We recently showcased a terrific indie title called Planetoid by writer and artist Ken Garing. At the time, the tale of marooned space pirate Silas was available solely through Graphicly as a digital comic. That’s still a great way to experience the book, but many readers were eager for a print option.
I’m genuinely thrilled to report that Image Comics heard the call and contacted Garing about bringing Planetoid to print. The first installment in the five issue mini-series hits shelves in June. It’ll look something like this:
Written and Drawn by Ken Garing
32pages/ full color
Silas, an ex-soldier turned space pirate, finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory. As he explores the long-abandoned industrial ruins of the planet’s surface he will have to fend off rogue mechanical creatures, roving cyborg militias, and a hostile alien military with a bounty on his head. With a small survival kit, Richter (a computerized assistant built into his space suit), and one really powerful gun, Silas will have to rely on resourcefulness and bare-bones survival tactics in order to stay alive and ultimately unlock the secrets of a planet where survival is a luxury and escape an impossibility.
We talked to Garing about the news and his plans for Planetoid at Image:
iFanboy: The last time we spoke about Planetoid, it was available exclusively through Graphicly as a digital comic. Rumor has it that readers will be able to pick up a print version soon. Bring us up to speed on the exciting news.
Ken Garing: As you said, Planetoid was originally released exclusively as a digital comic on Graphicly. It generated some buzz, and as a result, I’m happy to announce that it’s been picked up by Image Comics, which is the best thing I could have hoped for. Image is on fire right now, and I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, so yeah, I’m pretty excited!
As for the whole digital/print thing, I think digital comics allow for a lot of cool new possiblities, like I read that one reviewer on Graphicly hooked up his laptop to his 57″ HD flat screen and read Planetoid that way. I thought that was cool. But I still like print comics and the whole culture that goes with it. The first issue of Planetoid will be available in print in June.
iF: Does this affect your plans for the trajectory of the story in any way? How many issues are we talking about?
KG: The basic story is pretty much locked in. Although, since I signed with Image, I’m feeling much more ambitious in terms of the art. There’s a whole space opera backdrop going on in Planetoid but the basic story is actually kind of intimate and focuses on just a few characters on this little, forgotten little planetoid. That’s one of the things I like about Frank Herbert’s Dune for example. There’s this huge intergalactic political drama going on but the actual story is about a few characters in the middle of the desert. It will be a five-issue mini-series with each issue being 32 pages. Hopefully, if the series is successful there will be a collected trade paperback.
iF: What’s next for Planetoid? I know some of our readers are excited to meet that other guy on the cover of issue #1…
KG: The story will move quick. A long-winded story is never a good thing, but in comics I think it’s absolutely deadly. Readers will learn about the planetoid as the main character Silas does. After the first issue Silas leaves the scraplands and goes to an area called “The Slab”, where things get a lot more interesting. There’s a lot of weird stuff on the planetoid’s surface to be discovered. The killer robots, called Rovers, will be drawing blood on the opening pages of second issue. I kind of want to build them up and use them sparingly. They are made from spare parts so they all look different and they run off of an artificial intelligence program designed to psychologically terrorize the human population… so, basically they are designed to look scary. They will be very active and visible in the last issue particularly.
iF: Any advice for other creators trying to share their own labor of love with the world?
KG: You nailed it with the term “labor of love”. You better love what you’re doing enough to fuel the necessary labor. On your day off of work sit down and draw for nine hours. If you get restless, or frustrated, or wind up going out with your friends instead; I don’t think you will be able to draw comics professionally. Also, decide what you want to do with comics… Why are you drawing them? Show your stuff to pros and editors. Listen to what they say and don’t ever get emotional or defensive. Networking and promoting are extremely important and there are many ways to do it these days, but meeting people face to face is still the best, and then follow up later. But again, showing work around and promoting comes after you’ve put in your hours at the drawing table and you’ve got some kick ass pages.
Look for Planetoid #1 on shelves in June. Until then it’s still available digitally on Graphicly!