I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published November 8th 2018
Sapphic graphic novels for young and old
1. Honor Girl
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash is a memoir chronicling the author's time spent at Camp Bellflower, a summer camp for girls in Appalachia. The summer she is fifteen, Maggie is training for her Distinguished Expert (DE) award in rifle shooting, and begins to feel the first stirrings of attraction to another, older girl. Honor Girl sucked me into the world of Camp Bellflower and made me care about Maggie and her friends. It will probably most relatable to people who were teens in the 90s and remember when the Backstreet Boys were everywhere. It's simply told and illustrated and feels truthful. Just be prepared for the ending, which is a little bleak.
There are a few swear words in this one, so it's probably better suited to older teens and adults.
2. Paper Girls
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, is more of an ongoing comic series than a graphic novel, but this is a trade paperback compiling several issues. It's only a couple of volumes in when one of the characters is revealed to be a lesbian. Beware of spoilers if you haven't read volumes one and two.
Newspaper delivery girls Erin, Mac, and Tiffany have travelled through time once again to find their friend KJ. Here they meet another girl around their age, who has a child of her own and is being hunted by three violent men, as well as another time traveller from the future.
This volume is also notable because I think it's the first time I've seen a character in a comic book have to deal with unexpectedly getting her period in the middle of an adventure.
There is some explicit language, and strong violence, so this series is suited to older teens and adults.
3. Heavy Vinyl
Chris has landed her dream job working at the coolest music store in town, Vinyl Destination. One of the many perks of the job is that she gets to be around Maggie, her number one crush. She just wishes the manager and the other stuff would let her in on whatever it is they do in the store after hours when Chris has gone home. When Rosie Riot, the lead singer of Chris's favourite band, Stegasaur, disappears, Chris's boss reveals the truth: they are part of a secret, all girl, vigilante fight club, and now Chris is part of it too. Heavy Vinyl is a tale of action and adventure with a side of sweet lesbian romance. It is written by Carly Usdin and illustrated by Nina Vakueva, whose art shows a manga influence. It's squeaky clean with no explicit language, making it suitable for younger readers.