Batman, Archie, and Harry Potter are appearing in a comic together for the best reasons.

Comic book author Marc Andreyko was just going to bed late Saturday, June 11, 2016, when he heard there had been a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando.

When he woke up the next morning, he was crushed by the news. 49 people were dead, and dozens more had been injured in an attack on Florida's LGBTQ community.

A candlelight vigil in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.


"I was horrified and sickened," says Andreyko over email. "As a gay man who was a teen during the AIDS crisis, I have seen far too much death and hatred and ambivalence toward it. Orlando hit me hard and I was flooded with the feelings of powerlessness I felt back then."

An accomplished comic book writer and seasoned storyteller, Andreyko knew that with his great power came the great responsibility to channel his feelings into something productive. Within eight hours, he announced on Facebook that he would be embarking on a new project in remembrance of the victims.

Together with dozens of artists, he put together a massive comic anthology about a single subject: love.

The book, appropriately titled "Love Is Love," is a massive collaboration between comic book writers, artists, and familiar faces, from Patton Oswalt to J.K. Rowling to comic book legends like artist Jim Lee.

Each contributed a single page of artwork, story, or dedication to the 144-page tome, and all sale proceeds will go to Equality Florida, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community in Florida.

The project even brought together competing publishers so that characters like Superman, Harry Potter, and the cast of Archie could appear in the book together despite exclusive contracts — all in the name of charity and goodwill.

"I think art can always make a difference," Andreyko says.

He knows that artists and storytellers have an important part to play in fostering conversations and a unique ability to reach people.

Comic books in particular have played a key role in media representation. Dozens of famous and recognizable characters have had LGBTQ storylines in recent years, including Batwoman, who's been openly gay since 2006 and whom Andreyko wrote for in 2013.

DC Comics also featured the first ever lesbian engagement in a comic when Batwoman proposed to her partner Maggie Sawyer. Image via DC Entertainment/YouTube.

"[Art] can make the tough and political more human and emotionally connected, and with the metaphors of genre, it can make people see things in a new way," Andreyko says.

Compiling the anthology was a long and arduous process, but Andreyko says that seeing the artwork every day kept him motivated.

"When things got emotionally tough or frustrating, all the art, the hard work, the expressions of love from so many busy, talented and generous folks, well, that was all I needed to keep moving forward," Andreyko says.

To purchase the "Love Is Love" anthology, check out IDW Publishing's website, and for more information on Equality Florida, visit their website.

More
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Newsy People / Twitter

The internet was ablaze after notoriously private actor Keanu Reeves, 55, walked the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Saturday with his new girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant, 46.

It was refreshing to see a man in Hollywood dating a woman who's age-appropriate. Older actors are notorious for being with women half their age.

Keep Reading Show less
popular