Love is Love released today, it’s a comic book anthology from IDW and DC with all the proceeds going to supporting the victims and families of the Orlando Pulse shooting.

I’m not going to review it per se, because it wouldn’t be right to review something like this, but I did feel the need to discuss it a little bit and just highlight that it’s been released.

Love is Love is an unflinching and personal collection of 1-2 page stories about LGBTQIA+ community and life, written and illustrated by a large collection of comic book creators. It’s not an easy read, nor should it be. I tried and failed to read it in a single sitting, more than once I was pushed to tears. Respectfully many of the included stories do not hold back.

Some of the entries are short personal reflections, while others use fictional characters and even established superheroes to discuss what happened. A lot of the stories are about mourning, about how people dealt with the news or processed what had happened. Others look beyond Orlando, such as talking about the AIDS crisis in the 80s or other significant events, both personal and national.

There are other stories which are highly critical. Some focus on the unbelievable ease at which guns can be obtained, placing blame on politicians for not addressing the epidemic of shootings. Others look at our society’s deep intolerance, illustrating how bigotry still spreads and breeds so easily, whether that’s in the media or even from someone’s own parents or their religious leader. There’s a relatable anger and frustration in these entries, underling that pointless hate is still everywhere, sat in plain sight. It’s not just a reflection of our society, it’s a plea to do something.

Throughout the comic there’s no standard format, some instalments use traditional comic book panel layouts, while some are poems or a single piece of art. Regardless, there is a consistency to the message, one of defiance. Some stories use their time to specifically highlight how important places like Pulse are, how they’re not just clubs, they’re also a resistance and a haven. Love is Love celebrates that these places exist and most importantly it celebrates the people who define them.

“Because nothing – not ignorance, not hatred, not violence – will ever stop us from looking for love or being ourselves” – Tony Bedard

If you don’t have a comic book shop nearby, you can still purchase Love Is Love via Comixology, to read on a computer tablet or phone.

Liked it? Take a second to support Mia Violet on Patreon!