“Love creates. Love heals. Love gives us hope.
“Love is Love.
“And my heart overflows with love for you all.” -Marc Andreyko, New York Times best-selling writer and organizer of Love is Love
What makes it acceptable to spew hatred toward anyone? Is there a certain quality that triggers this juvenile, uncontrollable urge to shout to the rest of the world or worse – to fire a weapon into a crowded nightclub killing so many people?
Love is Love represents the best of humanity by addressing the worst being done to many, while the many respond with camaraderie and love. The significance of this wide-scale collaboration indicates the support people have for people, regardless of skin color, religion, gender, or anything identifying one person loving another person – man loving man, woman loving woman, man or woman loving transgender. The feelings are clear and those who commit atrocities are superseding the lives of strangers with their own ideals. The common question, knowing that “this world is so, so beautiful…why would anyone want to hurt it?”
This anthology includes an enormous collection of illustrations and stories from many different artists and writers, including those from IDW Publishing and DC Comics. All of the images are drawn with a variety of styles: bold and bright, grayscale, and some reminiscent to classic newspaper cartoons. Among these drawings, diverse characters help to describe the feelings of those involved in the Orlando Pulse shooting, and the heartfelt emotions felt by those who want to support and grieve for the survivors and those mourning their loss. Superheroes feel the burdens of these deaths, knowing that despite their abilities, they were unable to prevent such tragedy. Batwoman, Batman, and Supergirl, among many other heroes, attempt to decipher the senselessness surrounding horrible hate crimes.
A bevy of other characters, and even one-page illustrations, explore the importance of spreading love and positive messages. Love is Love also clearly associates love with the friendships that easily accept the differences among relationships shared since childhood. Conversations seem simple and translate how all conversations should take place when listening to a friend, or stranger, say, “I like girls.” Perfectly, the response is and should always be, “So, what’s the big deal?” In this instance, one female tells another the importance of the relationship and not the gender: “It’s more about the kind of person you choose…that they fit your personality.” Showing such support allows those in the LGBTQ community to truly feel safe and know there aren’t qualifiers when it comes to friendship and love.
Fear, anxiety, and happiness are also significant messages in this collected work, identifying genuine emotions regarding those that should never have to be afraid for their lives, or anxious about being identified negatively or for simply sharing their feelings on who they are with the ones they love. Happiness: the one quality all people should love to have in their lives, and the one thing we should never try to take from one another. These moments of bonding with one another are a time to embrace the one single thing all truly aspire to achieve, not feeling less than what we are and not having anyone else try to amplify those feelings in any way.
Along with addressing concerns of trying to understand such heinous acts, and further showing immense amounts of affection pouring from these pages in hopes of providing some semblance of togetherness, “all proceeds from this book will be going to the victims, survivors, and their families via Equality Florida…the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.”
You can go online to see a few of the pages inside and also see the long list of collaborators that came together to make this project a reality. One of these images, crafted by Jim Lee, cleverly adapts a drawing from a scene in the film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where wizards raise their wands to expel darkness with the light they collectively emit. This one amazing drawing depicts this graphic novel’s intentions – to provide support in the face of darkness and signify hope with the gathering of friends and the positive light we project.
Love is Love is now available in print and digital form.