Ken Garing – the creator; Planetoid – the comic.

Interview with the creator: Ken Garing by Con Barbatsis for eCharta

pg30 - CopyKen Garing took some time from his busy schedule to answer several questions giving us some insight on how’s and whys of his comic Planetoid! I thank him for that and I really appreciate it! 

1. How hard was it to do a comic book solely on your own?

It’s hard in the sense that it’s a lot of work. The actual making of the comic is mostly enjoyable, but there just a lot to keep track of. You have to be your own project manager and keep tabs on a lot of loose ends.

2. Making a comic from story to the lettering is something we usually see in European comic creators, so I have to ask who and what are your major influences story and art wise?

There are many influences. For Planetoid I looked at a lot of Italian comics, work by Serpieri, Liberatore, and Sergio Toppi. Also, Japanese artists like Otomo and Nihei. In terms of the story, Frank Herbert’s Dune was very influential.

3. Planetoid in its story has some strong moral issues about life and society how much was it a comic where you wanted to make a statement or just a story that you’ve been wanting to say?

There were certain themes regarding power, exploitation, community, etc that I wanted to explore from the outset but I’m reluctant to verbalize them in any detail. The story, imagery, and everything else was borne of those central themes.

4. Planetoid ends with issue 5, is it possible that we are going to see any future stories based in this universe and the current cast of characters?

Yes. There are two more arcs planned as well as some one-shots that will flesh out the back stories of some of the characters.

5. Any chance of seeing Planetoid in a collected edition soon?

I believe the collected trade paperback will be available in July.

6. Lastly would you like to tell us about any project you currently working on and if it’s about Planetoid?

The publisher of my next project will make an announcement at C2E2 in Chicago next week. It’s not Planetoid related.

We wait to hear THIS!!!

Thank you for your time Ken! 

The comic: Planetoid


Planetoid is a sci-fi creator owned comic published by Image comics! Art, story and lettering are all done by its creator Ken Garing something which is extremely hard to do unless you are a very talented person or you have more than enough experience in doing something like this! Garing in just five issues has succeed to create a whole new world, build social structures where it seemed there were none and pass many moral messages by telling a story in remarkable art and this was his first printed work! So he must be a very talented artist!

000The story starts with a crash of a spacecraft on an unidentified planet; its pilot ex-military turned smuggler Silas survives the crash and tries desperately to find a way off the planet! The planet has one of the most inhospitable environments; it seems like a huge abandoned factory plus a huge junkyard of many other crash sites. Soon Silas finds what dangers are hiding amidst this rubble of iron and metal junk. He succeeds in destroying a huge robotic monster but his condition is critical after the battle, lucky for him he is taken in and treated by another crash survivor who has been living on the planet for many years! Silas finds out by Mendel, the elderly crash survivor that he can never leave this planetoid due to its strong electromagnetic field and that he should accept this and try to make a new life with one of the nomadic tribes!

In this way Silas starts a new journey in his life as he meets nomadic tribes and solo survivors on an abandoned mining planet and succeeds in uniting them under a common threat, all the artificial intelligent life forms that are left behind! After the planetoid was drained of all its rich mineral resources the robots are used by the alien race Ono Mao as attackers and selectors of the only useful recourse which is the few remaining human survivors! Ono Mao uses the humans as lobotomized slaves and capitalizes on this! As an effect they are not pleased of the small new haven that Silas has created on their planet!

It’s remarkable how an ex-military man organizes and sees the uses of all people no matter their race, gender and age 017to construct a small society even in the most inhospitable environments in two months! Silas makes a well oiled society of people who have lived all their lives as loners. Each and every one despite their differences is a fundamental part in helping the other to survive and prosper no matter how hard and unwelcoming the place they live in is. Although Silas has united the people of this planetoid and given them a cause he still feels the need to escape this planet.


By the end of the story Silas is captured by the Ono Mao but he is rescued! All the way back to his small community he deals with dilemmas of how to survive, dilemmas which have to do with his ego! Even when his community is attacked by the robots he sees no reason to fight back because he knows that they have no chance of winning! He finds a way to escape but in the end he chooses to do the right thing, he sees the bigger picture and decides to sacrifice his only chance off the planetoid, he doesn’t feel alone anymore he doesn’t work on his own accord and selfish needs he is a part of a community now! He becomes a hero!

Ken Garing has shown with Planetoid that one person can actually make a huge difference! Maybe his story takes place in a sci-fi environment but it could easily be applied in our world. He shows us all the wrongs and how they can easily be put aside for the better cause, maybe it’s a utopia but still its food for thought. He unfolds the story with dialogues simple but true and real. Each and every panel is an essential part of the story even without word balloons you still get a part of where the story is taking place, who the characters are and why things are happening this way. In a word Planetoid is cinematic and Ken Garing’s remarkable illustrations help to give you that feeling!

Ken Garings art on Planetoid cannot be distinguished as pencils, colors and inks you have to see it as a whole you have to see it as an illustration. It’s detailed and simple with a balance in each panel serving the storytelling in almost a perfect way! It captures the atmosphere, the time and climate of when the story is taking place with its colors which grip you! Also you cannot help but be awed by the splash and spread pages especially when they are showing in much detail crash sites or parts of this abandoned factory world!

For me it’s rare to come across a comic book which its creative team consists of only one person and give me such a pleasing entertaining feeling! Ken Garing is a an artist which has  made a great comic book with its beginning, high point and end which cannot disappoint you! So I highly recommend reading this comic and if you cannot find the issues get the collected edition whenever it is published in whatever format it might be in!

It’s worth it and you’ll enjoy it!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta