Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC, neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.)
I decided to focus on comics, instead of ‘books’ in general. So here are Ten Comics/Graphic Novels that Celebrate Diversity!
(I do realize that there has been some advances in diversity in the superhero comic world, like Miles Morales (aka Spiderman) but I don’t really read much DC/Marvel comics. Instead, these are some of the comics that I have, you know, actually read.)
Rat Queens – Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch
For an all-female band of heroes! A dwarf woman!
Lumberjanes – Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen
Because girls need more comics like these.
Sunny – Taiyo Matsumoto
One of my favourite manga series, Sunny focuses on a group of kids who live in a home. Some of them do have parents, but they just aren’t able to take care of their kids (alcohol, poverty etc).
Ms Marvel – G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
A Pakistani-American superhero! A girl who dons a shalwar kameez on one page, and a superhero costume on another. Of course t shirt and jeans on regular days.
The Shadow Hero – Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
Another Asian-American superhero! One of my favourite bits was when his mother tries to get him superpowers.
(*Also see Yang’s other works: American-Born Chinese; Boxers and Saints
And Liew’s other works: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye; Warm Nights Deathless Days: The Life of Georgette Chen )
Shinya Shokudou – Yaro Abe
Another manga. This time one that is set in a late-night eatery. It’s diverse in the sense that the patrons of the eatery are from different walks of life. There is a stripper, a student, a celebrity, a gangster, salarymen, young people, old people, rich people, poor people. Something a little different from Japan. Unfortunately it only seems to have been translated from Japanese into Chinese so far.
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For – Alison Bechdel
Bechdel is best known for Fun Home but I think her best work is in her first book, a collection of comic strips that she wrote for 25 years, and which was syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers.
A Game for Swallows – Leina Abirached
March Book One and Two – John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
These books tell the story of US Congressman John Robert Lewis, from rural Alabama to meeting Martin Luther King, to the Nashville Student Movement which used nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins to break down segregation. Truly inspiring.