In The Renegades, a sleeping methane monster the Methanaur is awakening as the Arctic permafrost is thawing , and the three main characters – Katelyn, Leon, and Mo – have a range of superpowers that they use to try to trap it and so save the planet.
The team behind the project want to inspire others to get involved in tackling issues around the climate emergency and put pressure on politicians and governments to act.
Jeremy Brown, who did his MA in Climate Change at King’s, started developing plans for a climate comic in 2018, after hearing the idea from his eco-activist friend, Mischa Pearson. They wanted to encourage a broader section of society to get involved in the climate crisis, just as Captain America was used to inspire patriotism during World War Two.
After Mischa went to focus on climate change in another ways, Jeremy Brown continued the project with geography course mates Tom Hambley and Jonathan Hyde.
However, they realised they also needed the support of artists and script writer, so Liberal Arts student Katy Jakeway joined as illustrator and co-author, followed by Philosophy student David Selby as script writer and, and two young freelancers, Libby Reed and Ellenor Mererid Jones as artists, making up the full team.
When international publisher Dorling Kindersley heard about the project and suggested it be turned into a book, the team liked the idea. It has now been published and you can order a copy here.
Our entire aim with the book was to reach as many people as possible to share awareness about climate change in a fun yet educational manner, so the fact it will soon be published is more than we could have hoped for when we first began the project last year.– Katy Jakeway
David added: “Having a proper book to work with means that this isn't just a piece of entertainment, it's also a learning resource. It's something you could keep on a family bookshelf, or in a school library.”
Feedback so far suggests that its appeal could extend beyond young people.
“We have found throughout the project that people of all ages have enjoyed reading it immensely, which we’re all extremely happy about!” said Katy. “We tried to make it universally educational as well as having a healthy dosage of humour throughout.”
Jeremy finished his MA this summer which included completing his dissertation about the power of climate stories. There are also exciting plans for the next stage of The Renegades, which includes hopes of sequel, the story for which is already being developed.
One of the plans is to involve citizens from parts of the world where the story will be set. That way, it will be more inclusive of different cultures, while also helping to weave in the real-life experiences of people on the frontline of the climate crisis. So, watch this space! – Jeremy Brown