‘Love is Love’ anthology explores the Pulse shooting from the perspective of comic book artists



In the aftermath of the Pulse shooting one year ago this week, countless groups mobilized to show their support — activists to actors, musicians to motivational speakers. Everyone seemed united in doing their part to soothe and explain the tragedy.

One segment that did something remarkable, though, didn’t do it on the streets of Orlando last summer, or the town squares of America, or even recording studios. The comic book industry of artists, writers and publishers, led by Marc Andreyka and IDW Publishing, organized to create an anthology dedicated to benefiting the survivors of the massacre.

Released late last December, Love Is Love is 144 pages of images and words — often featuring familiar characters, from superheroes to awkward teens — saying something — anything — about the tragedy. Most participants had only a page or two in which to summarize their feelings. Some chose a single, worldless drawing to convey everything: Batwoman (a gay character in her book) holding a rainbow flag, or two grooms holding hands with the solitary legend, “Love wins.” Some celebrate beauty; others mine the depth of sadness; all evince at least a kernel of hope.

If you’re not a fan of comic books, this could make you one. The artwork, while diverse in style, is uniformly excellent. And more often than not, powerfully moving.  And the introduction by filmmaker Patty Jenkins (Monster, Wonder Woman) puts it all in perspective.

It’s not a book that you can consume in one sitting. It can be emotionally dense, and you’ll want each piece to wash over you, so you can ponder, reflect and fully appreciate how this historically significant event in gay rights moved others to create their art.           

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Available at Zeus Comics and online. $10.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 09, 2017.