There is a new science fiction webcomic coming from The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Friendo writer Alex Paknadel, and UK Comics’ Laureate Hannah Berry. The nine-part webcomic titled Planet DIVOC-91 will be premiering on Webtoon July 15. There is something familiar about that title. If you haven’t already guessed, this was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sara Kenney, one of the producers and who will be writing the first chapter, said,
“Our aim is to empower audiences to make sense of a pandemic situation, to create a forum for their ideas, and to use participatory arts to inform scientific research and influence science policy.”
It will be a sci-fi satire about a pandemic outbreak. All the young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 have been sent to an earth-like planet that has been terraformed for both humans and aliens. The young adults make up around 15% of the 7.5 billion of the world’s population. They are obviously far from home, but they are there because of the risk of human extinction from the outbreak and sent there by the Board of Adversity Scientist for Intergalactic Leadership (BASIL). BASIL is led by a fascinating and fearsome alien named ADRO. We are going to be following the journey of two earthlings from the UK Sandra Oung (23) and her non-binary sibling Champo Oung (19).
We are SO excited to launch #PlanetDivoc91 on @webtoon that we can't keep secrets anymore (well, maybe a few more…🤫)! Follow us for a daily reveal of the creative teams behind the first few chapters, starting later today. First artist might have something to do with 🧟🧟🧟🧟 pic.twitter.com/xBjSeCEdaq
— Planet DIVOC-91 (@PlanetDivoc91) July 10, 2020
“I’m thrilled to be working on such a project. It’s in times like these that we all need to pull together and help, and, in my own little way, this is something I can feel useful in doing,” said Adlard.
One of the great things about this webcomic is that there are going to be linked to articles, videos, and other art related to the story and COVID-19. Also, for each chapter, they will feature work from various artists, writers, and cover artists.
The Planet DIVOC-91 webcomic is produced by Kenney and Dr. Bella Starling, Director of Vocal at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and in association with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. This was kick-started by NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre seed funding and supported by The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and more.
Part of chapter one Planet DIVOC-91 is the afterword written by Berry, who included these thoughts:
“Our brains are hardwired with a furious need to find patterns as a means of survival, and we hunt for them – and for their subsequent meanings – everywhere, in everything. Stories bring shape and meaning to random events. They are about the conflict and the resolution; the breaking apart and the coming together; they help us to find hope in the darkness and rally us when we are lost and, ultimately, they help us overcome. Faced with the greatest upheaval of a generation, and the strict social obligations keeping us all apart, where better to seek that sense of connection and meaning now than in stories?”