Saturday, February 18, 2012

Get Carter! Not the movie

To me, Get Carter! The Last Dragon Scout (Nice One Entertainment) is a local epitome of the general quality and style of mainstream America comics in the nineties. For one, it has a east-meets-west, kung fu-meets-sci fi high concept. For another, its story and character design reflects a trend of comics in the nineties; unrealistic body proportions and overdressing.

The protagonist of Get Carter!, Carter Chan, has a dragon companion named Bowbalee, which to me is like Mushu from Disney's Mulan, albeit more irritating. Carter himself has a complicated backstory, which is very normal for American comics in the nineties.

Get Carter! has a lot of potential to be a great comic series. East-meets-west concepts in comics did not occur frequently. I have the first two issues, the first one having been signed by Jerry Hinds and his coworkers. The first issue gave an introductory setup. Characters were introduced one after another, with very little plot in between. The second issue fared slightly better, but still read like an introduction, given that the first issue had to introduce so many characters, sacrificing characterization. Issue two made up for that by providing some characterization.

I felt it really was a good venture; to try create an American style floppy series and break into the American market. May be, if given more issues, the series might have turned out very well. Given that Invincible (Image) were on American shelves for more than a year before it gained notice, it is very unlikely that Get Carter! would have survived in America, unless it had a publisher willing to have losses and no profits for a year. In addition, Robert Kirkman is an exceptionally talented writer. I never liked comics when they have too many subplots, but Kirkman is an expert at creating and juggling subplots. Other writers would have probably made a huge mess. Still, one year is tough to pull through.

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