SOFTIES by Kyle Smeallie


Stuff That Happens After the World Blows Up
From the "Softies" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14
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Planet Earth has exploded, and 13-year-old Kay seems to be the sole survivor.

Floating in space, Kay finds herself salvaged by a pink, reptilian extraterrestrial named Arizona, who helms a spaceship that collects space debris. Kay seems to quickly adapt to her new life as a passenger aboard the waste-collection vessel while Arizona and crew search the galaxy to find out what happened to Earth. In between and with plenty of banter among the characters, Arizona makes stops at different planets to sell the collected junk pile of space debris to buyers of all sorts. Over the course of planet-hopping through these bizarre experiences, Arizona starts to feel responsible for Kay and begins to worry about the impact of Kay’s loss of her home planet even as the acerbic Kay deflects whenever asked about the catastrophic event that has left her orphaned and stranded in space. Arizona is casually revealed to be gay and male; brown-skinned Kay’s ethnicity and heritage are unexplored. Though the plot is episodic, it’s tied together thematically with a critique of overconsumption, including how Earth’s waste pollutes beyond terra firma. The consistent ignorance of Earth on the part of the ETs Kay encounters is simultaneously a running joke and a wry comment on anthropocentrism.

A light space comedy laced with witty dialogue. (Graphic science fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 17th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-945820-48-9
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Iron Circus Comics
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019