Go Getters #1: One Gal and Her Ape

Deliberately harkening back to the silver age of comics, where things were allowed to be silly and explanations weren’t required, Go Getters #1 is a fairly plot-free comic which instead doubles down on character interaction and silliness. Because of that, I really enjoyed it.

Published by Monkeybrain, Shawn Aldridge, Christopher Peterson and Nick Johnson’s series plays very carefully to the format it appears in. It reads more like a webcomic than a structured print comic – each page builds up to a gag in the final panel, then resets. The plot, for what it is, is simple, and the comic is mostly concerned with finding new, strange environments for the lead characters to deal with.

It’s not a high concept – two freelance retrieval agents – the Go Getters of the title – are given the job of tracking down people or items, and bringing them back to their client. They go off to do this. One of them is a fast-talking woman called Maya, and the other is a silent gorilla called George Harrison. The comic consists of Maya having a grand old time fighting off kidnappers, bickering with clients, making fun of people, and generally causing all kinds of scrapes – and George Harrison follows her.

In a true silver-age tradition, George never learns to speak, and his reasons for becoming a freelance bounty hunter aren’t explained. He simply tags along, his very presence one of the best sight-gags in a comic which leans heavily on the comedy. The first issue of Go Getters is designed to make you laugh above all else, and the creative team throw all kinds of different joke styles and patterns into the issue to that extent. There are sight gags and puns, cultural reference, sardonic humour, comedic ironies, and many other joke styles being thrown at the reader here.

Some of the best jokes are the ones like the sight of a giant gorilla walking around, driving cars, drinking smoothies; the ones which aren’t called out. Maya does all the quipping, and a likeable lead that makes her, but George Harrison’s role in the comic is just as funny, through the way he is downplayed. Nobody thinks it unusual that a giant white gorilla is her partner in this agency – they just know that it’ll be a problem.

Peterson’s artwork doesn’t go for an overly cartoony approach, which is interesting. Instead, the creative team are more focused on crafting a world which looks realistic and normal, seeking to contrast that with the lunacy of the dialogue and characters. The result works fairly immediately, with the comic broken into a short prologue establishing the style of the lead characters, before a longer story which leads up to the final cliffhanger.

That’s also a pretty interesting approach for structuring a single issue, and one which, again, I think works best because this is a digital comic. I would be inclined to call Go Getters #1 a throwaway piece of entertainment – but because I read it digitally, where I’m comparing it to webcomics rather than the standard Marvel/DC/Image style of comics-making, the things which would usually be problems instead become strengths.

I couldn’t imagine walking to the shop just to buy issue #2 – on the other hand, I’d happily nip online to buy the second issue online. Which, as it turns out, is the option I have. More than anything else, I think that is what struck me most about the issue. It’s designed to be digital, and it works because of that planning from the creative team.

It’s also very funny, highly likeable, and sincerely silly.

Here’s a preview:

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