Gold Digger is a long-running US comic from Antarctic Press with manga-inspired art, written and drawn by Fred Perry. The first appearance of the characters was in the anthology title Mangazine Vol. 2 #11 (September, 1991). They then got their own eponymous 4-issue miniseries (September 1992-March 1993). This proved successful enough to make Gold Digger Vol. 2 an ongoing. 50 regular issues were published between July 1993 and June 1999, plus a number of annuals. These issues were mostly in black-and-white. The series was then relaunched as a full-color series. Vol. 3 started in July 1999 and is still ongoing, becoming one of the flagship series of the company.The story centers around the adventures of the kind, nerdy, and idealistic Hot Scientistinventor, archaeologist and explorer Gina Diggers; and her Boisterous Bruiser, fashionista, were-cheetah adopted sister/bodyguard, Britanny "Cheetah" Diggers, as they search the world (and others) for relics of the distant past.The third sister, Brianna, is the goofy mental and physical combination of Gina and Britanny, accidentally created in the process of removing a curse gained during one of their adventures. She combines Gina's thirst for mysteries, scientific acumen, and libido with Britanny's low attention span and thirst for action, fashion, or entertainment (plus a portion of her werebeast strength). Hence, she likes action-technology of any kind, especially if explosions are involved. She is usually accompanied by her trademark childlike little Peebo robots.If, as the name and the Adventurer Archaeologist trope implies, the sisters seem more intent on digging up valuable treasures to fund their lifestyle than searching for actual knowledge, they invariably make up for it by becoming unwitting heroines in the process, usually with the help of their friends, and with time, Gina evolves into more idealistic Pillars of Moral Character material.It is popular enough to have several spin-offs, usually four-issue miniseries.Fred Perry also began working on an independent OVA based on the original "Time Raft" pilot story since 1999. He basically did everything except for the voice acting and music composition, while still producing the main series. The last part of story was finally completed and released in 2010.Now has an online library! And a Character sheet that needs wiki love.Not to be confused with the (completely different) character archetype — even though that very trope is a derisive (and largely undeserved) In-Series Nickname for Gina.
Amazon Chaser: Stryyp, who, though blessed with some above-human physical attributes, is attracted to Britanny despite how she's bigger, stronger, faster, and a better fighter than he is.
Animation Bump: Fred obviously learned a lot over the course of making the movie. The last part, and the couple of shots he re-animated in the earlier parts for the finalized version, really stand out against the original footage.
Animesque: Among the oldest examples still being produced.
Dreadwing: "I was going to save you for last, vermin. Your torture was going to coerce Gina into completing the repairs of the Time Raft for me. But you threatened my treasure. My precious artifact. I can persuade Gina by other means, you must PAY. I haven't done this in a long time. Let's see if I'm rusty."
Invoked by Gothwrain and Sherisha when the pair reveal the truth behind Dr. Digger's father's death and then kill his mother a moment later, just so he would be baited into killing them. It works like a charm.
Bleached Underpants: Fred Perry used to draw more adult material, and in fact still does. Gina has her origins in this material, which explains her proportions (and attitude).
Blessed with Suck: Ayane the mixed-martial artist is a true sweetheart...and incredibly lonely due to her cold, cruel eyes that creep out everyone she meets. There's hope; Jotaru the Djinn has a crush on her. Did we mention that some Djinn in this series have their eyes in their torso instead of their face?
Body Horror: Ether vents, a type of Gaoblin magitech that manifests itself as huge, open HOLES through the users' bodies. While the supplementalTech Manualseries provides some explanation, it's not entirely clear how these biologically WORK, considering the huge missing sections of muscles, bone, major organs and occasionally BRAIN involved.
Boobs of Steel: The stronger females tend to have larger breasts (at least within their respective Cast Herd)—not that this says much.
Brawn Hilda: "Grammy" Brunhildagarde Brigand, Julia's mother and the Diggers sisters' grandmother.
Breakout Villain: The dragon Dreadwing was originally just a one-shot villain for the pilot story, which ended with him as a skeleton. Now, he's the Man Behind the Man for many of the plotlines past and present, and is dueling with Ancient Gina across most of time with virtually all the other characters as pawns.
Breast Expansion: Britanny, when she goes from human form to hybrid form. This is also a major reason why she prefers to stay in Hybrid form as much as possible. (Well, actually, because she's taller, stronger and faster, but this side benefit comes with the rest.)
Broke Episode: In an issue about halfway through the regular black-and-white series, Penny offers to save Gina and Brit from the IRS if they'll cover her niece's fast food job for a day. Ace even talks Penny out of gloating over it and convinces her to finally bury the hatchet with Gina.
Brooklyn Rage: Roxy Rabinowitz (AKA Dark Bird), leader of the Night Flight airborne mercenaries, has a strong Brooklyn accent and a BIG chip on her shoulder, especially when dealing with Ace. She also recently took over a country led by her estranged sister, who was a large source of the aforementioned rage (not to mention the aforementioned Brooklyn).
Then there's the Teen Titans in Tif' and Char's school adventures.
And their teacher, Miss Giggle (think Mission: Magic!) who has a darker complexion and a pretty funny explanation for her blobby hairdo: Her cat is permanently curled up on top of her head from a failed teleportation experiment.
The whole series sometimes appears to thrive on this, from species to certain characters. The beauty of it, at least for characters who reappear frequently, is that after the initial joke of their first appearance, they rapidly develop their own personalities so that their initial expy status becomes negligible, while still allowing the joke to work. E.g., an orange-and-black werejaguar named Garfield is introduced, but is thereafter almost always addressed as just "Gar," and his personality is nothing like Jim Davis's cat.
Card-Carrying Villain: Almost every villain in the series relishes how evil they are and will gleefully go out of their way to cause pain to others, even if it causes the failure of their plan.
Tirant deserves special mention. He was part of a family of heroes, and his parents died while they were fighting a super-villain. At their funeral, he noticed that everyone in his family since the 1920s had died fighting for justice. The revelation caused him to reject the life his parents had chosen for him. Instead, he devoted his life to becoming everything a hero isn't, becoming a super-villain in the process. He became a hero again... mere seconds before his death. We'll see if that sticks, since Dreadwing's blackmailing Array into helping him with the promise of resurrecting Tirant.
Clark Kenting: Agency Zero, especially Agent M, formerly the most recognizable hero on Earth. Pinky & The Cheets.
Cloning Blues: Averted. Brianna is a fusion of Brittany and Gina, magically brought to life by a curse, and Charlotte was a bio-engineered "harpy" created as a disposable weapon by a villain. Both have been treated as full characters in their own right from their very first appearances.
Brianna still had concerns about this for a long time, though. Charlotte...not so much.
Continuity Nod: In the movie. Despite it being based on the first Gold Digger story ever, Fred added a couple of nods to the continuity that's built up since then, letting the viewer know that Gina and Dreadwing are going to be at this for a long time.
Covert Pervert: Vaphne presents herself as a scholarly maiden and claims to be saving herself for Mr. Right, but when she turns on her fertility goddess powers, several of her classmates (male AND female) find out she's been having naughty fantasies about them.
Brittany: "Most fathers polish a shotgun in front of their daughters' dates... My Dad magically sets his head on fire!"
Distracted by the Sexy: Pretty much the entire cast is guilty of this one, but Gina takes the cake: in Issue 105, she and a male colleague nearly destroyed the world by daydreaming about each others' naughty bits instead of the Doomsday Device they were supposed to be disarming.
Doing It for the Art: Fred made this video utilizing Lazytown's "You Are A Pirate" song. Perry actually paid for the rights to the song, animated it off and on for a number of years, and posted it just for the hell of it.
Eldritch Abomination: The previous universe that existed before the current one died, but didn't stay dead. The entire previous universe has come back as an impossibly vast undead horror, clawing its way out of cosmic oblivion and making its way to the current universe, intending to overwrite all of existence. Ancient Gina's entire plan is to somehow prevent this.
With a shot of FridgeBrilliance: Madrid's current persona allows the author to write either solo "Gina" stories about Madrid the explorer with Dao and Subtracto, or ensemble "Gina" stories about Gina the professor with her students and family.
Face-Heel Turn: A magical mishap turns Theo's father Jonathan into the evil Lich King.
Feminist Fantasy: Probably one of the most tolerant and evenhanded comics around. The female characters are smart, capable, funny, goofy, distinctive, well-rounded, and memorable, in a diverse and amusing manner reminiscent of Tenchi Muyo! or Urusei Yatsura, and avoid the bland and forced "Strong Female Characters" pitfalls. Fred makes a continuous effort to represent different body types and give female readers evenhanded "beefcake" treatment.
Gambit Roulette: Gothwrain's plan to break free of his enslavement; Dreadwing's plan to take power from Ancient Gina; and Ancient Gina's plan to save the universe, which includes the other 2 roulettes.
Gender Bender: A male character drank a potion specifically designed for women. Guess what happened.
Happily Adopted: Brittany is an orphaned were-cheetah, taken in as an infant by Theodore and Julia Diggers and raised as a sister to their own daughter, Gina. They see her as nothing less than family, and the feeling is mutual.
Heel-Face Turn: Redemption is a major running theme in this comic. Many of Gina and Britanny's enemies become their best friends and allies. Mesha, Tark, Brianna, Penny, Charlotte, Jetta...Pee Wee, G'Nolga, Madrid, the Lich King...
Hive Mind: Array is a variant; each duplicate of herself she creates has an independent personality which returns to her mind when she reassimilates her body. However, they all share the same general goals.
Humongous Mecha: Played with in that "humongous" is relative. The series has Vaultron, which, as the name implies, is a combining battle robot. But it's piloted by Leprechauns, meaning it's about as big as the average (human) grade-schooler. Ditto for its opposite number, Gaollion.
Played more straight with Gespenst, who is genuinely huge, even larger than some dragons.
Infant Immortality: Dr. Diggers tried his best to disarm the werewolf leader, but in the end the only werecheetah left to save was baby Britanny.
In the Name of the Moon: A literal example in the movie: After Brit's deadline passes and she can morph back to werecheetah form, she quotes the exact line before putting Gina in a headlock and bestowing noogies for calling her "Igor" when she was stuck in human form.
Ki Attacks: Several of the martial artists, especially the ninjas, and Ryan Tabbot.
Kudzu Plot: A pretty bad case, highlighted by the fact that the websites hawking the comic often contain cover previews and summaries for upcoming issues...but then Fred gets an itch to go growing the plot in some other direction entirely, and the previewed issues often have completely different covers and subjects, with the original plots dropped to be completed off-camera, if that.
Lately, however, a good portion of those storylines have begun to be tied together to the Myth Arc. (See below.)
Leeroy Jenkins: Team Noob, ridiculously over-armed leprechauns with no idea where they are, what they are doing, what their mission is, how to operate their equipment, or how to not blow themselves up in 5 seconds, but using binoculars and bazookas backwards hasn't slowed down their enthusiasm yet. The GD TangentWeb Comic has a similar setup as the Trope Namer, with a Shout Out as well.
Load-Bearing Boss: Invoked after Julia's fight with Serpentus, in which she uses magic-proof Dwarven chains to tie him to the room in such a way that ten tons of rock will fall on him if he isn't untangled very, very carefully.
Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Mostly whenever the story takes place on Jade, as many anthropomorphic characters co-exist with other humans or humanoid species in that dimension. On Earth, they usually work under a masquerade, save for a few special places around the globe.
Loads and Loads of Characters: ...and loads. There's a tie-in comic with one-to-three page write-ups on the characters that have appeared in the series. There have been 23 issues published so far (though only the first 17 are on the characters; the rest focus on locations). The first 17 issues of this Guide to the GD Universe have now been collected into a two-inch-thick tome.
Cast Herd: The characters tend to come in sub-groups–the Edge Guard, Lord Talon and minions, Agency Zero–who can hold down whole arcs or even mini-series by themselves.
Britanny:You've gotta be joking!!! You're gorgeous! Look at you! Look at these! <HOIST>
Gina: Eek! (Narrating): "I remember thinking: 'Jinkies! Where did those come from'?"
Britanny: Do you know how many gals would kill for a nice, firm set like yours??? What man wouldn't fall all over himself just to get to talk to you? From now on, when you think of guys, think of broad, masculine chests...! (Gina looks "bewildered") Strong, handsome buns!! Hard, rugged muscles...! (A small smile graces Gina's lips)And all of the warm, yummy things you can do with them...! (Gina's face breaks into a full-blown, "Uh-oh"-worthy Cheshire Cat Grin.)
Brianna (narrating): I remember a sharp change in Gina's attitude toward men that moment. (And her being boy-crazy ever since.)
Mistaken for Pregnant: Charlotte in one chapter; while riding a plane with Gina, she gorged herself on peanuts and pretzels to the point she got a pregnant-like Balloon Belly. Seeing her come waddling down the aisle, groaning in pain from her stomachache, a doctor actually mistook her for a pregnant woman who had gone into labor.
Morality Pet: Ironically, Madrid and Platinus were this to each other.
Merigold is this to G'Nolga
Mundane Made Awesome: Ancient Gina's "Millennium Pimp Slap", one of a class of spells of legendary power, warps space and time to open a portal behind the target...to let the caster slap him upside the head. It requires such nigh-infinite power to execute that it causes EVERY MAGE IN THE SERIES to sense a disturbance in the Force!
Myth Arc: Numerous plotlines and characters, at first seemingly unrelated, have begun to be revealed to be tied together to an overarching storyline concerning Future Gina trying to save the Universe.
All Trolls Are Different: Trolls are green-skinned, tall, strong humanoids who heal fast and grow larger and stronger with age. Young ones of both sexes are often quite attractive. They've got something of a reputation as being less civilized, but that's largely because of prolonged wars with the elves that wrecked a lot of their old civilization; there are plenty of smart trolls, including martial artists and archmages, and as a species, they come off no worse than the other humanoids. They have a grudge against elves, but that goes both ways and isn't universal. There's some evidence trolls and elves are even distant relatives.
Our Goblins Are Different: The Gaoblin were once a race who fought alongside the Dynasty as their willing army. But when their masters ran for quasi-space, the Gaoblin were abandoned to the rest of the universe. In order to hide from the universal lynch mob out to kill, they slaughtered passive slave-races of the Dynasty like the Eldritch, Trolvic, Atlantians, and Krynn, then genetically disguised themselves to be indistinguishable from the originals. This ruse went on for so long that that those who were changed forgot that they were ever another race to begin with. Only those who stayed on the Dynasty's planetoid-ship, Oblivion, remained true Gaoblin.
Our Werebeasts Are Different: One of the main characters is one of the few remaining were-cheetahs. Other werecreatures include lions, tigers, rats, and of course, werewolves. Each subspecies is able to shift between human, animal, and a "Wolf Man"-style hybrid form. All of the weres retain their rationality in each of their forms, although they need to learn to control their instincts during childhood. Although the weres are separate species, they are capable of spreading therianthropy to humans if they choose. (Doing so requires a bite and an active desire to alter the target's aura.) They were originally created by a wizard as super soldiers before said wizard was betrayed. They have a Healing Factor for everything except attacks by another werebeast, silver, magic, and Dwarven steel.
Out of Focus: Frequently, thanks to the aforementioned Loads and Loads of Characters. At one point in the series, an entire year's worth of comics passed with only brief cameos from Gina and Brittany, AKA the main characters.
The Real Remington Steele: Word Of God states that Perry skipped the middleman on Mistress/Ayane; her first story still has some of the plot points—"back after X years"—to support the original plan that the "Mistress" was supposed to be Julia Diggers' temporary wrestling gimmick.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Gina Diggers has created hundreds of inventions that solve half the world's problems in a week but instead of donating or marketing them she uses them to assist in her archaeology and to help her friends. Mind you, as far as the reader knows, Gina doesn't release the best and biggest of her discoveries to the public since her house and lab are filled with artifacts that otherwise would be in a museum.
Gina Digger's dislike of treasure hunters becomes a bit of a Broken Aesop when you consider this.
Rousseau Was Right: The story has a very sympathetic tone; no matter how heinous the acts somebody has done, if they were simply misguided without direction, they are usually afforded compassion and given a new chance to start over and do good.
Sarcastic Clapping: During her trip with Gina to explore Dreadwing's mymior (treasure trove, re: knowledge, spells, etc.), Brianna plays it straight and lampshades Fauntleroy's sarcastic clapping at the same time.
In fact, the shout-outs have become so common, numerous, and close to the source material that some critics feel it's led to a bit of Seasonal Rot, that the homages have come a little too close to crossing the line into just yanking whatever he likes from other canon and using it directly. (Example: Gina basically just builds herself an exact copy of the Lagann, complete with similar abilities to hijack whatever it attaches to.)
It wouldn't be so bad if these things were just done as gags all the time, but often they're plot relevant in working just like the original reference material. Gina's Lagann knockoff's ability to, well, act just like the Lagann is extremely important in the storyline. Same with the Matrix of LeadershipExpy the Edge Guard have (which was transferred in a whole scene reference right down to the use of "'Til all are one"). (Granted, the Matrix analogue contained a planetoid-sized spaceship in its own pocket dimension, so it didn't function quite the same. Still, Fred does love to riff blatantly on Transformers: The Movie.)
Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Stryyp isn't exactly tiny, being muscular and standing close to six feet tall. However, his were-cheetah wife, Britanny, prefers her hybrid form, which towers over him at 7' tall and weighs in at some 300 pounds of solid muscle.
Troperrific: One can argue that all of Gold Digger is Fred Perry's parody/homage to comics, novels, RPGs, video games, tropes, cliches and genres of all stripes.
Trademark Favorite Food: Britanny loves tuna. Charlotte the harpy, meanwhile, is obsessed with peanuts and pretzels; if enough are available, she'll stuff her face almost to the point of killing herself.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Frequently averted. For instance, Brianna, the lab accident composite clone trying to kill the Diggers sisters, now their gung-ho sister. Or Charlotte, the instant-grown harpy girl accidentally freed from the control of the time-travelling dog who fired her at our heroes, now co-headliner of a WAFFy spinoff.
The Worf Effect: Stripe. Just...Stripe. Despite a massive-power up halfway through the B&W series making him one of the two most powerful good guys, he is infamous for being hit by surprise, dropping his guard, and so on. Outside his first battles post-power up, it's rare he doesn't end up knocked out at least for a while during a fight. No wonder Agent M thought he needed training despite his skill and strength.
Fortunately, now that he's not adventuring in areas where he's forced to team up with everyone else, he can fight a bit more.
To a lesser extent, Britanny would sometimes get knocked around to demonstrate just how tough some bad guy was.