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The Walking Dead's Charlie Adlard tackles another pandemic with all-star creators

(Image credit: WebToon)

Just days after the release of The Walking Dead: Negan Lives, the series' long-time artist is now working on another social science fiction comic that hits close to home, taking inspiration COVID-19.

Launching July 15 on WEBTOON, Planet DIVOC-91 — a nine-part webcomic funded by several of the United Kingdom's top medical science organizations, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the National Institute for Health Research - tells the story of a pandemic that leads humans and extra-terrestrials to inhabit a new planet together, terraformed for their needs.

(Image credit: WebToon)

"[Planet DIVOC-91] is an offbeat sci-fi satire about a pandemic outbreak in the far reaches of outer space," reads a description of the webcomic from a press release. "In Planet DIVOC-91, all young adults between the age of 16-25 have been transported to an earth-like planet which has been terraformed, so that both humans and aliens can breathe the air."

Each of the nine chapters of Planet DIVOC-19 will be created by a different team of writers and artists, with Adlard and writer Sara Kenney creating the first installment.

"I’m thrilled to be working on such a project," Adlard says in the announcement. "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."

The writer/artist teams for the next two chapters are Charlotte Bailey/Nick Brokenshire and Hanna Berry, respectively. Other creators involved in subsequent chapters include Rachael Smith, Karrie Fransman, Martin Simmons, Alex Paknadel, and Zara Slattery.

Each chapter will be supplemented by short articles, links to videos, additional artwork by young adults about issues relating to COVID-19, and even music mixes by popular DJs and producers including Grandmixer, LCY, and Juice Aleem.

"Although the topics we’re discussing in the series are incredibly serious, Planet DIVOC-91 is full of humor and is occasionally ridiculous," Kenney, who is also one of the organizers of the project, said in the announcement. "We’re aiming for more of a District 9 or The Good Place feel than, say, Star Trek."

Chris has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the  2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the 2012 Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.