A freak occurrence results in Zita being transported from Earth to another planet, where she finds herself hopelessly lost and surrounded by many cartoony aliens that somehow speak English. Through a strange series of events, she soon teams up with a giant mouse that communicates by printing short messages on paper through the printer on its neck, a large flying ball-shaped robot, a Gentle Giant
, and a Pied Piper-esque human named Piper, and they go on strange adventures. Seeing such an eccentric cast of characters journeying across a surreal landscape made me think of The Wizard of Oz
more than once, and the fact that these are all adults (both human and non-human) following the leadership of a young girl really only cements the comparison. Not to mention that the aliens are super cartoony and unrealistic and many are not the sort of thing one would ever associate with sci-fi.
The story's not just surreal, it's also cartoonish at times. There's lots of humorous little segments and situations, and some Looney Tunes-esque logic at one point when Piper shows his "door paste", which allows one to create a door on anythig solid simply by drawing it on a wall, floor, or even the side of an evil robot. Yes, they escape a dungeon by drawing a door into being. And defeat a robot by drawing a small circular door, allowing Zita to rip out its wiring. There's even a plot involving a cloning machine that creates numerous slightly different looking copies of Zita, and an alien species that resembles a giant valentine heart. Many side characters have simple, exaggerated personalities.
This could be the result of the comic's origins as a joke-a-day webcomic. What I'd read is the actual physical comic book, which has much more of a narrative plot that can be followed, but still features the types of situations, characters, and mood you'd normally only expect from a humor comic. It also explains the significant lack of any degree of "hard" sci-fi. This is basically a whimsical fantasy journey wearing sci-fi clothes. The Wizard of Oz
in space, with humor comic sensibilities. More Garfield
than Star Wars
. A nice break from all the grimdark I'm used to seeing in comics.