Claiming to be “The Greatest Adventure Comic on Earth!” Shawn Aldridge’s collaboration with artist Christopher Peterson sets the bar pretty high for itself right from the start. What caught my eye for this actually is the digital cover, or more specifically the white gorilla on the cover. After discovering “Prime-8s” from Monkeybrain last week, I decided to scroll through the new releases a bit this week, looking for this week’s “Prime-8s.” As we all know, a gorilla on the cover of a comic is an invitation to check it out. Right?
The gorilla at the heart of “GoGetters” #1 is a “giant, white gorilla” named George Harrison. Right there, Aldridge puts my attention in a headlock. Not only does he write a gorilla into this story, the gorilla is also named after my favorite Beatle. George Harrison’s “owner” is Maya Diaz, but she owns George Harrison (not just “George”) in a way similar to how Han Solo owns Chewbacca, which is to say, not at all. Aldridge makes it quite clear these two are a team and they truly enjoy one another’s companionship. The duo work for GoGetters Retrieval Service, which gets everything from American hostages in Colombia (maybe) to a rare coin being held by a self-proclaimed sultan.
Maya reminds me a bit of Dr. Perry Cox from “Scrubs” in her manner of referring to people by celebrity names, not to be cruel or callous, but just because it’s convenient for her. Sure, it’s better than Cox’s preference to use girl names for his charges, but it has the same chuckle-worthy effect. Maya is a confident, sassy young lady who Aldridge has crafted as a believably fun and adventurous character. This isn’t a case of a writer building a character as the reader reads along. Aldridge has already clearly defined Maya before “GoGetters” #1 ever wound its way towards release. This is a fully formed character, much like Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” We just happen to meet her mid-adventure and begin to learn about her along the way. She’s bold and brave, and has a funny streak that keeps “GoGetters” #1 from taking itself too seriously. Well, the gorilla and the dune buggy help in that regard as well.
Christopher Peterson’s art is tremendously suited for this type of madcap, no reservations type of story. From the ridiculously fabulous Colombian drug lord to the duo of Walrus and Egg who close out this first issue, the artist gives readers so much craziness to enjoy. As Maya gathers the details of the newest gig, George Harrison is seen through the window, waiting in the dune buggy and playing up to the taunts of children on the street. This first issue is filled with outrageous visuals: Maya taking a selfie in the middle of fistfight in the desert, a dune buggy with a white gorilla riding shotgun skydiving from a C-119 and a Colombian crime lord in a belly shirt, vest and boa/scarf, strutting around like Groucho Marx, to name a few oddities that only happen in this comic. Nick Johnson’s colors are perfect for Peterson’s heavy lines and work nicely throughout “GoGetters” #1. The colors are bright and bold, making no pretense that this is a comic filled with loud, fun concepts.
From start to finish, “GoGetters” #1 is just a fun comic read. I’m glad I’ve done some dipping into Monkeybrain’s offerings. I’m even more satisfied that they continue to pay off. With this single issue, Aldridge, Peterson and Johnson have convinced me to make this series my first digital subscription. No way am I going to miss out on a comic that’s this much wacky fun — it hits all the marks and immediately deserves the highest recommendation. This is fun read, which is much needed nowadays. Do yourself a favor, break down for the buck and give this book a shot. You’ll be much happier for it.