Kid, Inc. follows the adventures of a group of 5th graders who launch their own tech company. Raised in the age of Google and social media, these kids feel empowered to challenge the grown-up view of the world. Like innocent rebels, they question everything, eager to upgrade the way things are to the way things should be.
I created the world and characters of Kid, Inc. and wanted to test the concept in comic strip form. After a long search, I found the ideal artist in Erich Owen who has worked with everyone from TokyoPop to DC Comics to William Shatner himself for Shatner's TekWar Chronicles.
Here are a few scenes from those early strips. In "The Homework Protest," the kids are so sick of homework that they protest online (#HomeworkIsKillingingMyChildhood) and picket in front of the school. Deciding to take matters into their own hands, they code a smartphone app to do the homework for them, and sell the app to millions of kids for $1 a download, causing a nationwide panic.
After testing the concept as a comic strip, I began reinventing Kid, Inc. as an animated series, working with my producing partner, Robert Zappia, to add new characters and scenarios. Erich reimagined the art, giving the characters a colorful, dynamic and lively upgrade.
Whether creating an A.I. who seems more human than they are, organizing the STEAM club (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) to hack the school’s wireless network so they can all attend 5th grade virtually, creating superhero identities to battle (or embrace) consumerism in childhood, inventing a DNA printer to clone dinosaurs, or borrowing Santa's wormhole time-traveling sleigh to go back in time — their inventive plans create humorous and heartfelt conflict with parents, teachers, and sometimes even with each other.
Here are a few more scenes from the original comic strip. In "Screen-Free Week," Alice tries to get her class to give up all screens for just one week.
Ideas that are too big for current technology are brought to life through computer simulations, virtual reality headsets, homemade smartphone movies, online games, and plain old daydreams.
These young entrepreneurs are determined to make the world a better place — for them, at least.