Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review - Love Is Love

Love Is Love was created in response to the mass shooting that took place inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.  49 people were killed, and 53 others were wounded in the attack.  The proceeds from sales of the book are donated to the victims, survivors, and their families through the organization Equality Florida.  Over 35 writers, artists, activists, and others contributed to this collaborative comic book, making it one of the most diverse and creative comics I've ever read. 

There are some depictions of violence and mature themes, so this may not be a comic for younger readers.  However, because Love Is Love comments on current issues of consent, equality, tolerance, acceptance, and empathy it is an important piece of art and social justice.  It could easily be used as a way to engage in discussion about these topics with friends and family. 

As this is an anthology instead of a traditional comic, each artist/writer contributed a standalone piece, between one and  Some well-known superheroes make appearances in the book, including Batman and Wonder Woman, and characters from Harry Potter, but most feature human interactions and realist situations.  The pieces range from joyous celebrations of love and life, to graphic depictions of the fear, hate, and devastation that surrounded the tragedy.  In one entry, called "Hand Me Down", two young children are called to their respective homes for dinner, and their families are watching the same news coverage of the Pulse shooting.  One's family reacts with empathy and sorrow, while the other's family uses slurs and other hateful language.  It demonstrates how children pick up on the attitudes of their families, and can carry those attitudes forward into their own lives. 

While many of the pieces in Love Is Love are heartbreaking, others are inspiring and function as a call to action.  There is a great mixture of familiar characters and real-world humans depicted on these pages, reminding us that we all have a responsibility to do what is right, and not let hate and intolerance win.  It's not just the superheroes who fight for justice and equality, it's all of us.

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