The Weird World of Webcomics: Neil R. King’s “Forbidden Planet”
A fun space romp with lovelorn robots, hot earth babes, and libidinous monstrosities.
I remember back in the day when movie posters were cool, when they could even be considered works of art. These days, when I stroll through my local cinema, it seems like any person with a working knowledge of Photoshop can slap some star’s mug on a sheet of paper and call it “creative advertising.”
Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to those classic b-movie posters from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Sure, the posters were usually garish and tip-toed the line between taste and exploitation, but at least they had some visual flair and pizzazz! If I’m going to see a movie, I want to be excited to see it. The only problem was, sometimes the movie itself didn’t live up to the hype.
Comic artist Neil R. King has a solution to this problem – his webcomic Forbidden Planet. The concept behind this weekly strip was to create an entirely original story based solely on a poster from a sci-fi b-movie. King picked the film Forgotten Planet (a classic in its own right, starring a young Leslie Neilsen), and used the movie’s advertising image of a robot carrying a girl to serve as his jumping off point.
After a little more than a year of updates King has crafted a complex, intergalactic, four-sided romance between Gary (the robot), Dani (the girl), Rex (a horny alien… Dani’s words, not mine), and a multi-eyed monster with a crush. Gary and Dani are pals who got stranded on the “last planet in the galaxy” and now must deal with learning about their new home, while learning more about themselves. King’s loose, black and white art fits his story and concept well because it harkens back to those black-and-white sci-fi flicks of yesteryear.
It’d be nice to see King add a few additional features to his website such as a cast list or detailed synopsis page to catch new readers up to speed. Overall though, Forbidden Planet is a fun space romp with lovelorn robots, hot earth babes, and libidinous monstrosities. It’s a comic that lives up to the hype promised by its b-movie roots and is well worth checking out. Visit the official site too see more of King’s work.