the covers of Monstress, Paper Girls and several issues of Far Sector laid out on a desk. two face masks are at the top right.
My graphic novel hauls often look like this: pretty hardback collections, a few trades, and several issues of the newest hotness.

If I love you, if I’m trying to keep you around in my life, then there’s a good chance I’ve dragged you into a comic book store. And I’ve talked incessantly about graphic novel that you have no real connection to until I put a single issue or trade into your hands. I’ve made awkward eye contact with you, and placed way too much promise on a story that I’m fairly certain will become a mainstay in your life. Honestly, it’s because I want the best (storytelling) for you.

Comic book stores are the places where I can loudly and confidently proclaim my nerddom, explain the major plotpoints of several POC- and queer-centric titles and demand exactly what I want. White men bow to me in comic book stores as they appreciate the depths to which I know what I’m talking about. I know this because it’s the only time white men give me free things.

I once introduced a homie to graphic novels and the next time I saw her, she cried in my arms. and now, I’m opening my arms to you, love. It’s OK now. The mediocre titles won’t hurt you anymore.

My Top Picks (i.e. where you should start)

These titles all have queer female protagonists of color and equally captivate my imagination and creative juices:

  • The Beauty, a story where humans can’t get out of the way of their own vanity to save themselves from an STD;
  • Saga, a modern sci-fi love story epic that manages to shock me with a full color spread at least once an issue;
  • Y: The Last Man, about, um, the last man on earth. And a monkey.

These stories are more than Marvel and DC superheroes that we can maybe name but not really talk about outside of the countless movies and Netflix shows that have dominated pop culture. I’m an Image boi myself. Alternate universes, captivating illustrations, savagery of all grades and species done hauntingly well – I’ll never be able to unsee Prince Robot’s grey penis – that it sits with you long after you’ve finished reading.

My Other Must-Reads

Want Your Graphic Novel Reviewed?

I’m always open to putting people onto fantastic storytelling. Shoot me an email at princess.mcdowell@gmail.com and lemme see what you’ve got.

Learn More About Princess

I’m a poet, writer and journalist from Dallas, Texas, and Rebellious Magazine’s Special Projects Editor. She’s also a cohost of the Feminist Erotica Podcast. I’m into anime and tiny homes (I’m also building out a skoolie!). You can find more of my work on my website.

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Princess McDowell

Princess McDowell is a poet, writer and journalist from Dallas, Texas, and Rebellious Magazine's Special Projects Editor. She's also a cohost of the Feminist Erotica Podcast. As a writer-in-rebellion,...