GLAAD’s Best Gay Comic Books of 2014

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By TJ Acena, PQ Monthly
Has it been a year already? Yes, it has. The 26th GLAAD Media Awards happened late last month and 2014 was another great year for comics that created “accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.†Actually maybe it was an even better year, as Comics Alliance writes: "The list of nominees are interesting for a number of reasons; first, two publishers that haven’t been nominated before, Boom and Image, edged out serial nominees DC and Archie, and left Marvel with only one nomination. This shift reflects the rise of new and diverse voices at publishers outside the Big Two. It’s also indicative of the way the Big Two seemed to take a step backwards in LGBT representation in the past year. Perhaps most importantly, the list of nominees shows that there’s now serious competition in this category; two-time winners Batwoman, Kevin Keller, and the Young Avengers aren’t just trading the award back and forth every few years. Second, all five nominees featured LGBT characters in major recurring roles, and three in starring roles. There was a time when a book could be nominated for the GLAAD award for featuring just one LGBT storyline in a single issue. That’s clearly not going to cut it anymore." The nominees this year: Rat Queens (winner for Outstanding Comic Book) – Based on a classic fantasy trope of a band of adventurers (Warrior, Monk, Thief, Mage) we’ve seen over and over in books, video games and comics but with an all female cast (including one lesbian) and a modern sense of humor. These women are badass, loyal to each other, bawdy, and heavy drinkers. Hawkeye – This is one of my current favorite titles at Marvel right now. Hawkeye is the Avenger who doesn’t have super powers, just a bow and a desire to try to help out. He’s Marvel’s everyman. He’s paired up with Kate Bishop, a young woman with a bow following in his footsteps. The two are great foils for each other; the dialogue between them (and all the characters) makes this book. The artwork is pretty amazing too; it has a very "silver age" look. There is also a dog called Pizza Dog, who is the star of one of the issues. Lumberjanes – Set at a summer camp called "Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types," so you know it’s going to be good. I discovered Lumberjanes following Noelle Stevenson and her webcomic Nimona, and easily made the jump over. The best thing about Lumberjanes is that it’s accessible to all ages and features strong young female characters. Also, it’s funny, inventive, and the I love the unique art style. Memetic – I am not familiar with this one, but I found this description online: "Memetic shows the progression of a weaponized meme that leads to the utter annihilation of the human race within 72 hours. The root of this apocalypse is a single image on the internet, a 'meme' in the popular sense. A meme that changes everything." So… it’s probably hitting the zeitgeist right on the nose. I’ll check that out. Saga – Ugh. I LOVE Saga. It’s an epic family drama of star-crossed lovers set in space against the backdrop of an intergalactic war narrated by the unseen adult version of the baby at the center of the family. If that didn’t sell you on it, then nothing will. Go buy this comic right now. Anyway, until next year, nerds! BlogTail_TJ-1