2000AD has always had an interesting approach to comedy. The world famous anthology comic rarely reaches for the flat-out funny, preferring to go for full-on parody with its futuristic tongue rammed firmly into its high concept cheek. Survival Geeks sees 2000AD cheerfully making fun out of itself, it’s fans and the culture that spawned it.
The premise is quite fun. Our female protagonist wakes up in the house of a cute geek, after a night of what we can only assume is extremely unwise passion. Alas, the cute geek also lives with two other nerds, one of whom is a mad genius who has sent their entire house into another dimension. And then we are off, on a whistle-stop tour of alternate realities while the team try and dial back to a dimension that may or may not be home.
The cast are, appropriately, a collection of clichés. We have Sulky Boy, Smart Girl, Mad Scientist and The Stoner. Each respond to the various dangers much in the way you’d expect and that’s sort of the point; this isn’t a nuanced look at geekdom. Instead it’s a fun romp through genre tropes that occasionally lurches to the left in order to surprise you.
We visit a D&D world, a Steampunk world, a gender swap world and of course, a world where one person is lord of all they survey. Along the way we tick pretty much every box in the cult entertainment checklist; lightsabres, Cthulhu, evil overlords, etc. Emma Beeby’s writing is sharp, clever and funny, whilst not being at all challenging. Art is provided by Gordon Rennie and Neil Googe, both of whom are clearly having a lot of fun with the chance to pretty much draw anything they fancy.
There’s nothing that pop culture loves doing more than referring to itself. Constant references to Star Wars, Star Trek and Stargate are now the new normal when it comes to a certain sort of comedy, but that’s exactly what Survival Geeks is for. It’s the 2000AD comic strip you wish they’d turn into a TV show (it’s been a long time since Spaced), but we all know we’ll never get. Lots of fun.
SURVIVAL GEEKS / WRITER: EMMA BEEBY / ARTISTS: GORDON RENNIE, NEIL GOOGE / PUBLISHER: 2000AD / RELEASE DATE: 13TH SEPTEMBER