I am very proud to be working on the Get Kids into Survey initiative - an exciting educational project intended to create a pathway into the world of geo-surveying for young people.
When Kwame, Maddison, Miles and Setsuko discover and activate four unusual VR headsets, they are contacted by a shadowy stranger: a cloaked traveller with cybernetic parts, who claims to be from a dreadful future...
Before they know it, the four are transported through time, put in control of their own humanoid robots – fully loaded with salvaged surveyor tech – and tasked with saving a world on the brink of complete catastrophe!
The GeoSquad comics introduce young readers to the exciting world of geo-surveying, and its crucial importance in terms of human ecological impact, urban and industrial development, and global conservation. Through the time-splitting adventures of a diverse central cast – four friends with unique geological skills and interests – the comics explore the significant responsibilities we have to our planet. The team learn from the future in order to save the present, and in doing so, they raise awareness of the eco issues we face today, and what might happen if there aren’t enough people like them (i.e. the reader) – young and full of potential – to tackle the critical challenges of global conservation in the near future.
Over the course of the squad’s adventures, the comics delve into a wide range of topical ecological issues: irresponsible urban construction; the effects of reckless industrial waste disposal; the impact of global warming (particularly in the contexts of rising sea levels and melting ice caps); the consequences of unsafe structural engineering, and the cost of our over-reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Through its unique graphic style and action-packed panels, the comics explore how people integrate with their environments, and in particular, how abuses of those environments can lead not only to devastating consequences in the natural world, but to the disastrous demise of living standards for humanity.
The dual timeline narrative produces exciting, action-filled pages, both in the present day, and in the larger-than-life dystopian future. It also allows the reader to see how actions that take place in the present, whether positive or negative, have an instant effect on potential future realities. The comics feature plenty of relatable peril and jousting humour: the squad is just as likely to be caught in the middle of a BMX chase, with a school bully hot on their heels, as they are piloting their personalised future-bots in an effort to recover surveyor tech from beneath a glacier in coldest Antarctica. And, whilst the technology featured throughout the stories may seem so advanced as to border on science fiction, most of the tech is absolutely real-world – in use today – harnessed in the comics as another vehicle to capture the reader’s interest, spark their imagination and ignite their enthusiasm.
Ultimately, the GeoSquad comics take the well-worn adventure gang trope and use it to bring to life a unique split-world that simultaneously entertains and educates, with characters who are both relatable and aspirational. It conveys a vitally important message to the reader: the future is in your hands, and you really can be part of the mission to save the planet!