Cash & Carrie #1 by Giulie Speziani and Penny is an independent comic from Crowntaker Studios; it has an interesting background but I’ll get to that later. I’m something of a comics extremist; I love all ages comics and I love sexy comics – I read the stuff in-between too but it’s rare when a muscled superhero story really grabs me these days. No white dudes punching each other through walls here, C&C is a gentle all-ages mystery comic.
The two protagonists are Dallas Cash, a tenacious techie who believes in the supernatural, and Inez Carrie, the captain of the wrestling team who’s more grounded than Dallas, basing her crime solving skills in the real world. The first issue revolves around a school mascot that gets goat-napped. Who took the goat, why, how did they alter the CCTV, why is Misty the goat so adorable? Who knows! C&C are on the case, tracking down clues and interviewing informants and suspects. If you’re getting a Scooby-Doo vibe, you’re not far off the mark.
The plot moves along, not at a rip-roaring pace but more than enough to keep me wanting to read despite the low-key plot. It doesn’t sizzle and there are no belly laughs, but it’s light, fluffy, and basically it’s a fun read. Penny’s art style suits C&C perfectly; it’s the strong point of the first issue. I love her rounded bold art, complimented by strong colours, it’s like a squeaky clean version of Erika Moen’s work. After my young daughter read this issue I asked her views on it:
“My favourite part was at the end with the changed goat, mystery! Carrie is my favourite character, and I like the plot. I didn’t think it was funny enough either. I really want to know how they became investigators in the first place!” The first thing she did is ask if I had another issue, so safe to say she liked it.
The reason why the creator, Shawn Pryor, wanted to do an all-ages comic book was the ongoing lack of diversity in comics, “There’s still a lack of color in mainstream comic books, especially in leading roles and there’s an absence of fun adventure/mystery filled books for all-ages audiences.” I’m totally behind this, we need more all-ages comics and we need greater diversity in comics to better reflect the audience reading them.
Filling the marketplace with gritty dark tales of straight white guys maiming and killing each other is not catering to modern comic buying audience. In effect what you have is a niche pretending to be the mainstream. There will always be a place for the dark superheroes and that’s fine but times have changed. With the rise of webcomics, independent publishers, and the smaller publishers turning out great comics like Lumberjanes, the industry has shown what a new generation of readers want; more women, more diversity and a wider range of comics to choose from.
C&C is a part of this new wave. At the time I’m writing this Cash & Carrie is on Kickstarter as the creative people behind it want to print enough issues for people, and presumably get the series going. So right now the only way you can get your hands on the comic is via the Kickstarter. It’s worth backing, it’s cheap, and I think it’s off to a great start. It’s also a rare unicorn that deserves our support, an all ages comic with diversity.
Go buy it!