This article was first published by Jessi Eoin on jbeoin.com on August 14, 2023.
It’s August AdiPOSE, a month long celebration and challenge started by Kivan Bay to include more fat characters in your art! This is such a great challenge, and I love seeing more fat characters in art overall, but especially in comics. So I thought I’d celebrate this month by highlighting 10 comics with fat characters in them (plus one bonus one)!
Let’s start out with the comic that introduced me to #AugustAdiPose:
Illustrator + Author: ONeillJones, she/her
“A 22 page comic written by Twitter and drawn by me! The result of a year long storytelling experiment gone horribly wrong. Low fantasy, slice of life. Content warnings for entomophobia and trypophobia.”
One of the things I love about comics is the ability to make them in so many creative ways, and I love ONeillJones’ approach here with the way she let the readers contribute to the creation of the story! I remember how excited I was to vote in the polls and watch the story unfold as she took our votes in each time. This story is cute and charming as hell, and full of cats, your friendly and reluctantly friendly neighborhood demons, shenanigans, and lots of yummy treats– you’re in for a good time! 😁
Illustrator: Julia Arostegi
Publisher: Tapas and Webtoon
Publish Date: 2015
“Jo doesn’t take crap from no one. Being fat as a teenager isn’t easy, even when you know you’re awesome. Watch as the clever Joan Rodriguez deals with school, bullies and all those people trying to change her.”
Illustrator: Jenn St-Onge, she/her Colorist: Joy San, she/her Letterer: Cardinal Rae, she/her Writer: Tee Franklin, they/she Publisher: Image Comics Publish Date: 2018 Pages: 88 ISBN13: 9781534307506 “When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
From TEE FRANKLIN (NAILBITER’s ‘THE OUTFIT,’ Love is Love) and JENN ST-ONGE (Jem & The Misfits), BINGO LOVE is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years.”
Illustrator + Author: Kameron White, he/him/his, xe/xem/xer
Publish Date: 2022
“PDF of my zine, ‘Cut Open’! This zine details my top surgery journey from before my surgery, during my recover, to time after it along with my thoughts about the process and what I want other people who want top surgery to know.”
Illustrator + Author: Daisy “Draizys” Ruiz, she/her
Publisher: Black Josei Press
Publish Date: 2023
“Gordita: Built Like This is an autobiographical comic by Daisy 'Draizys' Ruiz, published by the award-winning publisher Black Josei Press. In this 28-page color comic, we follow Gordita, a young Mexican-American teenager who lives in The Bronx. She’s judged for having no ass by classmates, strangers, and even family. Gordita struggles with low self-esteem and body dysmorphia. But, through her friendships with other girls who are also getting bullied and mentorship with her guidance counselor, Gordita, begins to speak up for herself and see that she is more than just her body.”
Illustrator + Author: s. win searle, aka Sarah Winifred Searle, they/she Publisher: Self-published, distributed via ShortBox Comics Fair 2022 Publish Date: 2022 Pages: 50 ISBN13: N/A “There’s this funny thing that happens when you reveal yourself to the people you love and they accept you with their whole hearts. See, without that, I would’ve sought wholeness in other ways. Maybe I could have learned to be content.
But without the burden of fear…my mind was now open to possibilities I had never dared dream before.
Follow one person’s journey to ease the Ache in their chest. They find themself chasing an elusive fluttering lightness that seems to be pulling them up into the mountains, through a fantastical landscape toward the sunrise.”
Illustrator + Author: Maya Kern, she/they
Publish Date: 2012
“Monster Pop! is a fun and fresh romcom slice of life webcomic about George Tinsely, your average fun-loving, leaps before she looks cyclops, and her adventures in friendship, love, and growing up. Monster Pop! features music, animated panels, and interactive character blogs.”
Volumes 1 + 2
Illustrator + Author: Gengoroh Tagame, he/him
Translator: Anne Ishii, she/her
Publisher: Pantheon, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Publish Date: 2020
“Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, and father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself to be the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in.
What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
As Mike continues his journey of discovery concerning Ryoji’s past, Yaichi gradually comes to understand that being gay is just another way of being human. And that, in many ways, remains a radical concept in Japan even today. In the meantime, the bond between Mike and young Kana grows ever stronger, and yet he is going to have to return to Canada soon—a fact that fills them both with impending heartbreak. But not before more than a few revelations come to light.”
Illustrator + Author: Jen Wang, she/her Publisher: First Second, an imprint of MacMillan Press Publish Date: 2019 Pages: 224 ISBN13: 9781250183880 “Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.
Moon’s visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine’s best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?
Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.”
Illustrator + Author: Keezy Young, they/she Publisher: Lion Forge, now part of Oni Press Publish Date: 2017 Pages: 128 ISBN13: 9781637150733 “Blue has been living as a ghost for a year when he meets Hamal, a beautiful and sweet gardener who has the ability to see and communicate with spirits. Together, their friendship develops into something more, but being a ghost, Blue can never truly be connected with Hamal.
When Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him–even if it means leaving him.”
Illustrator + Author: Jessi Eoin, they/them
Publish Date: 2023
I almost forgot I can share my own work in lists like this! lol So here’s a bonus one for you: "A lonesome figure wanders vast stretches of land in search of another’s touch only to be met by months and waves of grasses and passing clouds. A wordless exploration of touch starvation and isolation."
That's 10+ Fat Characters in Comics!
What are some of your favorite comics with fat characters in them? Let me know in the comments so I can check them out!
*Comic creators and publishers, I do my best to get the details accurate in my posts, but if you catch a mistake, feel free to reach out to me. You can email me at hellojbeoin [at] gmail [dot] com; it’s much appreciated!