Planet Divoc-91 is a sci-fi, pandemic-inspired comic with words and art by iconic comics creators from across the globe. The project captured the attention of leading scientists and policymakers, encouraging them to involve young people in their work. In this participatory arts project, the narrative is informed by the lived experiences of 45 young adults (age 16-25) from South Africa, the UK and India.
This comic includes creative responses from the global young adult team, as well as a series of interviews with electronic musicians who created an accompanying soundtrack, including Angel Ho, Arjun Vagale, Grandmixxer, Juice Aleem, Joe Muggs, LCY, NV Funk, Toya Delazy and Yewande. The comic also includes exclusive interviews with all the musicians curated by Joe Muggs.
Originally launched as a webcomic on Webtoons, garnering over 23,000 views. The comic resulted in young adults presenting to the UK’s Independent Sage; contributing to the Academy of Medical Sciences’ expert meetings and ‘Winter Report for UK Government’; and appearing on a national breakfast TV show (The Expresso Show) in South Africa.
Funded by some of the most prestigious scientific organisations in Britain, including the Academy of Medical Sciences, the National Institute for Health Research, RSC, STFC and Wellcome Trust.
Produced by Wowbagger Productions and Vocal (part of Manchester NHS) in association with the Academy of Medical Sciences, this collaborative comic brings together a diverse range of creators working in comics, including Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead, Comics Laureate 2017-19), Charlotte Bailey (Catalyst), Hannah Berry (Livestock, Comics Laureate 2019-21), Karrie Fransman (Gender Swapped Fairytales), Anand RK (Batman), Nick Brokenshire (Star Wars), Bobby Joseph (Scotland Yardie), Rudy Loewe (Conversation on Class), Zara Slattery (Coma Comic), Phelisa Sikwata (Poet) and Rachael Smith (Quarantine Comics). Featuring additional artwork from Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting), Marco Finnegan (The Keeper), FØK, Leslie Hung (Snotgirl), Alitha Martinez (Omni), Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Falconspeare), VV Glass (Doctor Who), Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and David Rubín (Ether).
Nabeel Petersen led the team in South Africa, Sarah Iqbal in India and Anita Shervington led on the ‘power, influence and change’ strand.
Cover artist: Alitha Martinez
‘When I was a kid, interest was, as much as anything, the animating force behind whether or not I was willing to learn something. I struggled in school when I was bored. The way this project brings together music, art and education is the kind of engaging material I would have loved and it would have captured my attention. I know many young learners will love it too.’ The Blessed Madonna
‘This innovative project is an inspired way to connect with young adults, explore their views on the coronavirus pandemic and help understand what it means for them. I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with some of the young adults involved in the project and was so impressed by their questions and comments.’ Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser
‘When it comes to creative responses to the novel coronavirus outbreak, new [comic] launch Planet Divoc-91 might be the least obvious — and perhaps the most entertaining — to date.’ Graeme McMillan, Hollywood Reporter
‘Comics can be an invaluable tool in envisioning possible futures, and Planet Divoc-91 takes that philosophy to heart while simultaneously using speculative fiction to make sense of our current situation.’ Avery Kaplan, Comics Beat