Love is Love is a comic book anthology to benefit the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting. Published by IDW, in conjunction with DC, writers and illustrators came together to honor those killed in the Pulse nightclub on June 12th, 2016. All the proceeds from the book will go to the charity Equality Florida to benefit the victims, survivors and their families.

As with any anthology (no matter if poems, short stories or comics), this collection was uneven. Written with the best of intentions, these one-shot stories that are only a page or two vary in tone and authenticity. Some of the comics were powerful and made me tear up, or even better, made me think about the issues beyond that page. Others were trite and lacked depth.

Winners:

Thoughts & Prayers– Lenson & Lopez: Shows how easy it is to be shocked and dismayed by something, but to let opportunities slip by and do nothing about it. Just saying “my thoughts and prayers are with you” can be meaningless. Do something to help!

Hand Me Down– Beals & LaFuente: Two different parenting styles equal two different outcomes. Our children ARE listening.

Phone Call*– DeFilippis, Weir & Vieceli: Supportive parents are the best!

Shelter Pet Adoptions*– Lope & Sadowski: Two dates- 4/3/2009 & 6/15/2016 bookened this heartbreaking tale about an owner and his dog.

Pride– Tynion & Ostertag: A highschool boy worries about wearing a rainbow bracelet to school, but does it anyway, to be true to himself.

Mother & Son *– Lindelof & Yu: A beautiful tribute to Brenda Lee Marquez McCool and her son Isaiah. Brenda died at Pulse, but told her son to run and he lived because of her encouragement. This one picture conveys so much.

*There were no titles on these comics, I made them up.

Misses:

A Swan Song– Zeus is portrayed here as a great lover of both men and woman through the ages, and a supporter of the LGBTQ community. Sorry, this guy is a rapist, if you really read the myths about him closely. Not buying this story of him as a good guy.

Basically all the DC superhero stories. I totally think these stories should have representation in them, but these one shots felt like overkill. Lets make sure we continue the equality into the mainline comics, ok?

I have to applaud this book, for these artists did not just sit back and send their best – no, they did their best and donated their time and talent to help a hurting community. The stories open lines of communication, and I hope more artists with #ownvoices can add in to the dialogue. While not a perfect book, the right intent is there, and purchases will benefit those in need.

-Nancy

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