International COVID-19-Inspired Webcomic Gets Print Release

Featuring articles and art by Young Adults in India, South Africa and the UK, exclusive interviews from international musicians, and stories by acclaimed comics creators – including WALKING DEAD artist Charlie Adlard, Previous UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry (Livestock), Karrie Fransman (Gender Swapped Fairytales & Greek Myths), Anand RK (Graffiti’s Wall) and Bobby Joseph (Scotland Yardie).


PLANET DIVOC-91 will be available in UK bookshops from 7 October 2022 and internationally from Velocity Press.


An impressive roster of comic book creators collaborated on PLANET DIVOC-91, an ambitious multimedia project which originally debuted July 15, 2020, on WEBTOON CANVAS. The nine-part comic, which was funded by some of the most prestigious scientific organisations in the UK, is an allegorical sci-fi satire, which reflects on the experience of young people during the pandemic.


PLANET DIVOC-91 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 Earth’s young adults have been brought to Planet Divoc-91 because Earth is at risk of an extinction level event. Under the safety of the Board of Adversity Scientists for Intergalactic Leadership (BASIL), led by a charismatic and fearsome alien named Adro, Sanda and Champo soon discover a shocking secret growing under their noses.


The book features a stunning cover by Alitha Martinez (Omni), alongside series cover art from all-star artists Elsa Charretier (November), Marco Finnegan (Lizard in a Zoot Suit), Leslie Hung (Snotgirl), Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Mr Higgins Comes Home), VV Glass (Doctor Who), Matt Kindt (Bang!) and David Rubín (Ether).






PLANET DIVOC-91 also features never-before-seen interviews from the world-class DJs who provided a soundtrack for the comic, including Joe Muggs, Grandmixxer, Juice Aleem, LCY, Angel-Ho, Toya Delazy, Arjun Vagale, NV Funk and Ifeoluwa.


The project’s young editorial team interviewed experts from scientists to historians, journalists to anthropologists, and created articles, art and videos in response. Their first interviewee was Academy of Medical Sciences Fellow, Professor Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom. The team went on to interview over 25 experts, including Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, and renowned psychiatrist Dr John Parker, Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, South Africa.


They were also invited to present to the UK’s Independent Sage, have contributed to Academy of Medical Sciences’ working groups and expert meetings, shared their views with the Lancet briefing on adolescent wellbeing and climate change. They continue to build bridges with researchers and policy makers in South Africa, UK and India. See a clip of 16-year-old Alma from Manchester speaking in front of Independent Sage here: https://twitter.com/IndependentSage/status/1350151114356891649


Some of the young team’s creative responses to the project can be found in the print edition of PLANET DIVOC-91, alongside the 10-point Manifesto they created.


The print edition of PLANET DIVOC-91 is a not-for-profit publication. 100% of profits go towards helping young creatives in South Africa, India and UK.


PLANET DIVOC-91 is available in UK bookstores from Friday 7 October 2022. Readers from across the globe can order a copy from Velocity Press here: https://velocitypress.uk/product/planet-divoc-91/.


Praise for PLANET DIVOC-91


“This innovative project is an inspired way to connect with young adults, explore their views on the Coronavirus pandemic and help them understand what it means for them. I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to some of the young adults involved in the project and was so impressed by their questions and comments.” —Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom


“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 at 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


“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, The 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




For more information, visit www.planetdivoc91.com.

Follow the project @PlanetDivoc91 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Find the project mixes on Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/PlanetDivoc91/


Background Information


PLANET DIVOC-91 is produced by Sara Kenney, Creative Director at Wowbagger Productions, and Prof Bella Starling, Director of Vocal at Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, and in association with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. An additional grant from Wellcome Trust enabled the project to expand into India and South Africa. The leads in these regions are Sarah Iqbal, DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, and Nabeel Petersen, Interfer (South Africa). Anita Shervington, CEO of Blast Fest, leads on the “Power, Influence and Change” strand.


The project was Kickstarted via NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre seed funding, who provided continuous support. Additional supporters include Wellcome Trust Education, The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

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