So the first thing you need to know is that this book is utterly gorgeous. It was created by Marc Andreyko in response to the mass shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub Pulse in Orlando in June, and all proceeds go to the survivors and victims’ families. Some of comics’ biggest names have contributed and it all comes together to create a beacon of, yes, mourning, but also (and mostly) hope and love. I started crying at page 1 and didn’t really stop.
It’s not perfect. There are some comics that just didn’t resonate with me for whatever reason, and I have to agree with the review on Goodreads that pointed out there don’t seem to be enough #ownvoices (but who am I to label people? After all, just because a person is married to someone of a different gender doesn’t mean they don’t belong to the LGBTQ community). But the majority of the stories did hit me in the way they were meant to, and the blurriness of my vision through the tears didn’t stop me appreciating the absolutely beautiful art. I’m not a huge reader of comics and graphic novels, but there are some amazing artists working in the industry at the moment, and most of them seem to be in this book.
I gave it 4.5 stars, because there were just a couple too many of those comics that didn’t hit, but the last paragraph of this Guardian article explains how I feel perfectly. I would love to be able to buy multiple copies and send them out to all my friends, or leave them in random places for people who need this book to find. The message of this book is that, in the end, love will win, and I think there are lots of people who need to hear that right now.
Buy the digital version at Comixology or find the paperback version at your local comic book store.