Love is Love
Cover by: Elsa Charretier w/Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: IDW Publishing/DC Comics
A review by Insha Fitzpatrick
On June 12, 2016, the largest mass shooting in America happened in Orlando, Florida at the Pulse Nightclub. Pulse was an LGBT+ club and community where people could be themselves and dance into the night. A place where everyone could express their love, light, and happiness with their fellow friends, loves, and family. There was so much to say, so much to feel, so much to talk about, and so much to do. Last week, IDW, in collaboration from DC comics, produced an anthology comic called Love Is Love, a comic filled with works from writers and artists to contribute their heart to a great cause.
Love is Love features works from different artists, writers, inkers, letterers, illustrators, and colorists, including: James Tynion IV, Molly Knox Ostertag, Tim Seeley, Mark Englert, Cecil Castellucci, Guillem March, Jeff Parker, Rafael Albuquerque, Jim Zub, Vivian Ng, Jonathan Hickman, Marguerite Bennett, Ed Luce, Tom Taylor, Emily Smith, G. Willow Wilson, Joe Kelly, and so much more.
There were celebrities that contributed as well like, Matt Bomer, Patton Oswalt, Taran Killam, and Morgan Spurlock. Every piece, individual or collaboration, focuses on individual stories of hope, frustration, compassion, forgiveness, anger, peace, sadness and, above all else, love. There’s so many different feelings in the wake of the Pulse tragedy. The organization by Marc Andreyko with IDW and DC couldn’t have done a better job to honor victims and survivors of the tragedy and to raise money in order to help them and their families.
The anthology features original stories as well as stories with classic superheroes and characters from different comic books! Archie Comic’ Kevin Keller tells the gang about his first date with a boy, Hack/Slash and girlfriend, Georgia, sit beside each other holding hands on a swing. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy make an appearance, as well as Midnighter and Apollo, Batwoman, Batman, Chalice (Alters) and more.
There’s so many different stories in this, that I can’t begin to properly tell you how insanely amazing they are. However, I will tell you that I was highly emotional while reading this comic. I’m a sensitive puppy, but these stories ranged from many of the emotions and perspectives and it grips your heart. They all set focus on promoting love, something that we desperately need in the world. They are the reflections of what happened after hearing about the news and even during. The stories are layered with with teachings of love, friendship, and belonging. Of not knowing what the future holds, but to live and love the way you were meant to and not be afraid in a world that treats people so cruelly. It was an absolute honor to read all of the stories that these creators have created because each and every story speaks to you.
The stories that meant the most are all of the messages of inclusion within the LGBT and Queer community. It tells you that no matter what, no matter who tries to cut you down, no matter what happens, we are here for you and you are not alone in your struggles. It’s a message that needs to be heard far and wide. The stories are truthful, honest and heartbreaking at times, but another very important set of stories we’re about kids. It was a toss up between how to explain same sex attraction and the learned hate that a person can project on their kids. One of the stories that smacked me across the face was “Hand Me Down” by Daniel Beals & David LaFuente. It was the perspective of two friends in two very different households with straight parents, but the lessons that the kids learn in the household are taught through talking and/or observation. As a queer POC, I’ve seen this from so many different observant perspectives, but each story carries it’s unique perspective from what you see and hear going through this life as a member of the LGBT & queer community as well as an ally.
Buy It! This comic gives you hope. Hope for a better tomorrow where people can treat each other better and we can live in a world of love. It’s one of the most important comics that was produced in 2016 and it’s message is so clear and positive that we need more of this. It’s definitely one to keep close to you if you have a rough time with your sexuality and your feelings to show that you are not alone. Love is Love is yet another step where we all come together and comfort each other while we continue to pick up the pieces from this tragedy. With love, hope, support and compassion, love can triumph hate and we will conquer no matter what.
Pick up Love is Love at your local comic shop now. All proceeds from this comic go to victims, survivors and their families via Equality Florida.