Outworld (often stylized OUTWORLD) is a science fiction/furry webcomic.
In the early 71st century, civilization is spread too far. Colony worlds are stricken by a lack of food, and it is the responsibility of the government-sanctioned Outworld Scientific Association (OSA) to find a solution. A new, unspoiled world has been found as a potential source of sustenance for the colonies, and so the OSA has dispatched a team of scientists
to check it out.
Those scientists include:Melissa Thayer
- Fox, botanist and horticultural researcher. From the world of Rilo Kiley
, Melissa is cheerful, friendly and just a bit silly. When she's involved with her research, however, she's serious as heck!Jon Sizemore
- Husky and scientist. Jon works alongside Melissa and usually has to deal with both her silliness and, alternately, her seriousness. Jon himself is intelligent and caring, though he can't quite contain himself when Melissa's jokes go wrong!Joanna Kriger
- Rabbit and one of the field medics
for the expedition, Joanna is prompt, studious and damn good at her job. Oh, and she's a robot
- Red Panda and Director of Operations at the OSA's colony of La Cadie on Amalis. Solange is tasked with overseeing the various divisions of the OSA at work on the planet.
The characters are essentially furry humans, and wear full clothing
. Melissa, for example, wears a gingham dress, even on the job (it's a cultural thing
Outworld can be read on DeviantArt here
Early on in the comic's run, a companion series called OUTWORLD: IN SUSPENDED ANIMATION
appeared; this is a separate arc that makes small references to the comic but maintains its own story. The arc is published in short chapters and revolves around a security operative, her team and the ship they have been assigned to protect as it delivers much-needed relief supplies to a colony world.
The arc features the following characters:Suzie Trask
- A Border Collie and security operative for the United Security Corporation, a faceless entity that employs people to protect ships, installations and other important potential targets, Suzie grew up on a despoiled Earth in a flooded-out Seattle
, and didn't even see a tree until going to a different planet. Suzie has recently been on a succession of missions involving being in space a lot, and misses being on a planet, even if it has to be Earth.Calvin Symington
- A Coyote and Suzie's superior, Calvin was born on a space station and thus is naturally accustomed to being in space a lot; he doesn't even notice when things are slightly wrong with the artificial gravity!Brenda Olsen
- A Husky and Suzie's comrade and friend. Brenda was born a space station like Calvin, and finds it easier to be in space than Suzie - like Calvin. Nonetheless, she and Suzie have a warm and cordial friendship.Kate Holloway
- A Jack Russell and Assistant Engineer on the Amity Transport Corporation cargo ship ATC Bernadette, Kate is a genius 17-year old who has struck up something approaching a friendship with Suzie.
OUTWORLD: IN SUSPENDED ANIMATION can be read here.
This webcomic contains examples of:
- The Amazon: Amalis, the planet on which Outworld takes place, is pretty much jungle from pole to pole... with one whack of an ocean about the equator.
- Berserk Button: Melissa hates robots that mimic people and organic life, namely Joanna.
- Celibate Hero: Suzie Trask has never been in a relationship and finds the notion uncomfortable.
- Crapsack World: Earth in 7074, not to mention the starving colony worlds.
- Fantastic Slur: Apparently, "boltbag" and "tin can" are derogatory names for robots in the 71st century.
- Fiery Redhead: Melissa.
- It Makes Sense in Context: For those who think a young fox running about in a gingham dress in a deep jungle is unusual...
- Hungry Jungle: The ominous chirps and stridulations in the second and third instalments hint at this.
- Magic Skirt: Melissa's skirt stays put when she frightens colleague Jon while hanging from an overhead branch in the third instalment.
- Nice Shoes: Melissa wears a cute pair of black school shoes.
- Oh, Crap: Scientist Jon Sizemore has one of these moments when he thinks something nasty is going to attack him in the jungle... turns out it's Melissa.
- Pandaing to the Audience: Solange Meek. Do red pandas count?
- Petting Zoo People: The entire cast. Some, like Joanna, would also count as Petting Zoo Robots.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Melissa's gingham number features frilly sleeves, cute button and a plethora of badges. Also comes with gravity-defying skirt!
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Melissa's words to Joanna in the tenth instalment.
- Say My Name: Jon does this to Melissa in the fourth instalment.
- Science Hero: Team of intrepid scientists out to save billions from starvation. Could they be anything else?
- Shout-Out: Melissa's homeworld is named Rilo Kiley. Take from that what you will.
- Space Marine: An interlude poster for Outworld shows a recruitment attempt by the Core Republic Military, featuring a list of the planets they're engaged on conquering.
- Space Opera: Well, if all you've read so far didn't clue you in...
- The Medic: Joanna.
- The Promised Land: Melissa makes Amalis out to be this in part one; it's a fertile planet that could hold the potential to end starvation on the colonies of the Core Republic!
- This Is Gonna Suck: Melissa's face when her grappling line breaks during her descent from a tree after she scares Jon pretty much says it all!