GOLD MINE! The California Gold Rush Story

Shekhar Shimpi, Author, Ginger Turner, Author . Gossamer $15.95 (44p) ISBN 978-0-9742502-3-6

Gossamer's new series of graphic novels takes historical events and facts and turns them into entertaining tales. This one examines the struggles early settlers faced as they tried to make their fortune in gold rush California. We follow pioneers Charlie and Alice as they travel west across America, encountering a Native American tribe as well as the crazies and swindlers epidemic to the period. The story takes true elements—frontier inflation, the role of women and minorities, dancer Lola Montez, the invention of blue jeans—and weaves a somewhat choppy narrative out of them. Charlie and Alice remain fairly simplistic characters, but the colorful historical figures around them make up for it. The accessible art, reminiscent of classic animation and Tintin, has some charm, although some scenes with anthropomorphic animals (à la Disney) are a bit arch. Still, the intended audience will probably enjoy these touches. A "Fact or Fiction" section at book's end gives more details about the real people and events behind the story. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/06/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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