared in Acta Victoriana, (parenthetical), The Puritan, Peach Mag, many gendered mothers, tenderness, yea and Wildness, among others. His first chapbook of poetic work, a wish, was published by Penrose Press in 2018. Talk to him about comics on Twitter @trabrahams.