Drawn to Comics: Steven Universe’s Comic Book Captures the Magic and Queerness of the Show

Steven Universe is my favorite show. I think its both the best cartoon and best kids show ever. I also think it’s better at queer representation than almost anything else on TV. It’s smart and it’s funny, but mostly it just gets you in the heart. A lot of shows and movies struggle to translate their unique spark when they adapt their series to comic books, but Steven Universe has maintained its voice and authenticity with the latest Steven Universe Ongoing comic. The series kicked off with Melanie Gillman as the writer and Katy Farina as the artist, and the two of them nailed the characters’ voices, and the tone and messages of the show.

There’s no doubt that Steven Universe has done amazing things for non-binary representation. The respect and love the show has for the character Stevonnie (a fusion of the half-gem Steven and the human girl Connie) is something I’ve never seen on TV before until Danger & Eggs. The show and its creators use they/them pronouns for Stevonnie, the show gives them opportunities to explore their gender as a part of who they are — and this comic did an absolutely wonderful job of building onto that.

First of all, the comic hired Gillman, a non-binary comic creator, to write it, which is something we hardly ever get to see for queer characters, especially trans and non-binary characters.

In my favorite issue of the comic, Steven Universe #2, Gillman shows Steven and Connie fusing in order to get into a PG-13 movie, but they end up bumping into Kiki Pizza and the two quickly become friends and decide to go to a school dance together. Kiki doesn’t think it’s weird to go to a dance with a non-binary person; this is just normal life for these teens. Plus, Stevonnie gets to play with fashion in a way we haven’t see on the show, with a wonderful mix of androgynous, feminine and masculine clothes.

Katy Farina’s art and Whitney Cogar’s colors match the style of the show without just parroting it. Farina maintains her own style while capturing the essence of the characters and the essence of the show.

The fact that I’m featured in a crowd scene at the dance doesn’t hurt my love for this book.

Gillman and Farina aren’t on the comic any more, but the new team of Grace Kraft and Rii Abergo have also done a solid job picking up on the comic and maontining the voices and the messages of the show. I hope it continues to touch on more of the queer themes from the Steven Universe.

Look at me over in the back on the right side in my teal dress and pink jacket!

New Releases (July 26)

Legend of Korra Vol 1 Turf Wars Pt. 1

Batgirl #13

Detective Comics #961

Frostbite TP

Suicide Squad #22

Wonder Woman #27

Saga #45

Shutter #30

Gwenpool #18

Mighty Captain Marvel #7

Mighty Thor Vol 2 Lords of Midgard TP

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #21

Runaways Vol 5 Escape to New York New Printing

Spider-Gwen #22

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #10

Faith and the Future Force #1

Lumberjanes #40

Steven Universe #6

Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.

If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. Ahhh I’m so excited for the Legend of Korra comic tomorrow! Catch me crying for twenty-four hours straight (queer) after reading all about Asami and Korra’s gal-pal adventures

  2. So, I got hooked on the show a few months ago, and had a fantastic time going through the whole thing (so far) over the course of a couple weeks, and I’m now waiting along with everybody else, wondering just why Cartoon Network won’t commit to a simple schedule.. but, at least the SDCC Season 5 trailer[1] and future episode preview[2] look wonderful. ^_^

    Comics! Are the 2016 and 2017 series (checking over with ComiXology quickly) considered canon, or are they following a similar principle to the MLP comics, where there might be some overlap, but they generally consider the comics to be their own thing? Not that it really makes any difference to me, I’ll admit – if they continue the spirit of the show, I’ll be a happy bunny.

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkF2sVuAIog

    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvlQldNvCBo – apparently from the future episode “Lars of the Stars”

  3. YES. I see you and love it. Also I want to pick up this comic. Also YES LEGEND OF KORRA THANK YOU FOR THIS IMPORTANT INFO.

    (also p.s. there’s a typo in the final paragraph where “maintaining” got jumbled just fyi)

  4. Oooh, I didn’t realize there is a new SU comic series! I only read the original comic release from a few years ago. I’m VERY excited for this, especially since Stevonnie is a part of the story.

    Also: Mey, you’re super cute in this comic! Congrats :)

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