June is Pride month! Which means it’s the perfect time to celebrate the wealth of great LGBTQ+ comics at your shop. Use these tips to help celebrate Pride at your store!
Highlight LGBTQ+ Comics With a Pride Spotlight
We live in a golden age of LGBTQ+ representation in comics. While there was once only a limited number of LGBTQ+ titles to stock, there’re now a ton of great comics to highlight! With so many titles to choose from, it can be daunting to know what titles to spotlight. Here are a few steps you should take in building a diverse and robust Pride collection.
Include Diverse Representation
It’s important to remember that the LGBTQ+ community is not a monolith where one size fits all. The queer community is made up of a wide array of individuals who have different sexualities and gender identities, it includes people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. You want to make sure your selection is reflective of such a diverse community. Having stories that more people can relate to makes your LGBTQ+ spotlight stronger!
Spotlight Diverse Creators
Be sure to highlight LGBTQ+ writers and artists in your section. There are a lot of amazing queer storytellers out there whose work deserves to be put in the spotlight. The Queer Cartoonists Database is an online resource that was created to highlight marginalized comics creators. It’s a great tool for finding information about queer cartoonists and their work.
Incorporate Different Genres
Queer people have all sorts of stories to tell. Don’t limit yourself to carrying just one genre. While some customers may be looking for solace in books that reflect their lived experiences, others are looking for escapism in their comics. Keep a variety of offerings so you can meet everyone’s needs.
Offer LGBTQ+ Comics for All Ages
It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in the world around them. Representation can help LGBTQ+ identifying kids feel proud of who they are. Identity censorship, a form of censorship that targets books and speakers based on the identity of the author or characters in a book, often means kid friendly LGBTQ+ comics are harder to find in spaces like schools or libraries. Including kid friendly LGBTQ+ representation in your spotlight section helps ensure more kids have access to the stories they need.
Where to Start
Need help finding which graphic novels to spotlight? One good starting place is Amazon’s bestsellers list for LGBTQ+ graphic novels, along with Goodreads’ list of graphic novels featuring LGBTQ+ themes. These lists are great jumping off points if you’re looking for popular titles to include in your spotlight. You can also search out recommendations directly from LGBTQ+ websites themselves. Websites for publications like The Advocate and the online community Autostraddle have a good selection of content focused on graphic novels written by queer people.
Still need some ideas? Check out CBLDF’s LGBTQ+ Pride collection for examples of comics you can include in your collection!
Host a Queer Book Club
Book clubs are a great way to foster community and spark conversations about important topics. If you host a book club at your store, consider choosing an LGBTQ+ graphic novel for a June meeting. You can use an LGBTQ-focused CBLDF discussion guide to help start the conversation.
Book clubs are great ways to engage your customers even if you’re currently unable to host gatherings at your store. Just host it remotely! Check out our general and retailer guides for hosting remote book clubs to help get you started.
Highlight Queer Creators
Pride is a great time to highlight queer comic creators. Reach out to queer creators you’d like to spotlight at your store and see if they have time to take part in a virtual Pride event or make an appearance at your book club.
Reach out to Local LGBTQ+ Organizations
Many local LGBTQ+ centers are working remotely right now. They’re looking for ways to provide community in new ways. They’d most likely love to highlight events like an LGBTQ+ book club or talk featuring an LGBTQ+ creator to community members. Reach out to see what you can collaborate on. Cross-promoting can help you both reach new audiences!
CBLDF is leading the fight against identity censorship while striving to uplift queer voices in the comic community. Support our work and celebrate Pride month by picking up signed graphic novels from our Pride bookstore!