The sentiment behind this was lovely. Love is Love is an anthology comic book of short pieces honoring the memories of those killed at the Pulse shooting with all proceeds donated to the survivors. And it has some beautiful works in there celebrating love, community, and their memories.
But I felt some of the pieces really didn’t work. Some felt jarring in tone. For a book that seemed like it wanted to be celebrating and honoring love and the memories of those lost, it didn’t seem right to have so many depictions of them dying in the floor in pools of their own blood. That just seemed like a horrible way to remember them for this particular project. There was one piece that when on a rant about guns. Another piece depicted Zeus as a super lover who would be so upset by this, ignoring the fact that the “lovers” Zeus was shown with in the piece were all his rape victims that he tricked into sleeping with him. None of those works really struck me as celebrating love or honoring the dead.
Luckily, there were plenty of works that did. There was a beautiful, heartbreaking piece depicting the mother who was killed there dancing with her son at the club after beating cancer. I loved that her memory was honored by showing her dancing with her son instead of her dead body. There was another wonderful piece depicting a phone call between a son and his parents as they asked him to be careful, but also be proud and unafraid to be himself. There were pieces that just showed couples being happy together. Those were the works that had me choking up.
And as a superhero fan who knows just how much they can mean to a person, I was glad to see Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Apollo, and Midnighter show up several times throughout the anthology, as well as lesser known queer characters like Tremor, Catman, Scandal, Porcelain, and a number of others. There was also a piece featuring the characters from the Archie comics and a piece of artwork of the main Harry Potter characters.
While not every piece worked for me, there were enough in the anthology that did. I wish the tragedy that brought about this anthology had never happened, but it is heartening to see so many come together to try to make something positive and to help the survivors.