Minimum Security is a comic strip written and illustrated by Stephanie McMillan. It began in 1999, appearing in several alternative weeklies. It is frequently political, usually espousing a radical, environmental, Primitivist and/or Marxist stance in most of the issues discussed.
Starting February 5, 2007, Minimum Security is hosted by United Features Syndicate on their comics.com website.
Originally, the strip featured no recurring characters. However, in 2004, several recurring characters began appearing regularly. They are as follows:
Kranti is the main character in the comic-strip. A determined environmentalist who finds it preferable to be with plants than with any other kind of being. She is usually seen talking with Bunnista and Bananabelle.
Bunnista is an anthropomorphic Communist rabbit that escaped from a cosmetics testing lab (where one of his eyes was destroyed). He lives with Kranti and shares most of her views and commits various acts of terrorism (recently firing an RPG at a TV station). In strips that features two characters (mostly Kranti and Bananabelle) discussing politics, Bunnista is seen giving a final, saracastic comment in the final panel.
Victoria is an anthropomorphic hamster and is Bunnista's girl friend. She shares the same radical views as Bunnista and has recently been seen wearing a bikini emblazoned with the Communist hammer and sickle.
Nikko is Kranti’s brother, who is addicted to pop culture and television. In one storyline, Nikko was accepted to appear in the television series Fear Factor, only to humiliate himself when he got sick trying to perform one of his stunts (licking the ears of Jesse Helms).
Javier is Nikko's boyfriend. Has more common sense, and more politically active than him.
Chip is a new guy, who rides a motorized cycle and is in love with Kranti. Kranti does not return his love, but he is still trying to get her to see his good side by doing things that he feels she would approve of; in a comically ironic way, his efforts just bother her. Chip has a lot of money and the latest technological gizmos.
Other unnamed but recurring characters are present in the strip: a "Christian-fascist wingnut", a "nationalistic, xenophobic, generally reactionary jerk," and a Protestant minister, to name three.
Bill Napoli controversy
Minimum Security gained notoriety when a strip commenting on Bill Napoli appeared in March 2006. It featured Nikko asking Kranti "which salad dressing do you want?", with Kranti saying that she is calling Napoli to ask. When Nikko asks who Napoli is, she responds that "he's a senator in South Dakota who believes women can't make [their] own decisions, so whenever I'm faced with one, I call him at work", and proceeds to give out his work and home phone numbers. In Napoli's words, "99% percent of the calls I got were just filth. I bet I didn’t talk to 20 or 25 people I could talk to. The rest were screaming obscenities before I could hang up."
The original artwork of the strip was auctioned off on eBay and sold for US$2,201.00; McMillan donated all of the money to pro-choice causes. Half was given to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and the other half to the Oglala Sioux tribe, because former tribal president Cecilia Fire Thunder had planned to open an abortion clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
|Attitude Featuring: Minimum Security||November 30, 2005||ISBN 978-1-56163-442-2||Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing|
|As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial||November 2007||ISBN 978-1-58322-777-0||Seven Stories Press|
|Mischief in the Forest: A Yarn Yarn||September 2010||ISBN 978-1-60486-081-8||Seven Stories Press|
|The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad||November 2012||ISBN 978-1604865967||Flashpoint Press|
- Material from Minimum Security appears in Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists, the first volume in Ted Rall's Attitude: The New Subversive Cartoonists series.