Heartstopper Graphic Novel Cover

8 Heartwarming, Queer Graphic Novels To Check Out If You Loved Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’

As if Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series wasn’t popular enough, the Netflix adaptation of her beloved graphic novel about two young boys that find love definitely increased the demand for this series (and show) ten-fold. I say all this with love. I’m just salty because no matter how many copies my libraries get, the waitlist is rough out here!

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If you’re struggling to get a hold of this graphic novel or just already read the series and want to try something in a similar vein, you’re in luck because, below, I’ve gathered these stories that feature young, queer love that you will probably love if you’re a fan of Hearstopper (the show or graphic novels). Many of these graphic novels are YA romance stories first, but quite a few feature romance secondary to mysteries, competition (including enemies to lovers), and adventure.

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

The Girl From The Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, illustrated by Maarta Laiho (Image: Graphix.)
(Graphix)

Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She’s desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends…who don’t understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan’s biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.

Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn’t seem so stifling anymore.

But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they’re each trying to hide will find its way to the surface…whether Morgan is ready or not.

Slip by Marika McCoola & Aatmaja Pandya

Slip pages. (Image: Algonquin Young Readers.)
(Algonquin Young Readers)

Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?

But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all–if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?

Check out an exclusive TMS preview and more here!

Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky

Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky. Image: Random House Graphic.
(Random House Graphic)

Lelek is a witch.

That’s all Sanja knows when she meets Lelek in the marketplace. But Lelek is hiding something — and as her life begins to intersect with Sanja’s, all that she’s kept to herself starts to come to light.

Secrets, friendship, and magic all come together as Lelek gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth about her past. . . .Witchlight is a wonderful queer adventure filled with friendship, family, falling in love, and dealing with the hardest bits of your past all along the way.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau. Image: First Second
(First Second)

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band–if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Goldie Vance by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams & Sharon Stern

Goldie Vance First Vol
(Boom! Comics)

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it’s her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills, and connections to solve the mystery…

Check out an exclusive TMS preview and more here!

Fence by C.S Pacat and Johanna the Mad

Fence by C.S Pacat and Johanna the Mad. Image: Boom Box
(Boom Box)

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges.

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Fraiser & Val Wise

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Fraiser & Val Wise. Image: Oni Press
(Oni Press)

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend Bebe is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro-aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.

Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin & Nina Vakueva

Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin & Nina Vakueva. Image: Boom Box.
(Boom Box)

Starry-eyed Chris has just started the dream job every outcast kid in town wants: working at Vinyl Mayhem. It’s as rad as she imagined; her boss is BOSS, her co-workers spend their time arguing over music, pushing against the patriarchy, and endlessly trying to form a band. When Rosie Riot, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show, Chris discovers her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl … Her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!

(feature image: Graphix)

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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.