A group of alien strangers — and one little girl — are marooned on a deserted world in the webcomic Red's Planet

Alien abduction isn't always a nefarious affair. Sometimes aliens kidnap humans not to experiment on them or keep them in zoos but completely by accident, making humans mere collateral plunder of alien thieves. That is how Red, the orphaned human protagonist of Eddie Pittman's webcomic Red's Planet begins her journey into outer space. But that adventure takes a stranger, and more dangerous, turn when her accidental captors crash land on a desert planet, leaving Red and dozens of other survivors struggling to survive.

At the beginning of Red's Planet, Red's biggest problem is that she wants to run away. She's developed a habit of slipping out of foster homes, where no one even bothers to call her by her name. (Hint: It's not "Red.") After running off one too many times, Red is about to land herself in a group facility, but those plans are interrupted when a UFO snaps up the police cruiser Red is sitting in — and Red along with it.

Suddenly, the girl without a destination has one, albeit an accidental one. Before anyone realizes Red is inside, the cruiser and several other pilfered Terran goods are transported to a spaceship, where they are presented for sale to the Aquilari, a two-headed turtle creature known for their discerning tastes and deep pockets. Sellers of rare foods, endangered monsters, and unusual artifacts have gathered in hopes of attracting the Aquilari's notice and funds.

However, before the Aquilari can sample all the bounty before them, the ship comes under attack by aliens claiming the collection harbors and important treasure — something, it seems, relating to a mysterious glowing egg. The Aquilari make their escape, but the bulk of the passengers make an emergency landing with the battered ship, finding themselves on a desert planet.

Like the marooned travelers of Lost, these aliens come from a variety of backgrounds; most are low on survival skills and a tad suspicious of one another. Red, finally liberated from the police cruiser, finds herself coming to the defense of Tawee, a fuzzy former farmhand who has found himself caretaker of that strange egg.

Pittman's background is in animation, and Red's Planet utilizes that experience with strong character designs, a wonderful sense of motion, and brilliant coloring. And so far, it has all the hallmark's of a gently funny all-ages adventure comic. Surely there will be some intergalactic politics lurking in the background of Red's Planet, but Pittman has set up a perfectly rich scenario for his quest to learn about — and perhaps protect — the egg: personality conflicts between diverse aliens freshly thrust from their comfort zones. And perhaps in the midst of it all, Red will learn that a home isn't a place you run away to, but a place you find among the people you're with.

[Red's Planet]