Love and Capes in the Time of Covid
I can’t claim to have read all the pandemic-era time capsule comics, but my favorite is Love and Capes in the Time of Covid, because I think, looking back, a sense of humor really helps.
Having his superhero characters face the challenges of something you can’t punch into submission is an ideal choice for his character-based comedy style. The Crusader worries about infecting his family. His wife Abby runs a small bookstore, so she has business concerns during a shutdown, and the two of them have to take care of their kids. Meanwhile, Darkblade and Amazonia may find that quarantine forces them to reevaluate their relationship for the better.
Zahler’s style consists of packed four-panel strips, with two punchlines a page, that assemble into a story. In these sixty pages, we see the families cope with uncertainty, not knowing what’s going to happen or the right choice to make. Other characters have to deal with loneliness or family considerations or weight gain or frustration with others not taking things seriously.
It’s an accurate reminder of the early days of the pandemic. Even though it’s not yet over, and even thought a few of the characters have some scary moments, it was a comforting, light-hearted read.
Plus, Abby dresses up in a deerstalker!