Sometime in 2019, a new webcomic popped up on social media. It was named Strange Planet and was the work of Nathan Pyle, a New York illustrator. It depicts small blue aliens going about their lives and doing everyday, completely human things. It went viral in a matter of days.
What was so attractive about the comic, and why aliens? Well, Pyle used the format to show how some of our modern daily behaviors are somewhere between ridiculous and insane. His aliens seem to have no understanding of metaphors and symbolism, so they describe their daily activities in the most straightforward, literal way. Tanning on the beach becomes “absorbing start damage,” a receipt for a gift is a “tiny financial document” used to “undo the gift,” and fireworks are a “mesmerizing destruction.”
Pyle’s l4-panel strips are a witty little remark on our daily habits and rituals. We tend to think about ourselves as rational creatures, but so much of our habits are bizarre, sometimes even dangerous. But Strange Planet isn’t about mocking us or making us change our way. In the end, it’s about the marvel of being human. It takes humans to give those habit meaning.
Check out some of the out-of-this-world comics below.