Survival Geeks is a sci-fi comedy from 2000AD. It has the line “Cthulhus! Thousands of them!” which is writer Emma Beeby’s favourite. Also working on the series is stalwart Gordon Rennie and illustrator Neil Googe.
The premise is simple and that’s because the goal of Survival Geeks is to parody geeky clichés. We’ve a group of young adults in a house that’s travelling from one dimension to another, adventure after adventure, a bit of sexual tension, and lots of familiar set-ups. They meet the gender-swap versions of themselves. They go to steampunk land. They deal with an evil Gamesmaster.
There’s the cool chick we might want to be or be with. There’s the hero-in-waiting guy around to add in some dynamics there. The other contrast comes from the stoner flatmate, complete with Firefly cap, and the mad scientist responsible for the House of Mysteries.
Weirdly, I rather think Survival Geeks is hiding in plain sight. It should be easy to do the eyeball roll and say to yourself, “I know where this is going…” … But you don’t. Not even when you know the plot is going (or think you do; Survival Geeks certainly isn’t above messing with you) or the action is extra cheesy.
Look out for the Easter eggs.
My PDF of the omnibus weighs in at 114 pages and that’s enough to contain the stories; Survival Geeks, Steampunk’d, Movie Night, Geek Fatales, Lord of the Ringers and a gallery. There’s plenty here.
I’m not sure 2000AD is where I’d normally go for a comedy comic but Survival Geeks works for me. I think Rennie and Beeby keep things tight and, especially, Googe nails the art. The facial expressions the characters pull as one surreal scene transitions to another are wonderful.
Overall? Survival Geeks is a good bit of escapist fun. There’s enough variations in the collection to give you plenty to go on and get to know the characters a bit. The chances are high you’ll find someone to remind you of an old favourite. At the same time Survival Geeks will offer up something new, too.
My copy of Survival Geeks was provided for review. The print edition is on sale from 13th Sep at 2000AD and later from other retailers for £12.99.