“This world is celebrating humans in a way that I think is not cynical, it’s actually sincere”: Nathan W Pyle on Strange Planet
Strange Planet began life as an online comic strip back in 2019. Its quirky look and sensibility sprung one day from the mind of American author and illustrator Nathan W Pyle as he and his partner prepared for visitors to come to his house and they found themselves putting all their belongings away in cupboards. And so became his alien-yet-human-like pastel-hued beings saying things like, “Friends arriving soon, let us store irregular shapes inside shapes with flat surfaces…”
Pyle’s charming and colourful drawings of these beings, which cleverly provide insight into the elaborate personal and societal rituals we undertake each day without even realising, on a planet much like our own, soon went viral, spawning a New York Times number one bestselling graphic novel.
Now, in collaboration with Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon, his creations have been reimagined for the screen as an Apple TV+ series of 20-minute episodes. Sometimes cringe-worthy and often laugh-out-loud funny, one can’t help but look at the absurdity of life with fresh eyes, our proclivity for “jitter juice” (coffee) and “mild poison” (booze) just one example of how strange our planet and habits can be.
The Upcoming had the chance to chat with Pyle about the genesis of Strange Planet, its evolution from illustration to animation, and how it in fact celebrates what makes us human. We also discussed the brilliance of animation as a format that people of all ages can enjoy, albeit with differing levels of comprehension.
Strange Planet is released on Apple TV+ on 9th August 2023.
Watch the trailer for Strange Planet here: