Exploring the humorous work of Irish queer comic creator Luke Healy

In his graphic novels, Luke Healy encompasses elements of queerness and explores the struggles it takes to survive in the world.

Split screen of comic creator Luke Healy and his latest work Dogs on Dates.
Image: Via Instagram - @lukewhealy

Pop culture guru David Ferguson highlights the work of Irish queer comic creator Luke Healy and gives tips on how to check out his work.

Luke Healy’s first graphic novel How To Survive In The North mixed two true stories – the historical expeditions of Ada Blackjack and Robert Bartlett, in 1912 and 1916 – with a fictional story from the present day. It shows the struggle it takes to survive, whether it is during an Artic exploration or a mid-life crisis.

His next work, titled Americana, involves another journey as he covers his real-life attempt to complete a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,260-mile trek from California’s border with Mexico to Washington’s border with Canada. He mixes in tales of his life in America and his journey as a cartoonist.

His third book, a personal favourite, is called Permanent Press. Afraid that he will be forgotten by the comic book community, Luke (the character, not the creator) sets out to write an award-winning comic that will remedy all his problems. The book includes the wonderful and Ignatz Award and Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize nominated story The Unofficial Cuckoo’s Nest Study Companion. Permanent Press also has plenty of queer elements to enjoy too.


His last book, The Con Artists, tells the story of Frank, an aspiring comedian who moves in to look after his friend, Giorgio, after the latter gets hit by a bus. Frank and Giorgio were childhood friends but are not particularly close at this point, meeting up only every six months, so most of what Frank knows about him comes from his social media presence. He soon learns that that does not reflect the truth and that Giorgio’s life is a web of lies. As I wrote in a previous review of this work, I particularly liked that this story dealt with the friendship between two gay men.

His latest work has not appeared in book form yet but has been posted on his social media and his website. I think the title alone will pique your interest. Titled Dogs On Dates, it tells the story of Brad and Bernie, two dogs who meet under unusual circumstances. Bernie asks Brad out and that’s where the trouble starts. It is charming, funny while also exploring trauma at times.  You can check out this work on the author’s social media or read it on his website.


Luke Healy announced recently that his next book, out next year, will be titled Self-Esteem And The End of The World. It promises to be a story about trying to have a job while humans destroy the earth. If you would like to buy Luke’s books, you can do so here – he gets some commission if you buy them there – or you can try your local comic or book store. You can also support him on Patreon.

Luke will be appearing at the wonderful Thought Bubble Festival in November, so seek him out if you are there.


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