Comic for Orlando shooting victims celebrates love ‘in all forms’

Artists and writers created the Love is Love comic book to show their solidarity with the LGBT community following last summer’s deadly attack in a Florida nightclub

A graphic novel of 100 short stories has been released by comic artists and writers in response to a shooting at a gay nightclub last year in which 49 people died and many more were injured. On June 12, gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida, before being shot dead by police several hours later. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in the US since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Some 200 writers and artists donated their work and time to create Love is Love, with the collaboration featuring some of the leading lights of the comics world. The oversize comic, containing heartfelt stories and artwork that examine love in today’s world, is a ‘love letter to the LGBT community’ said its publisher IDW.

Marc Andreyko, a comic book writer and screenwriter who has worked on the likes of Batwoman and Wonder Woman, curated the 144-page anthology. It features work by the likes of Steve Orlando, a writer who advocates for improved representation of gay characters in comics, and Gail Simone who is widely considered to be one of the most influential female artists in the comics industry.

When tragedy happens, art responds

Simone’s website, Women In Refrigerators, aims to raise awareness of the representation of women in comics. The site features a list of female comic book characters who have been injured, killed or ‘depowered’ as a plot device within superhero comic books, questioning the disproportionate use of such plot devices in connection with female characters.

“When tragedy happens, art responds,” said Andreyko. “And after the Pulse massacre, the comics community responded quickly, decisively and with open hearts. I could not be more proud of this book or to be a member of the comics community. The talent and emotion on every page is staggering. Love is Love mourns the 49 lost, honours the survivors and celebrates love in all forms.”

Jamie Rich, a group editor at DC Comics, added: “As an editor on the book, I continue to be moved every day by the expressions of hope and love the contributors have put forth, and can only imagine the profound impact the book will have on readers.”

All proceeds from sales of Love is Love will be donated to Equality Florida, a charity that supports the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Read our feature, Redrawing the line, about how comics are increasingly experimenting with diverse and positive portrayals of characters 




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