The World's First VR/AR Political Comic Book
Welcome to The Global Kid
My name is Maha and I'm an NYU professor, World Economic Forum risk expert and author in global politics, who wrote the seven-time award-winning bestseller Future World Order (2019 & 2020) and upcoming sequel A Global Spring (2023). But my childhood dream was to be a cartoonist! This is why I drew the crowdfunded political comic book, The Global Kid, in 2016, which stars the superhero character of 14 year old Sami. Sami lived in different countries with his family (much like I did – 7 countries by age 14) and observes political problems (much like I do in my day job). In 2021, my political comic book won its seventh education award and was a Top 16 Amazon bestseller. And all my profits went to education nonprofits and from 2019-2021 to my brother's memorial fund for Syrian refugee youth.
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING SINCE THEN? The Global Kid has flown into the virtual and augmented realms with its long overdue sequel! Through the female superhero character Tanya (inspired by my nieces) and her canine sidekick Lucky (inspired by my rescue dog), it entertains and educates kids age 8-12+ about the world today and where we are headed in a post-pandemic era. This female-driven project is in partnership with London-based, award-winning edtech startup Musemio, with important contributions from Rome-based AR Market (including artist extraordinaire Mara Angelilli). (Note: this was also a family project – my niece voiced the main character of Tanya in VR, while my two other nieces shared invaluable first user feedback!)
HOW IS THE GLOBAL KID HELPING HER FELLOW GLOBAL CITIZEN? Besides teaching kids about our global challenges and their activist role in tackling them, on April 8 The Global Kid: A VR/AR Political Comic Book supported nonprofit Global Citizen's 2022 #StandUpForUkraine campaign by a) releasing this social media message of support along with other artists, athletes and creators and b) The Global Kid, with 70+ other organizations, signed Global Citizens' open letter to world leaders to provide more refugee relief support at the April 9 pledge summit hosted by Canadian President Justin Trudeau and EC President Ursula von der Leyen (see their CNN interview). Over $10B in grants and loans were secured in one day for refugees from Ukraine and globally! The Global Kid also supported Global Citizen's #PowerOurPlanet 2023 campaign in Paris to unlock critical funding and increase support for the world's poorest countries to invest in development programs like education, health, and shift to clean energy.
In its first year, THE GLOBAL KID also donated a month's profits to the Covid Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO during the Omicron surge, UNICEF's Ukraine Appeal for children caught in the crossfire amid the Russian invasion; Pakistan's flood relief via TCF and Syrian refugee youth in Jordan's Za'atari camp via the Abid Aziz Fund at charity Peace & Sport.
DO PEOPLE LIKE THE COMIC SO FAR? In short, YES! In its first week, the comic made the Top 100 Amazon Bestsellers List (#54); in its second week, the comic made the Top 25 Amazon US bestsellers list (#24 in early Jan); and by the sixth week (Feb), it hit the Top 10 (#9) and Top 20 in utopian ideology and contemporary women's graphic novel. It has also made Top 5 in Amazon's sites in Australia (#2) and Singapore (#1) in its first five weeks, plus the #1 Hot New Release in both countries. Some initial reviews from young readers: "The book is about helping to save the planet and building a better future. I like the super girl!” –8 year old boy; “I like it because it’s about the world right now. I want to save the world too when I grow up.” –9 year old girl. And reviewers say The Global Kid "offers an intriguing concept: a graphic publication that makes geopolitics understandable for children ages 8-12" (2022 IndieReader Discovery Awards) and note how the comic helps kids "learn about the world's most significant challenges and work out solutions" (Readers' Favorite Awards).
The Global Kid won ten awards in its first year! This includes nine US-based awards – the 2021 Moonbeam Children's Book Award (comic book category), 2022 IPPY Award (children interactive category), the 2022 Next Generation Indie Award (activity category), the 2022 International Book Award (children's nonfiction), 2022 NYC Big Book Award (Children's Educational), 2022 International Book Award (Children category), 2022 Best Book Finalist Award (Children Nonfiction) and two Bookfest Awards (Children's Activity Books in Fiction and Children's Learning & Educational in Nonfiction). It also won in the Global Shero category at the Europe-based 2022 Digital Female Leader Awards (sponsored by Amazon, PWC, P&G, Phillip Morris, Accenture, NTT Data). The comic was featured online in the London Design Biennale's Design in the Age of Crisis Gallery (and was also in the physical 2021 exhibit at historic Somerset House).
As you read the comic, whether you are age 8-12+, simply young at heart, or just curious about the world, please think about this, Reader:
What role will you play in making the world a better place now and in the future?
Yours – Maha
Dec 2022: Maha & Lucky Share News of Ten Awards for The Global Kid!
TEN Awards For The Global Kid Since Its Dec 2021 launch
Interview as Global Shero Winner at 2022 DFLA Awards
THE GLOBAL KID has been featured in:
Sweden's Global Challenges Foundation's Educators' Challenge Awards (2018-2019); the UK's School of International Futures' Next Generation Foresight Practitioner Awards (2019/2020), London Design Biennale (online and Somerset House exhibit; 2021), Musemio's Blog (2022) and The Portsmouth News (2022), BBC's Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks' Eureka! Podcast (2022); Germany's Digital Female Awards (2021 Finalist in Global Hero category & 2022 Finalist in Global Shero category); the US' Forbes (2021), Common Denominator Podcast (2022), Authority Magazine in Medium.com (2022), Viral Hare (2022), Under the Lens with Byron Lafayette (2022), The Jewish Press' Gift Guide (2022), and Thrive Global (2022); Singapore's Tatler Asia (2022).