What do you get when you take a beautiful genius archeologist/adventurer, throw in her drop-dead gorgeous were-cheetah sister, and drop them into some of the wildest and most offbeat situations ever found in a comic?
Why, GOLD DIGGER, of course! Antarctic Press brings us the on-going adventures of Gina and Britanny Diggers—an unusual pair, to say the least.
Their creator, Fred Perry, must have OD-ed on Saturday morning 'toons and Japanese anime and manga, since those seem to be the two major influences in GOLD DIGGER. So, what does that mean? In a word, fun! Fred's work is like a breath of fresh air in today's grim and gritty comics scene. From slapstick antics to edge-of-your-seat drama, reading GD is actually enjoyable!
Fred recently took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about the past, present, and future of GOLD DIGGER. And if the growing legion of fans is any indication, the future looks very bright indeed.
Interviewed by DAN CANTRELL in January 1998
You're very active with your
fans. Does that have any influence on the comic?
Sometimes. I like to get everyone's input on a subject or situation that I'm developing. Sometimes I get great ideas on what to do from that input.
Where do you see GOLD DIGGER in a year from now?
Continuing to gain more and more loyal fans! GOLD DIGGER will be beginning its expansion into software, a toy line, and a pencil-and-paper role-playing game. Also, GD will be going to color.
Your artwork is very distinctive. Who or what inspired you to start drawing?
I've been drawing comics since junior high school on my notebook paper. I grew up on great Marvel comic books. George Perez and Neal Adams were my inspiration, then I discovered the world of anime and manga after I attended my first year of college. In those days, I was inspired by the art of Manabe, Shirow, and [then] Ben Dunn ... .
You handle both the art and writing chores on GOLD DIGGER. Which gives the most satisfaction?
Both writing and drawing are connected in my satisfaction.
All of your characters are pretty unique. Is ... any single one of them a personal favorite?
My favorite character list tends to change from time to time. Way back in the beginning, Gina was my favorite—then for a few issues, Britanny became the leading character. I suppose Gina is back in the favored spot these days.
You once said that Brianna was a throwaway character that you didn't want to throw away. Can we expect to see big things for her in the future?
No more than any other character in GD. I can easily grow and evolve my characters because they've been growing from the beginning. Plus my readers trust me to change my characters correctly. The Gina and Britanny of the first few issues are different from the Gina and Britanny of today.
About how long does it take to complete a GD issue from start to finish?
The completion times vary depending on what else I have to do in a month. If I have 100% time for GD, it takes 3 weeks to complete. However, the slowest I've been has been 40 days. My current average is 28 days.
You've been doing a lot of work lately with the TIME WARP storyline, ROBOTECH: ROLLING THUNDER (not that I'm complaining!)—what other projects do you have on the back burner?
Well, I'm preparing to launch a new adventure series called LEGACY. I've really put in a lot of planning on this new project, and I promise that it will be among the most fulfilling and entertain[ing] of any comic around.
The third GD ANNUAL came out recently and it contains some impressive fan art and stories. How does it feel to have your work so taken to heart that people are inspired to make their own contributions?
The best thing you can do with your artform is to inspire others. When I see such fantastic work from my inspirational work, it makes me feel quite proud.
Everyone is holding their breath for Britanny and Stripe's wedding. Have the invitations been sent out yet?
Actually, I'm a little closed-lipped there. I want to keep it as sort of a surprise.
I imagine the idea of doing a comic series is pretty daunting. What made you say, "I can do that"?
No one said I couldn't.
One of the best things about GOLD DIGGER is that it's just plain fun—something that's rare to find in comics these days. Are you having as much fun as we are?
I couldn't do it as often if I weren't having a blast. Sometimes when I'm working I crack up at the pages I draw. I guess at times I sound like a mad scientist.
Fans are dying for more GD merchandise. (Hint, hint.) Anything we should look out for?
Well, next year in February, the new Cheetah action figure will be made available. It will be the start of the GOLD DIGGER action figure set.
The WARRIOR NUN OAV is being made. Will that open the door for a GOLD DIGGER OAV as well?
Ben said he would help, but ultimately I have to sell enough of the Cheetah action figure or comic to afford an OAV.
With the success of GD, what is the next challenge for Fred Perry?
What would you like to tackle next?
I haven't looked past GD. There are still a great many possibilities and avenues that GD may travel. However, I have a few new and old ideas for new series when I've finally finished doing GD (around issue 100).