Comics Like Nimona to Read After Watching the Netflix Movie

15 Comics Like ‘Nimona’ To Read After Watching the Netflix Movie

ND Stevenson’s beloved, award-winning webcomic-turned-graphic-novel, Nimona, has finally been adapted into an animated film for Netflix. If you’ve read the comic and watched the movie—once, twice, or 10 times—you may be in search of more titles that have the same vibe and similar themes to the monster-girl narrative. Nimona spotlights LGBTQIA+ characters in a sci-fi/fantasy world who’ve been ostracized for their identities and blamed for everything wrong in the kingdom.

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These themes are common in comics and graphic novels, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for unlikely team-ups between strangers or narratives about outsiders (or both), check out this list of comics like Nimona.

Cosmoknights

Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer (Top Shelf Productions)
(Top Shelf Productions)

Hannah Templer’s Cosmoknights features a group of queer women fighting against the oppressive patriarchy in a near-future, space-age world in which princesses are “won” through mech fights à la Pacific Rim. To stop this archaic practice, a former princess and her partner travel the galaxy and participate in the mech fights themselves, liberating as many princesses as possible when they win. In their travels, they encounter the longing best friend of an escaped princess, who joins them in their fight in the hopes of finding her friend.

This colorful, adventurous, anarchic, queer tale is beautifully illustrated and written. You can purchase the trade paperback editions of Cosmoknights books 1 and 2 wherever books are sold or check out the webcomic version at cosmoknights.space.

Estranged

Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge (Quill Tree Books)
(Quill Tree Books)

The Estranged duology by Ethan M. Aldridge is a gothic fantasy about a fae changeling and his human counterpart, whose existence in the fae royal court makes him an object of curiosity and intrigue. When a sorceress pulls off a coup, the boys have to join forces and fight to save both the fae and mortal worlds while simultaneously determining which world they actually belong in. This dark-but-hopeful story is as magical as it is unique, and its characters are deeply memorable.

The Girl From the Sea

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix)
(Graphix)

Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Girl from the Sea (colored by Maarta Laiho) is a fantasy romance about a teenager who falls in love with a selkie in the midst of trying to survive her parents’ divorce, her last years of high school, and her brother’s wild behavior. Both Morgan (the human) and Keltie (the selkie) have secrets they hold dear, most of which rise to the surface as they fall in love. As if falling for a mythical creature isn’t enough, things are complicated even further by how Keltie’s family is being pushed out of their home because of humans …

Illustrated in Ostertag’s signature style and written through sharp dialogue, The Girl From the Sea is as sweet as it is layered, inviting a wealth of emotions throughout.

Kim Reaper

Kim Reaper Volume 1 by Sarah Graley (Oni Press)
(Oni Press)

Plenty of students work part-time (or full-time) jobs while they’re in school, but it’s safe to say that very few of them are asked to guide souls into the afterlife to get a paycheck. The titular character in Sarah Graley’s Kim Reaper series is a part-time reaper whose potential new girlfriend, Becka, unwittingly discovers her underworld job. Together, they have to fix a series of catastrophes, which forces them to get very close, very fast. This buddy-comedy-romance is cartoonish and fun, invoking The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy with decidedly more chaos and queer love.

Livewire

Livewire Volume 1 (Valiant Comics)
Valiant Comics

Formerly a hero, Amanda McKee a.k.a. Livewire is now on the run after choosing to protect fellow psiots and creating a nationwide blackout in the U.S. Her technopathic abilities are devastating, and the government wants her to pay for the damage she caused.

Written by Vita Ayala and illustrated by Raúl Allén, Patricia Martín, Scott Koblish, Kano, Tana Ford, and Bruno Oliveira, with colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick and letters by Saida Temofonte, Livewire follows the titular character as she continuously prioritizes the safety of people more vulnerable than her, to the deep chagrin of the state that can’t seem to catch her. This series is dynamic, powerful, and stunning in both writing and visuals.

Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 (Boom! Studios)
(Boom! Studios)

Lumberjanes, co-created by ND Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Gus Allen, follows five young campers at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Girls Hardcore Lady Types who witness an old woman transforming into a bear and are never the same again.

The group follows her into the woods and sees a pack of three-eyed foxes, all of them hostile, and they quickly discover that there are mysteries all around their summer camp, which they fully intend to solve. Along the way, they earn badges as the Lumberjane Scouts and discover a lot about themselves, too. This slice-of-life fantasy series confirms all of your fears about sleepaway camps and features some of the most delightful characters in modern comics.

Mooncakes

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker (Oni Press)
(Oni Press)

Nova Huang is a teenage witch. Tam Lang is a genderqueer werewolf. The pair were childhood friends before Tam moved out of town, and they’re reunited in the most unexpected way when Nova goes looking for a white wolf in the town woods and instead finds Tam fighting a horse demon. In Mooncakes, written by Suzanne Walker, illustrated by Wendy Xu, and lettered by Joamette Gil, Nova and Tam discover their childhood crushes on each other were mutual and fall in love as they fight against the dark forces threatening them, their families, and their home, making for a delightful supernatural romance with plenty of twists.

Moonstruck

Moonstruck Vol. 1 (Image Comics)
(Image Comics)

Even mythical creatures have to pay bills. Written by Grace Ellis, drawn by Shae Beagle, and colored by Caitlin Quirk, Moonstruck follows friends Julie and Chet, a werewolf and a centaur, through their everyday lives working at a coffee shop and falling in love. Julie’s new girlfriend, Selena, is also a werewolf, but they have very different experiences.

But on their first date, they attend a magic show where Chet is cursed, sending them into a high-stakes and supernatural situation that asks them to trust each other and bond on an expedited timeline with the rest of their friends, who are a variety of creatures themselves. Goofy, romantic, and a little bit scary, this series will take you on a colorful ride that feels as homey as it does escapist.

The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night

The Night Eaters Book 1: She Eats the Night
(Abrams ComicArts)

Sometimes, monstrous women bury their pasts in pursuit of nuclear families. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s The Night Eaters introduces Chinese American twins, Milly and Billie, whose restaurant is struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their parents, Ipo and Keon, are in town for their annual visit, which should be a relief—but it’s just adding more stress. Things get especially bad when Ipo makes the twins help her clean the house across the street, a murder scene that’s become rundown and grisly-looking in its vacancy. There, Milly and Billie discover terrifying secrets about Ipo and their family that change everything.

More geared toward adult readers than the other comics on this list, The Night Eaters is a horror story rendered in breathtaking art and well-paced dialogue that asks you to go along with whatever happens next, no questions asked—and in the end, you’ll be thrilled for the ride.

Save Yourself!

Save Yourself! cover (Boom! Studios)
(Boom! Studios)

Written by Bones Leopard and drawn by Kelly and Nicole Matthews, Save Yourself! is a fantastical story about truth, heroism, and advocacy. Five years ago, pop icon magical girls the Lovely Trio—Ao, Thel, and Gen—saved the world from space monsters. Now, they’re heralded for their heroics, but a superfan named Georgia (whose brother died in one of the Lovely Trio’s battles) witnesses one of their fights firsthand and begins to question everything she knows about the group. What she learns could save the world, but the Lovely Trio have made her their new target. To make a difference, she first has to save herself, lest the truth be lost forever.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (First Second)
(First Second)

Kat Leyh’s Snapdragon is about a plucky teenager named Snap who goes to the town witch to help her save a group of baby opossums she rescued. Unfortunately, Jacks isn’t a witch—not the way the town talks about her. She wears Crocs and puts roadkill spirits to rest before selling their skeletons online, which is less magical than the rumors claim. But when Jacks and Snap make a deal that Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the opossums and Snap will help Jacks with her work, the teenager slowly discovers that Jacks’ magic might be more in line with the town rumors than she thought, and they share a strange connection to boot.

Under Kingdom

Under Kingdom by Christof Bogacs and Marie Enger (Dark Horse Comics)
(Dark Horse Comics)

Written by Christof Bogacs and drawn by Marie Enger, Under Kingdom presents parallel worlds invoking the themes of Undertale. High school freshman Shay Willard is picked up from school early one day by his weird aunt, Sa’Belle, who reveals she’s actually a shapeshifter—and before Shay can get used to that, his aunt asks him for an immediate favor. Following the disappearance of his mom, he needs to take her place as guardian of the titular Under Kingdom, where all sorts of monsters live. There’s no time to waste, because the monsters are about to go to war. Shay must train to become the new Under Warden, manage his school schedule, and figure out his crush on his best friend.

The Well

The Well by Jake Wyatt and Choo (First Second)
(First Second)

In The Well, written by Jake Wyatt and drawn by Choo, Li-Zhen a.k.a. Lizzy has a simple life spent taking care of her grandfather and their goats and flirting with the ferrywoman. Like everyone on her small archipelago, Lizzy makes a point to stay away from the nightly fog that brings monsters to their town—until one day she steals coins from a sacred well to cover a debt and is cursed to fill three wishes lest the well’s minions drown her for her crime. Suddenly, she’s forced onto a quest where she must face dark and buried family secrets that could destroy her entire life.

The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix)
(Graphix)

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag is the first book in a trilogy about 13-year-old Aster, whose magical family raises girls to be witches and boys to be shapeshifters. The problem is, he hasn’t shifted yet and frankly isn’t interested in doing so; he’d much rather learn how to use herbs and other witchery with the girls.

When he makes a new, unexpected, non-magical friend named Charlie and continues his secret witchery-learning despite his family’s wishes, he begins to discover that things have not always been so cut and dried. Exploring themes of identity, gender, and found family, this series stays grounded through Ostertag’s rich art and natural-feeling dialogue, particularly in the scenes with Charlie and Aster.

Witchy

Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries (Oni Press)
(Oni Press)

Ariel Slamet Ries’s award-winning graphic novel Witchy is the first of two books following the young witch Nyneve as she grieves for her late father and struggles under the oppressive regime of the Witch Guard responsible for his death. In the kingdom Hyalin, magical strength is determined by the length of a witch’s hair, and the strongest join the Guard to protect the kingdom during wartimes and enforce the law in times of peace.

However, it’s possible to have hair that’s “too long”—and any witch wearing such locks is declared an enemy and burned. Nyneve fears being discovered by the Guard and killed, especially when her classmates are conscripted to join. She must choose between being complicit with oppression or rebelling, and there are dangers to both.

Vividly drawn with sharp dialogue and unique depictions of magic, Witchy is a dark but hopeful narrative about the power of individuals to drive change, even and especially in the wake of rage-inducing grief.

(featured image: Oni Press; Quill Tree Books; Boom! Studios; Top Shelf Productions; Graphix; Dark Horse Comics / The Mary Sue)


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Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc (she/they) is a fat, disabled, lesbian writer and editor who has been working in digital and print media since 2010. Their work focuses primarily on LGBTQ+ and fat representation in pop culture and their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., and elsewhere. Samantha is the co-creator of Fatventure Mag and she contributed to the award-winning Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. They are an original cast member of Death2Divinity, and they are currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School. When Samantha is not working or writing, she loves spending time with her cats, reading, and perfecting her grilled cheese recipe.