Space Cadet, the latest graphic novel from Ninja Tune’s Canadian scratch DJ Kid Koala, is a sad, sweet story of love, loss and robots that nearly had the hard-bitten Design Week newsdesk in tears.
The 132-page work, drawn entirely on etchboards, tells the story of an astronaut and her guardian robot. When she blasts off into outer space on a solo mission our robot hero is left to mope alone before the pair a reunited for a bittersweet finale.
Kid Koala describes the work as ‘A tomorrow-days lullaby about finding your place in the universe’, which touches on the relationship between technology and isolation and celebrates connectivity.
The book is accompanied by a soundtrack – a ‘still-picture score’ – composed by Kid Koala, with different tracks to be played during different sections of the book, so the lullaby-like piano-and-bleep compositions track the moods and emotions of the story.
To develop an ambitious live show, Kid Koala took part in an artist residence programme at Massachussetts Museum of Modern Art. The result was the Space Cadet Headphone Concert and Gallery, which featured live visual-making, a pop-up planetarium and more.
The trailer for the event can be seen here:
Kid Koala will be launching the book in the UK with the Music To Draw To event at the Red Gallery, London EC2, on 13 September.
Kid Koala – Space Cadet is release by Ninja Tune on 19 September, priced at £18.