The Mine! Anthology is available from December 27th, 2017 and includes work from Gail Simone, Sina Grace, Amber Benson, Vita Ayala, Magdalene Visaggio, Ann Nocenti, Cecil Castellucci, Lilah Sturges, Neil Gaiman, Mike Norton, among a huge array of incredible comics talent, including Bleeding Cool's very own Lauren Sisselman.
The anthology was created in support of Planned Parenthood, the American nonprofit healthcare organization that is constantly under fire from Pro-Lifers. The group, whose mission is to provide affordable medical care and information to people of all walks of life and statuses, is even more at risk every day with each new attempt to defund it.
The stories throughout the collection in particular help express this. Planned Parenthood is more than just an "abortion clinic" — it has been there to provide safe sexual health aid, counselling, general health advice, and help to whoever needs it, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, or ethnicity.
This anthology not only aims to educate those who think of Planned Parenthood as one thing only, but also works to celebrate the help this group has provided over the years, as well as the lives it has quite literally saved.
The book's stories also do not limit themselves to revolving around Planned Parenthood only. More so, many stories are about women's empowerment, the equality of gender identity politics, and the desire to see a finer world through acceptance, compassion, and the finding of one's inner strength through adversity. This is, of course, only natural: the majority of the hatred and ire that Planned Parenthood faces come from those whose main argument serves to deny a woman's right to have a say in what goes on to and within her own body. There is perhaps no greater adversarial obstacle than having to wade through those baying crowds that stand outside PP buildings, fearing for your future and the freedom of choice.
As such, many of the stories are political, which we know may irk some people who would prefer politics to be excluded from comics. But here, how can these stories be anything else, when there are factions in world governments — and most notably the US government — looking to actively politicize what women can and cannot do with their own bodies? Not to mention the rules surrounding the acts of procreation, sex, and the health of the most needy in a nation. We live in a world where to be queer, to be a woman, to be a person of colour is now inherently political. None of these people want that to be the case, but it is what is needed, because what they do want is the freedom to decide, to be themselves, and to be healthy.
The Mine! anthology is thought-provoking and powerful. It is filled with stories expressing a broad and diverse range of topics from the importance and history of Planned Parenthood, feminism, compassion and understanding, and so much more, and I think it's safe to say this is a worthy entry for anyone's bookshelf. It's beautiful, painful, sad, and celebratory all at once, and makes for powerful reading.