Required Reading is DoomRocket’s love chest, where each week one of our contributors goes crazy over a book they just can’t seem to get enough of. Intrigued to find something new? Seeking validation for your secret passions? Required Reading gets you.
By Arpad Okay. Love is Love has a story from every walk of life. A diverse collection of stories. People and their courage and their compassion. Their home is on the dance floor in a club like Pulse. It’s in these pages. Love is Love is both an anthology of work to honor the victims of the Pulse shooting and a benefit for them. The proceeds from the book go from Equality Florida to the survivors and the families of those we lost.
The attack on Pulse and its impact on the world is a story that needs to be told, and in Love is Love that story is done right. A historical document written by folks who either identify as LGBTQ or their allies. A community. It’s a collection of primary sources reacting to tragedy in almost as many ways as there are pages. Each story has its own artistic style, a perspective as unique as the aesthetic.
Love is Love ranges from renowned comics industry pin-ups to thoroughly indie comix treatments. Stories about where someone was when they got the news, stories about the long journey to get here. Coming out and it being positive. Coming out and it being a mess. Where Orlando falls in the cultural narrative. What we can do to build a more empathetic future. What Pulse was like in dreams. Stories without words, for feelings far too big to articulate them. Orlando Furioso, driven mad by love lost. Stories that turn to our heroes, to Riverdale and Gotham City and beyond. Supergirl doesn’t have answers, but grieving icons show how far the community extends.
Community. That’s a good word for it.
These comics are often exercises in intense self-examination. Seeing the guilt and the anger others feel about Orlando can help the reader come to terms with their own feelings of frustration, rage, and helplessness. The same goes for compassion or hope. The reader can come to terms with all the feels in private, but without being isolated. Everyone in Love is Love is feeling you. You are not alone. Love is Love wants you to know that love is strength. That the attack on the community at Pulse failed. It hurt, it hurts, but it will not break us. We cannot be broken. This isn’t the end of the struggle, but it can be a victory.
Love is Love is a call to action that, if we answer it, becomes evidence that times are changing for the better. Slam the book shut and go change the world. Kiss somebody. Do something to bolster compassion and eradicate fear. Love. Love is Love tells a broad range of stories, all tied together with a single thread. They’re told from the heart.
To the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting: You are not forgotten. Your absence is felt.
To everyone else: Don’t forget them. Pick up this book. It is good for the people who were hurt in this tragedy. And it’s good for you. It will make you cry. It will inspire you. It will soothe you and stir you. It will remind you that you’ve got work to do.
IDW Publishing/DC Comics/$9.99
Project originated by Marc Andreyko.
Edited by Sarah Gaydos and Jamie S. Rich.
Assistant-edited by Maggie Howell.
Design by Amie Brockway-Metcalf.