Love is Love is a new anthology graphic novel honoring the victims of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting. The idea for the book, jointly published by DC Comics and IDW, originated with comics writer Marc Andreyko, who felt compelled to act in the wake of the tragedy. The result is a beautiful ode to love in all its forms, with contributions of art and writing donated by some of the biggest names in the comic industry.
We spoke to Marc about the development of Love is Love and how he views it as part of a collective grieving process.
This book came together quickly. Describe the process for us.
The morning after the shootings, I awoke and felt sick and helpless, so I reflexively posted on Facebook that we (the comics and entertainment community) should do something and I said I would organize it. Not six hours later, my mailbox was filled with 75+ responses offering art and writing... it was at that point I realized I was going to make a book! Two days later DC and IDW reached out to offer publishing and editorial service, and we were off!
What surprised you most about putting together Love is Love?
The overwhelming, immediate, and selfless outpouring from all the creators and publishers. This was a difficult project due to the timeline and all the moving parts, but creatively, it was one of the smoothest projects I've ever been a part of, which is particularly impressive since we had over 300+ writers, artists, colorists and letterers involved.
How do you see this anthology being used by the LGBTQ community and beyond?
The book is for Orlando, but the diversity of the pieces and the concept of the book are celebrating LOVE. It transcends the tragedy of Pulse and becomes a memorial to those lost and helps people celebrate the joy of loving and being loved no matter who you are. I think this book will be revisited for many years and it will continue to move and inspire people.
What has the reaction been from the Orlando community?
Absolutely profound a mix of gratitude, thankfulness, and openness to letting everyone around the world share in their grief and try to ease their suffering. I am humbled by the people of Orlando and their strength and love.
How did this project help you work through the grief of the Pulse shooting?
It allowed me to feel less helpless, like I was doing something to help and to process my own grief and shock. I think that goes for everyone involved in Love is Love. Every piece comes from a place of pure love and hope, it is palpable when you read the book. It also lets us as artists to work through this horrible tragedy and to give readers a lasting memorial of those lost and help those whose lives were profoundly, permanently changed.
Now that this book is complete, would you consider similar projects in the future?
I hope we never have to do one of these again, but, now that I've been "through the gauntlet," I would be thrilled to help others wanting to do a similar charitable project. In the immediate future though? I think I'm going to sleep for a few days!