WHAT IS GOLDTIGER?
Of all the Sixties newspaper strips one of the most discussed—yet rarely read—has to be Antonio Barreti and Louis Shaeffer’s GOLDTIGER. Commissioned by the Baskerville Newspaper Group as their answer to the Evening Standard’s MODESTY BLAISE.
Working with Shaeffer, a writer entrenched in the world of crime and sci-fi pulp magazines, Barreti produced the first serial as a complete work with story outlines and sketches for a further six adventures. Unfortunately the strip was deemed too sensational and the idea was shelved. This coincided with a mental breakdown for the artist and four years mental rehabilitation in a Turin clinic. Not one to let insanity hold him back, Barreti continued to produce GOLDTIGER strips through this period, with Shaeffer posting the artist his scripts. The main issue for the editor at the Baskerville Newspaper Group was certainly the sexuality of its main characters. In an intentionally subversive twist, both Lily Gold and Jack Tiger were openly homosexual, a step too far even for the so-called ‘swinging sixties’.
That aside the content was also a tad too bizarre for middle England to digest over it’s morning tea and toast. Storylines such as THE GLORY AFFAIR (in which our heroes attempt to find who has paralysed the prime minister using a Hand of Glory sourced from the grave of Ruth Ellis); THE SHUTTLECOCK PRINCIPLE (the British Space Exploration program is sabotaged by what appears to be an ancient troop of Knights Templar) and particularly THE LUCIFER CONTRACT (where the devil himself asks for their help in finding an oil baron who has escaped from Hell) all proved too strong for them to consider. Though, showing a typical shift in cultural taste, the latter idea was the basis for a proposed Italian feature film La bellezza va all'inferno that was to star Edwige Fenech and Terence Stamp.
Outside these close brushes with success, Barreti and Shaeffer’s creation has languished in obscurity, discussed only by the cognoscenti of the artform. Louis Shaeffer is believed to have died off the coast of Corfu in 1972 and, after his release from care, Barreti vanished altogether. At least the majority of their work remains, perhaps in time to gain a whole new audience.
Using extensive restoration techniques and after many years of scouring the archives, GOLDTIGER is ready to be presented again, complete from the very beginning, starting with their debut adventure THE POSEIDON COMPLEX.
REALLY? HOW STRANGE... I KNOW A LOT ABOUT COMICS BUT I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE.
IT’S ALMOST AS IF YOU INVENTED THE WHOLE THING AND EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID WAS A PACK OF LIES.
GOLDTIGER NEVER REALLY EXISTED AT ALL DID IT?
Well. If it didn’t before, it certainly does now. This first volume of collected strips is a lavish affair, combining the full debut adventure with ‘behind the scenes’ material: letters, scripts, interviews, sketches... all documenting the creation of the strip and the outlandish lives of its creators.
ITS FICTIONAL CREATORS.
Shush. The book is as much the story of Antonio Barreti, an artist who escaped into the world he had created as it is the fantastical adventures of fashonistas and guns for hire Lily Tiger and Jack Gold. The story flips from the mad, psychedelic action of the GOLDTIGER strip, a gun-toting, sexy saga of crazy villains and nail-baiting action, to the unhinged mind of the man who created it. Until, eventually, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.
WHO ARE THE REAL CREATORS?
Oops, a slight glitch in the KICKSTARTER matrix there...what have we done?
The *ahem* production assistants who have supervised this mammoth task of unearthing the original strips and restoring them for print are writer, Guy Adams and artist Jimmy Broxton.
NEVER HEARD OF THEM, BET THEY’RE FICTIONAL TOO.
How dare you. Guy Adams is the author of over twenty books, from THE WORLD HOUSE and its sequel RESTORATION, to the weird western series THE HEAVEN’S GATE CHRONICLES. He has written original novels featuring Sherlock Holmes for Titan Books, adapted classic horror titles for Hammer Books and is currently working on a new horror/espionage series forthcoming from Del Rey UK, THE CLOWN SERVICE. Jimmy Broxton is a UK based graphic artist, illustrator and designer, who recently started working in the American comics market. DC Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse and Madefire have all published his work. Teamed with Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti he recently contributed to the successful Kickstarter project: Sex and Violence.
Mystery surrounds the true identity of the artist, as mounting evidence suggests he is simply a figment of long time comic’s creator James Hodgkins' imagination.
AT LEAST ONE OF YOU APPEARS TO BE REAL. SO WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY?
We’re producing two different versions of THE POSEIDON COMPLEX. In both cases, the book itself will be a handsomely designed hardback, 230mm x 285mm, printed on heavy art stock, full colour throughout. Though the original strips were black and white you will see from the examples here that they are reproduced in ‘archival’ format tinted with the age of decades! The rest of the material—as can also see from the examples here—is as bright and beautiful as a butterfly on acid. This accounts for 128 pages of strip and text goodness, lolling under a gold-blocked cover, with archival quality Smyth Sewn binding ensuring years of reading pleasure. This is a one-off run, never to appear again. If these strips ever get a mass-market release then it’s extremely unlikely it will be in such an attractive format. Adams and Broxton think books should be beautiful things. You can rest assured that if you bumped into this book at a a bar you would most certainly being trying to dance with it, get its phone number and hoping it would touch you in intimate places.
For those with deeper pockets and the sensible desire of making themselves impossibly attractive by owning such a lavish item, we have a strictly-limited Treasury edition. There will only be one hundred of these produced. The Treasury Edition contains the book as described above but packaged in a traycase alongside the following additional treats: A separate booklet on the development of GOLDTIGER, by Adams and Broxton. Four full-colour art prints exclusive to the Treasury Edition.
The GOLDTIGER single an exclusive CD from composer Clive Pearsal featuring the full length version of the main title theme along with B Side ‘Love Theme from GOLDTIGER’ and more. Put it on repeat and make sweet rhythms inside the flesh of your choice! For more info on the work of the incredible Mr Pearsall please visit: http://www.clivepearsall.co.uk
The piece de resistance... an original, dedicated, pencil sketch from the legendary Barreti himself! Obviously this is an extremely rare item...
BECAUSE HE DOESN’T EXIST? ...
because Barreti has been missing for years and is likely dead. Think of the surge of joy you will feel, holding this original sketch in your hands as you contemplate how we had to hunt him down, dig him up and then reanimate him with judicious quantities of electricity and drugs. Art that will reek of the grave and sinful science.
OR THE SWEET AFTERGLOW OF JIMMY BROXTON’S IMPORTED LAGER STASH BECAUSE IT’S BEEN HIM ALL ALONG.
You have no soul. Stop spoiling things... The treasury Edition will also come with a certificate, hand numbered and signed...
WHO BY? YOU DIGGING UP SHAEFFER TOO?
Why not? That’s an excellent idea, I suppose Adams and Broxton can scribble in it too. This being Kickstarter, a host of other options are available with extra fun treats and collectable items. Browse away to the right and see how wonderful life could be if only you had a few less pounds in your pocket and a viable internet connection.
AND WHEN WILL ALL THIS BE DELIVERED? ARE YOU QUITE SURE YOU’RE NOT JUST GOING TO RUN OFF WITH MY MONEY AND BE FOUND DEAD IN A MOTEL ROOM A FEW MONTHS DOWN THE LINE?
Your money’s safe, noble reader. You only pay once the project is successfully funded and we’ve been careful only to launch this once a good chunk of the work was completed. The last thing a creative individual needs is the Internet breathing down his neck with a view to hunting him down and killing him. All concerned are professionals and would never work again if they didn’t deliver what they promised. GOLDTIGER will be in your hands late Summer 2013 with, we hope, more volumes to follow.
HOW GRATEFUL WILL YOU BE?
So grateful it hurts. All backers will be listed in the book as a small sign of our soppy gratitude. This can only happen with your support and we will be singing love songs in your names for the rest of our days.
Risks and challenges
To be serious for a moment, we're asking you to pledge us your hard-earned money so we want everyone to know how that's going to work. While Kickstarter has provided a great business model for creators, allowing them to produce work outside the mainstream, there are many who are uncertain about the financial side of it. Yes, if this project is successfully funded, we're asking you to pay money upfront, that's how the site works. It's also the only way to ensure we can do this and not lose our shirts.
There has been a—small—amount of concern on internet forums along the lines of "I don't just want to fund a creator's lifestyle". Outside the fact that we are both full-time in our chosen profession and therefore need to see money from it in order to pay the bills, we have tried to approach this in as simple a manner as possible. We have set the funding goal at a figure that we know is high enough to guarantee we can provide the quality books we're promising. The production costs are a sliding scale, if only a few people want these books they will cost a lot more to produce than if a lot of people want one. Therefore we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. We have also set the delivery schedule to work around our current workload, on the understanding that neither of us might see anything approaching an industry-standard wage for our work on the book. That's fine, we WANT to do this. If more money is made then, yes, we will see more profit from it. That will mean that we have a solid idea that we can make more of these books (our ultimate goal) and that it will be practical for us to do so.
I will be posting regular updates so you know what's going on. We're not hucksters, we're two professionals with our reputations on the line. In this industry, reputation is everything. The only way for us to succeed here is to produce something brilliant that everybody loves. That is our primary goal.
We hope this is only the start for the adventures of Lily Gold, Jack Tiger, Antonio Barreti and Louis Schaeffer. It is entirely down to your support as to whether that will be the case and we appreciate that totally.
Bottom line: we want this to be a no lose situation for us all. Let's make something brilliant and have a lot of fun doing it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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