Comics and Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit dedicated to reproductive choice and healthcare, may not initially appear as the most obvious of alliances. That’s something the creators behind the recent comics anthology Kickstarter Mine! would like to change. ComicMix Editor-in-Chief Mike Gold announced the crowdfunding campaign on August 15 to help finance the collection’s printing and distribution costs. ComicMix, a comic news and pop-culture website, hopes to publish the volume this fall in celebration of Planned Parenthood’s 100 years of service.
Project co-editors Molly Jackson and Joseph Corallo gave me a sense of the kind of stories readers can expect from the collection. “We will have a lot of grounded stories about people’s personal experiences or how healthcare has affected them as well as science fiction, fantasy, superhero, and satirical stories. There should be something for everyone.”
The team hopes to include stories about one of Planned Parenthood’s founders Margaret Sanger, as well as other influential figures in the fight for reproductive freedom. Sanger is a controversial figure due to her public support of eugenics in the 1920s. According to NPR, eugenics was the idea “that the human race could be bettered through encouraging people with traits like intelligence, hard work, cleanliness (thought to be genetic) to reproduce.”
When asked if the collection will touch on Sanger’s support of the now debunked discipline, the co-editors responded “our stories that include Sanger will focus on her work on Planned Parenthood. In her era, a lot of notions existed that have become completely discredited. However, her lasting legacy in Planned Parenthood is what we are celebrating with this collection.”
The list of contributors who have signed on to the collection include: Neil Gaiman (American Gods), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman), Yona Harvey (Black Panther), Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, Umbrella Academy), Gabby Rivera (America), Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mara Wilson (Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame), Mags Visaggio (Kim & Kim), and many more.
Asked if the timing of the Kickstarter was politically motivated Jackson and Corallo replied in the negative, noting the November election actually delayed the announcement. The anthology is an idea the team has been toying with since April 2016. The project’s co-editors believe this collection is a no-brainer,”both of us feel that PP [Planned Parenthood] is an important cause. Healthcare should be crucial to everyone because once you lose the right to your body, you lose your freedom.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated to reproductive policy and research, Planned Parenthood provides patients with timely, high-quality healthcare and family planning services. Often, Guttmacher notes, Planned Parenthood may be the only family-planning provider in a patient’s county. The organization has come under increased political scrutiny in recent years as state and federal lawmakers seek to strip funding for the non-profit in opposition for its abortion services.
“This collection is supporting Planned Parenthood in two very distinct ways. First, it is raising awareness about their services and the community of people supporting them. Secondly of course is the monetary support. The proceeds from sales will all go to Planned Parenthood. As they are continually threatened with loss of funding, any support we can provide is needed. Both of us feel that PP is an important cause.”
Currently the campaign is 30% funded. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will benefit Planned Parenthood. Mine! will be available in bookstores, comic book shops, and electronically all over the world.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics, video games, and representation in pop-culture.