After the shooting at Pulse, an LGBTQIA night club in Orlando, comics creators came together to create this anthology that responds to the attack and celebrates love in its various forms. Each creative team got a page (or occasionally two) for their comic. Some chose to use the space for a more traditional comic layout, others opted for a full-page print. The shooting was in June of 2016 and I didn’t have a chance to read this book until just now in March 2017, three months after its publication. As a result, the event that sparked the book was no longer in the forefront of my mind (soooooo much has happened in the world since then), so the comics that were a direct response to the attack didn’t have the emotional impact for me that they would have had I read them closer to June. That’s on me, of course (and perhaps the world in general for being so crazy these last several months). The comics I liked best were personal stories, not the ones featuring superheroes. Batman musing while walking through the crime scene felt weird to me, rather than reverent. On the other hand, the comics that featured canonically queer characters like Poison Ivy and Batwoman were pretty good. I especially liked an image of Batwoman holding an American flag that is also a LGBTQIA Pride flag, drawn by Rafael Albuquerque. A purchase of this book sends funds directly to survivors and their families via Equality Florida, so it’s obviously for a good cause, but more than that it’s a testament to the power of comics to make a positive difference in the world.
Review by Jessica A.