Preview: The UK Scientific Community Meets Comics In ‘Planet Divoc-91’ – A Tale Of Intergalactic Pandemics

by Richard Bruton

Cover by Elsa Charretier

Inform, Educate, Entertain, that was Lord Reith’s three-word summary for what the British Broadcasting Corporation should do. And, as history tells us, there’s never been a better way to inform, educate, and entertain than through the medium of comics. Which is exactly why the UK scientific community are working with top comics talent to give us Planet Divoc-19, a webcomic all about an intergalactic pandemic.
As the world still finds itself struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and scientists work around the clock to come up with a vaccine or solution, it’s never been more important to inform, educate, and entertain.
After all, the evidence so far shows that, at least in the USA and the UK, the message about staying safe, stopping the spread, controlling the infection rate just hasn’t been getting through.
Enter Planet DIVOC-91, a 9-part webcomic that’s being 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.
But this is no dry science lecture. Planet DIVOC-91 is a satirical sci-fi webcomic that will tell a tale of an intergalactic pandemic. Inform. Educate. Entertain. It’s all there.
Planet DIVOC-91 It will feature a host of big-name comic talent, with each chapter written and drawn by a different creative team. Names we have so far include Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Hannah Berry (UK Comics Laureate), Nick Brokenshire (Doom Patrol), James Devlin, Sara Kenney, with more teams to be announced.
Covers for the series will be from the likes of Elsa Charretier, Marco Finnegan, Leslie Hung, VV Glass, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Matt Kindt, Alitha Martinez, Anand RK, and David Rubín.
Divoc-19 is the planet 15% of the world’s population are suddenly taken to, a desperate attempt to isolate young adults to avoid an extinction-level event. Two of those finding themselves on strange new soil are Sanda Oung, a 23-year-old UK woman, and Champo, Sanda’s younger, non-binary sibling.
Each chapter of Planet Divoc-19 will feature extra material – again with the mission to inform, educate, entertain – featuring scientific writing, art, and music – all in aid of helping us poor souls here on Earth deal with our own pandemic that threatens us.
Planet DIVOC-91 is releasing on Webtoons from 15 July.
Now, a quick preview of chapter one – written by Sara Kenney, art by Charlie Adlard, colours by James Devlin, lettering by Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou. Enjoy. And stay safe out there.

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