Wednesday, January 1, 2020
#IReadsYou Book Review: STRANGE PLANET
HARPERCOLLINS/Morrow Gift – @WmMorrowBks and @HarperCollins
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
AUTHOR-CARTOONIST: Nathan W. Pyle – @nathanwpyle
ISBN: 978-0-06-297070-1; hardcover; 6.00 in (w) x 6.00 in (h) (November 19, 2019)
E-ISBN: 978-0-06-297069-5 (eBook)
144pp, Color, $14.99 U.S., $18.50 CAN
Strange Planet is a new book of cartoons from author and cartoonist, Nathan W. Pyle. Pyle is known for his bestselling books of cartoons, NYC Basic Tips and 99 Stories I Could Tell. Strange Planet is a new hardcover book (6 in x 6 in) that collects cartoons Pyle posted on an Instagram page entitled, “Strange Planet,” beginning in February 2019.
Strange Planet chronicles the lives of the alien inhabitants of a world that is similar to ours. They resemble the infamous “gray aliens,” except they are blue. They share a few characteristics with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or “Roger” from the American animated television series, “American Dad!,” but Strange Planet's aliens are soft, cuddly, and fluid. They look like leaner versions of beloved cartoon character, Casper the Friendly Ghost.
In a world of bright pinks, blues, greens, and purples, the inhabitants of Strange Planet narrate their emotions and act out scenarios that are extremely familiar to humans. They throw parties. They believe in the tooth fairy, but call teeth “mouth stones” and the tooth fairy “magical mouth stone being.” They call their sun a “star,” so they call sunburn “star damage.” And sweet dreams are referred to as “Imagine Pleasant Nonsense.” So relax, perhaps in your “rest chamber” (bedroom), and enjoy a cup of “hot leaf liquid” (tea) or jittery liquid (coffee) and enter the the peculiar, but familiar world of Strange Planet.
Nathan W. Pyle has a knack for presenting the ordinary as something worth reexamining. Strange Planet is a webcomic that exists in “The Twilight Zone” that is situated between beloved newspaper comics like Gary Larson's The Far Side and Scott Adams' Dilbert. In Strange Planet, everything is familiar, but filtered through a florescent-colored dream-shake made of Nehi grape-infused milk, pink ice cream, orange “Kool-Aid,” and blue food coloring.
Ultimately, however, Strange Planet is sweet, endearing, and funny. Through these delightful alien inhabitants, we the readers learn to love the mundane and the ordinary, the things that dominate our everyday lives. Pyle makes us appreciate that we don't have to have amazing, star-studded, lives to enjoy the small, seemingly insignificant moments in our lives. Even the amazing and the super-stars (as Jameis Winston said) have small, seemingly insignificant moments in which they can find delight – don't they?
With its compact size, Strange Planet is the perfect (and handy) gift book for the holidays. That's when we'll need these Strange Planet inhabitants to make us laugh at ourselves.
7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
Strange Planet Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/nathanwpylestrangeplanet/?hl=en
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/nathanwpyle
The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.