Survival Geeks. Graphic Novel Review

Survival Geeks by Neil Googe, Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie
Rebellion, p/b, 112pp, £12.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming

Waking up after a night out, Sam becomes an unwilling housemate for three sci-fi fans, Simon, Rufe and Clive, as they embark on an interdimensional road trip. The house is a sort of Tardis travelling through different dimensions, searching for the elusive Grail of a zombie apocalypse. It’s a tongue in cheek look for contemporary geek culture poking fun at CYOA board games, steampunk and, my all time favourite, zombies.

It’s funny with visual and verbal references to all things sci-fi, more than I could list here. My favourites are the Galaxy Quest reference and all things Firefly. There so many nods there’s bound to be something that tickles you.

The characters are familiar, you could almost say stereotypical, but they don’t feel cliched. They are more than just geeks or nerd, something that is drawn out across the five stories as they are caught in situations only their extensive sci-fi knowledge can save them. This forms the underlying story of accepting and embracing all your parts, even the über-nerdy parts that other geeks would tease you for.

As the stories travel through different worlds, the art work brings those worlds to life, creating a steampunk environment or zombie apocalypse with clever use of references, they are like a Where’s Wally of all things sci-fi and fantasy.

Maybe there are too many references. Some scenes can be so full of cues that it can break the flow. And while I got most references, there are some that went over my head. Sometimes, the funniest parts were the humour surrounding the dynamics of the house mates as they go through the team formation stages when Sam joins them.

That said, I can forgive that. Bright, colourful, and fast-paced, from start to finish it was an unapologetic celebration of all things geeky and bagged itself a place in my favourite books.