The main problem with the early parts of the Gold Digger series, is that it can be a little scattered. The original story appeared in Mangazine, and then there is a four-issue mini-series, and then the long-running B&W series, and then the color series that is still going.

The first couple bits are in the first ‘pocket manga’ collection, but that’s also a smaller format, and I prefer the original comic-book size, especially with Perry’s earlier art and hand-written lettering. The Gold Bricks pick up with the start of the regular B/Wseries… leaving the earlier parts less accessible. (Though there is a colorized re-master in the works that will sort everything into place. Liking well-done B/W art as much as color, I’m of mixed feelings, as including eleven extra issues in the remaster will solve a lot of problems.)

So, this is the collection of the early mini-series at full size. As a Brenner print job, the glue isn’t that great, and my copy is slowly disintegrating.

As for the actual contents: it is great. This was Fred Perry’s second story, and about four-times as long as the previous one. The art is good, and features some nice washes from Perry; it does get a bit messy, and the lettering is uneven in a few places, but there’s a lot of energy.

And energy is the best way to describe Perry’s writing, as he’s borrowing from high-action movies for what he’s doing; most prominently the Indiana Jones films. Here, we start with a running aerial battle on the way to discover El Dorado, and there’s barely time to catch your breath for the rest of the story after Gina and Cheetah land safely a short distance outside the city. The story is structured all as one whole, and around being four issues at the same time, as each one technically deals with a different ‘lost city’, though the plot really focuses on two.

The cast expands a lot from the mere five characters of the original story, including several people who remain very prominent secondary characters all the way through through the latest I’ve seen (and are unlikely to ever drop off). Likewise, the plot and action expand to fill the pages, and the story rushes around with no space to slow down, coming to a satisfactory conclusion right at the end.