A new creator-owned sci-fi series from Dark Horse Comics titled Strayed understands this irrefutable concept and is poised to pounce on readers with a whiskered hero named Lou the Cat. This feisty, astral-projecting feline is bracing himself for an outer-space odyssey beginning on August 14 — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive cover reveal and comments from its creative team.
Penned by musician, video game producer, and first-time comics writer Carlos Giffoni and paired with purr-inducing pencils by artist Juan Doe (Dark Ark, Legion of Monsters) and letters by Matt Krotzer (House of Fear), Strayed is a five-part miniseries centered in a bleak world where a ruthless military-industrial complex lords over all humanity and is intent on destroying alien worlds. Yet hope reigns supreme when we've got a furry savior with nine lives.
Never fear, as the destiny of the universe rests in the capable paws of Lou, a precocious, astral-projecting cat, and his loving owner Kiara. Determined to preserve the continued well-being of billions of human lives, their passionate revolution against the powers that be is a battle for love, friendship, and the soul of humanity, all delivered from the psychedelic reaches of outer space.
Giffoni attempts to explore two main themes in Strayed, both of which are very personal to him.
"The first consists of taking the horrors of colonization to a galactic level," Giffoni tells SYFY WIRE. "I believe it is likely that humanity will one day deplete the natural resources of our planet, and finding new ones will become mandatory for our survival. If we look at our history as a species, there are many cases where groups of people dehumanized others so that they could exploit them. I don't think it is hard to imagine that the same could happen with alien civilizations, where horrible actions as justified for the 'right' reason, saving humanity.
"The second is the beautiful bond that can exist between a human and their pet," he adds. "These domestic companions can be vital to getting through harsh moments in our lives, becoming an integral part of our support system, and our closest friends. Our protagonists are about to find that humanity's rulers are taking advantage of their bond and are using their abilities for nefarious purposes. Kiara and her astral traveling cat Lou might be the only ones that can save humanity's soul before it's too late."
Artist Juan Doe considers Strayed to be one the most satisfying projects he's ever worked on.
"It's a great story, an epic space opera with an astral projecting cat trying to save humanity," Doe tells SYFY WIRE. "Based on the premise alone I knew the style was going to be very trippy. Carlos wrote an amazing script and gave me free rein to push and experiment in some areas while still maintaining the focus on the characters and the heart of the story. Plus, I love anything space-related, so getting to explore those universes in a psychedelic, astral style was a rush. I think people are going to enjoy this book immensely."
Giffoni and Doe will be joined by a litter of talented variant cover artists like Dustin Nguyen (shown above), Jim Mahfood, Alexis Ziritt, Matteo Scalera, and Sanford Greene. Strayed #1 leaps into comic shops August 14 and is available for pre-order.