Comics

10 Graphic Novels for Black, Brown, and Queer Readers

Now more than ever, representation matters. When we see ourselves in stories, the feeling is nothing short of magical. I’ve put together a short list of graphic novels featuring black, brown, and queer readers that are worth looking into. This of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned to learn about more comics featuring people of color in leading roles. For now, happy reading!

  1. Goldie Vance by Hope Larson
Move over Nancy, Harriet, & Veronica. There’s a new sleuth on the block!

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery. Eisner Award-winning writer Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) and artist Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting, whodunnit adventure.

2. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder

LUNELLA LAFAYETTE is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world-but learned the hard way that it takes MORE than just big brains. Fearful of the monstrous INHUMAN genes inside her, life is turned upside down when a savage, red-scaled tyrant is teleported from prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call TODAY. The pair are many things, and together the most amazing Marvel Team-Up.

3. Afar by Leila del Luca

Boetema suddenly develops the ability to astrally project to other worlds, unintentionally possessing the bodies of people light years away.

Inotu, her inquisitive brother with a penchant for trouble, finds himself on the run after he’s caught eavesdropping on an illegal business deal between small town business tycoons and their cyborg bodyguard. When Boetema accidentally gets someone hurt while in another girl’s body, the siblings are forced to work together to solve the problems they’ve created on their planet and others.

4. Princes Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.

Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means — and how they can find it with each other.

5. The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale

Araminta Ross was born a slave in Delaware in the early 19th century. Slavery meant that her family could be ripped apart at any time, and that she could be put to work in dangerous places and for abusive people. But north of the Mason-Dixon line, slavery was illegal. If she could run away and make it north without being caught or killed, she’d be free. Facing enormous danger, Araminta made it, and once free, she changed her name to Harriet Tubman. Tubman spent the rest of her life helping slaves run away like she did, every time taking her life in her hands. Nathan Hale tells her incredible true-life story with the humor and sensitivity he’s shown in every one of the Hazardous Tales—perfect for reluctant readers and classroom discussions.

6. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

7. As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Welcome to Camp Three Peaks. A rustic, Christian summer retreat for teenage girls! A week of hiking, adventure, and communing with the God of its 19th-century founders… a God that doesn’t traditionally number people like 13-year-old Charlie Lamonte among His (Her? Their? Its?) flock.
The only black camper in the group, and queer besides, she struggles to reconcile the innocent intent of the trip with the blinkered obliviousness of those determined to keep the Three Peaks tradition going. As the journey wears on and the rhetoric wears thin, Charlie can’t help but poke holes in the pious disregard this storied sanctuary has for outsiders like herself—and her fellow camper, Sydney.

8. The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters–and their own inner demons–on one last quest before school starts again.

In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be–imagine that!

9. Moonstruck by Grace Ellis

Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

10. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

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