Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Gold Digger 01

Gold Digger 01 

Curse Part 1

Gina and Brittanty are lying on a cliff overhang, looking down on a temple buried in a rockface. 
Unfortunately for them, they stumbled on a black arms merchant deal. 
Off course shenanigans ensue, the sisters are  discovered  by  the black arms merchants and a chase ensues.
She sisters manage to  lose the black arms merchants and enter the tomb. 
As Brittany calls Strype via  a satellite phone, Gina by accident activates all the traps !
Way to go genius... 
Escaping a lava trap, the two sisters each go their  separate ways. 
Brittany encounters a shape shifter named gen that feeds on ethereal energies, 
while Gina finds a recording device.
So Brittany is responsible for Mr Peepers disappearance !! The spotted fiend  !!
She also finds  out how her father rescued the infant Brittany and that  the treasure is gone. 
But in Gina's infinite wisdom she picks up the  armband left behind, which triggers the  curse.
Gah  !  Way to go genius  !

And you can read along with the link provided down below.
Best way to read it, is to download Comic_rack
And install Ghostscript
But Adobe Reader works fine too

Notes : Strype's actual name is Stryypp, it's also  spelled in the comic as Stripe.
I tend to just combine the two and call him Strype.
Gold Digger along with The Savage Dragon, are  the two longest running comics by a single artist\writer. 

Credits :
writer-artist : Fred Perry
Editor: Ben Dunn

Review :
And now we are at the first issue of the ongoing series.
This series started in 1993,  2  months after the wrapping up of the  mini series.
It has been running ever since in various shapes and forms, including crossovers, mini series, annuals and one shots.  
The black and white series ran for 50 issues, before transitioning in 1999  in the color series.
Which has been running for  171 issues so far. 
With issue 150 of  the color series, Perry folded both series in to each other, turning issue  150  in to  200  and picking up the numbering from there. 
Maybe he couldn't wait till 200, he would have made it regardless in  2017  or so.
Regardless, starting this review, the reviews for Gold Digger till issue 199  will be different. 
I wont be posting any interior art.
The first reason is, that I have  a  lot of  Gold Digger comics in various shapes and forms. From TPB's to pockets, and those are hard to scan. 
The other  reason is off course, because the issues are free to read and download on the  Antarctic Press library. 
From now on I will be posting a direct link to the issue I'm reviewing. 
And you can read along with me. 

Now the preamble is out of the way, we can start  with the review proper. 
And,  ..well that's a classy opening  shot Fred...thanks. 
Get used to this sort of thing. Gold Digger is not above  dressing it's characters,  ( both male and female, but mostly female )  in skimpy clothes. 

The story is a bit pat, but it works well enough and  sets up things, if you overlook the somewhat questionable depiction of  the black arms merchants. 
Thankfully the story wastes no time with getting a move on.  

However it doesn't  quite work as an  first issue.  The comid  throws  you  in the middle of a situation, and just expect you to go along with it. While giving a few lines to try and  establish who is who. 
For anybody coming off the mini series, this is fine, but for newcomers it's rather confusing. 

Unfortunately, the ditzification of  Brittany starts right  here.
In the mini series  she was cranky, sarcastic,  moody, surly and not to be trifled with. 
In the first issue of the ongoing however. While she gets off some snarky remarks to Gina, but after that it goes downhill  quickly. 
Brittany  takes offence to the term lascivious,  ( during the middle of a car chase  no less and wants to climb out of the damn car  )  complaints about sand in her hair and fur.
Complaints about tombs being dark, dingy and  dirty and  would rather spend her time in a mall and then proceeds to call Strype via a satellite phone. 
None of these are actually stellar moments, even if they are played for laughs. 
And its more  like character assassination, especially after the way she was depicted in  the mini series. 
And you'd think she  is used to this kind of thing by now, fortunally after all that  the story picks up again and Brittany isn't submitted to any further character assassination to turn her in to a spotty valley girl. 
She is suitably unimpressed and snarky with Gina's self inflatable back pack for example.
And I personally think that hat looks rather fetching on her.
Pity Perry never did much with that. 

Brittany's encounter  with Gen and how easily she deals with him is a bit  pat.  Especially how easily she is willing to  let him take along, but then he does live in the temple.  And the old saying goes, keep your friends close keep your enemies closer,
but Gen as it turns out, will play a rather large role in the stories to come. 

The real centre points of the story is Gina finding an  device that so far has recorded all of history since it was made.  ( No Star Trek reruns sadly. )
And it  shows the murderer  of  Brittany's mother and  how Dr Diggers saved her life by happenstance,  by stumbling in on the scene  disrupting the killer. 
A rather dark moment in what is otherwise a light comic.   
Gina also mentions another dark secret. The fate of Mr Peepers her canary  ! 
 That's more like it. Gold Digger tends to  have mood whiplashes, it goes  from  deadly serious to ridiculous in the blink of an eye.
The device also tells us and the sisters, that there is no  loot in the tomb. It's all gone. 
It's been gone for two thousand years, something  Brittany finds hilariously funny. Except for one brass armband, which Gina naturally  picks up. 

Aaand that's where the title of the comic comes in. 
The thieves of the treasure are cursed by the original  owner and considering the Diggers sisters  picked up  the last armband, they technically are the thieves.
I foresee shenanigans. 

We will eventually find out what happened to Mr Peepers but not in a issue of the main series.  ( Damn it ! )  But in a one shot  named Gold Digger minus 18. 
We will talk about that, when we get there. 

The art is still it's usual well defined self, but it's a step down from the gorgeous art of the mini series. 
Off course the  art chores of the mini series, which was a bi monthly series in late 92 and early 93, could have never held up  in a monthly schedule, so it had to go. 
Things have been streamlined  and later on would be streamlined even further.
Right now it's just a step down from the mini series.
And that is what can be said about issue 1.
It doesn't  really work as issue 1 it works as issue 5 and it's a step down  from  the mini series 
much like another series launched in 1993.
The thing that brings the issue down the most however, is the  character assassination of Brittany and giving her some questionable traits, some of which are  still in effect. 

Can issue 2  do better  ?


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