Science Funded New Webcomic ‘Planet Divoc-91’ Aims To Entertain, Engage And Educate

by Olly MacNamee

This summer sees an auspicious digital comic book project born out of our current coronavirus pandemic called Planet Divoc-91 and funded by some of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the UK. UK based creators such as The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Friendo writer Alex Paknadel, UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, colourist and designer James Devlin, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are all involved, along with a lot more.
Described as “an offbeat sci-fi satire about a pandemic outbreak in the far reaches of outer space” with an educational bent, Planet Divoc-19 will be available for free on Webtoon, with the first issue debuting Wednesday July 15th as part of a 9 part series..
Planet Divoc-19 follows the adventures of two earthlings: Sanda Oung, a 23-year-old girl from the UK, and Champo Oung, Sanda’s 19-year-old, non-binary sibling. In the series, 15% of the world’s population of 7.5 billion people are now stuck on another planet, miles from the safety of home. Sanda learns that humans have been brought to Planet Divoc-91 because the Earth is at risk of an extinction level event – and young adults have been moved to safety by the Board of Adversity Scientists for Intergalactic Leadership’ (BASIL), led by a charismatic and fearsome alien named ADRO”.
The series will feature covers from Elsa Charretier (NOVEMBER), Marco Finnegan (LIZARD IN A ZOOT SUIT), Leslie Hung (SNOTGIRL), Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (MR. HIGGINS COMES HOME), VV Glass (DR WHO), Matt Kindt (BANG!), Alitha Martinez (OMNI), Anand RK (GRAFITY’S WALL), and David Rubín (ETHER). The series’ first chapter is written by Sara Kenney and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, who was more than happy to be involved with this project:
“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,”
Planet Divoc-19 is produced by Dr Bella Starling, Director of Vocal at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Sara Kenney, Creative Director at Wowbagger Productions, in association with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and was kick started via NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre seed funding who are providing continued support.
Kenney explains their aim for the book a little more here::
“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 science research and influence science policy.” 
Additional supporters include The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC); Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); The University of Manchester through the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund award; Sarah Iqbal,  DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance; Anita Shervington, Blast Fest and Nabeel Petersen, Interfer (South Africa).
Chapter 2 is written by Charlotte Bailey and illustrated by Nick Brokenshire. Chapter 3 is written and illustrated by UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry.
You can get your free copy when it becomes available here. and look out for accompanying music mixes from Grandmixxer, LCY, and Juice Aleem and more.
Entertaining, educational and escapist? And free.

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