On June 12, 2016, in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida a self-loathing, broken man decided that the best way to handle his problems was to take it out on innocent strangers. He hated his ethnicity and his sexuality, so he chose a gay nightclub that served as a refuge for LGBTQ people of color. Instead of taking his own life, he took 49 other people’s. For no goddamn good reason. And, it being America, it was easy for him to get the weapons and ammunition he needed, because we wouldn’t want to regulate that even as much as we regulate driving a car.
So one more asshole guy got to destroy lives and we got to mourn…again.
IDW and DC Comics teamed up to create a tribute comic anthology and so Love Is Love was born to raise money for survivors and victims’ families.The 1st print edition sold out quickly, which is testament to the desire to do good so many people have. I picked up a copy of the Digital Edition.
The anthology is beautifully done, with a lot of different perspectives…many of them exceptionally beautifully rendered.
And it made me so angry I could barely get through it.
Batman was not going to help those kids. Neither was Superman or Wonder Woman. Every time a DC character made an appearance, I wanted to scream. Particularly during a story by Dan fucking Didio, the woman-hating fragile white dude who had to be pulled from DC panels some years ago because he was so rude to fans, especially to women. What does that say about the horrible wasteful loss of life? What lesson did he learn imagining Batman in rainbow colors, lecturing us on loss? Fuck that so very much.
Legitimately, every use of DC characters fell flat as a board for me. Even the exceptionally pretty Batwoman with Gay Pride Flag by Rafael Albuquerque.
It was just all so “Nope.”
That said, there were a lot of genuinely touching stories. The ones that worked, dropped the facade if the superhero tie-in and talked about how heroic it is to be gay and joyful in a world with fragile cowardly assholes with guns. I particularly like the one-pager by Teddy Tennebaum, Mike Huudleston and Corey Breen that called the bravery it takes – still – to love freely and openly “super-love.”
I was very glad to see openly gay artists like Ed Luce and Paige Braddock included. I also very much appreciated those well-known straight artists who took the time to portray LGBTQ people, People of color, gay kids and trans kids, at The Pulse itself, rather than stupid Batman.
Overall – I don’t know what to say. Probably it’s an 8, but it made me so angry I can’t even.
I’m pretty sure I’m not sorry I got this collection and maybe one day I’ll be able to read it without white-hot searing rage.