Fun-O-Planet: Failed Alien by Nathan Ward

Comic: Fun-O-Planet: Failed Alien
Release date: September 2014
Writer: Nathan Ward
Artist: Nathan Ward
Cover: full-color
Interior: full-color
Synopsis: Fun-O-Planet is a comic series about a group of brainless humanoid teenagers and their weirdo adventures on an unfamiliar planet.

The Deal

I first saw Nathan Ward's art on the Kickstarter page he started so he could raise enough money to print a thousand copies of his first comic book. The art reminded me of some of the weird comics that came out in the seventies. I couldn't resist buying this comic, so I pledged to the Kickstarter and received Fun-O-Planet late 2014.

The Feel

The interior paper stock used is #35 newsprint stock that we all remember from newspapers and the underground comics from the silver age. The cover is a glossy thicker paper stock. All the art uses the same four colors plus black. The comic is an odd size at 8" x 10", but feels light and reads comfortably. It's obvious the comic is an homage to the underground comic scene of the seventies and possibly early eighties. 
There can be a multitude of problems with printing on newsprint stock, we can see it every day in newspapers. Runny pictures or print, colors that are off and pages that leave imprints on the page beside it. The printer used for Fun-O-Planet did a perfect job. I could find nothing even slightly wrong with my issue. Kept safe, it'll last forever.

The Story and the look

Three humans get their brains sucked out and taken on the trip of a lifetime to the Fun-O-Planet. The story is surrealistic and psychedelic. Even if you'd like to stop reading you won't. It just sucks you in and won't spit you out until you've read it all. It's been a while since I've read a story like this and I'm stoked about this one. Just looking at each panel tell a story in itself. If you take the time to really look closely at the art it will almost start to move on it's own. 
I think it's a good thing when the writer is also the artist. There are no issues with the compatibility of the art and the writing. It all fits together smoothly. It's a fun story to read, though it may not make you laugh out loud it will make you doubt what you've seen and it all feels quite bizarre. 
The colors used add to the vibes the story sends out. It would not have been as psychedelic and weird in b/w or full-color. The use of halftones instead of the standard shading method in the black line art works perfectly and adds to the surrealistic feeling when you look closely at it.

The Conclusion

It was quite a trip reading this story, it's absurd, unrealistic and slightly psychedelic. You'll want to read it again just for the 'what happened here' feeling you get afterwards. I'd especially recommend this comic if you like underground comics of the seventies and early eighties or if you just feel like reading something completely different. You will not be disappointed. The art really benefits from the newsprint used. It makes the comic better on all fronts. 

How to get a copy

You can get a copy of this 32-page Fun-O-Planet comic through Nathan Ward's StoreEnvy storefront. One copy is 5US$ plus shipping from Cleveland. I haven't seen it for sale anywhere else. If you know of a store please let me know and I'll post it here. 

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