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Curiosity Kills Cats But Not Goldie Vance

by Vince Brusio

From Nancy Drew to Veronica Mars, fans really dig girl detectives! Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) and Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present a new gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance #1, an exciting, whodunnit? adventure that mixes the fun of Eloise with the charm of Lumberjanes. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, read what Hope Larson had to say about this new 4-issue mini-series for BOOM! Studios.

Goldie Vance #1 (FEB161215) is in comic shops April 13.

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PREVIEWSworld: Tell us the premise for this new series about a girl detective stuck in a whodunnit. Goldie's only 16 years-old. How does she qualify as a super sleuth?

Hope Larson: Goldie's only 16, but she's a student of life with a super-charged sense of curiosity. She's grown up at the Crossed Palms resort, where her dad is manager, and she knows the ins and outs of the place better than anyone. She knows and likes everyone, and everyone likes her, too. She's a powerful ally and resource to the official hotel detective, Walter, and he knows it—even though she gets on his nerves sometimes.

PREVIEWSworld: What can you tell us about what motivates Goldie? What makes her clock tick, and what is it that ticks her off?

Hope Larson: She's a fixer. If she sees a problem, and she can solve it, she will—because she wants to, and because she's always up for a challenge. Her parents are divorced, and although there's no bad blood between them, Goldie's redirecting a subconscious wish to "fix" her family into healthier pursuits.

What ticks her off? Injustice! Entitlement! She's a sunny soul for the most part, but if you cross her she's more likely to get even than get mad.

PREVIEWSworld: There seems to be a cast of characters just as interesting as Goldie. How do they fit in the picture? Why are they a part of Goldie's circle?

Hope Larson: Most of the cast is employed at Crossed Palms or connected to the hotel in some way, either as an employee or as a guest. Goldie's best friend Cheryl works the front desk, and she's also pals with Rob, the other hotel valet. Her nemesis, Sugar Maple, is the daughter of the hotel's owner. The other characters are mainly locals from the neighboring town of St. Pascal, which is cute, sunny, and touristy with a seedy underbelly.

PREVIEWSworld: What are some influences that led you to creating Goldie Vance? Has this been a project that's been long in coming? Has the story changed any from conception to the current production?

Hope Larson: This wasn't a long-gestating project — it's come together faster than anything I've ever worked on. I got a call from Shannon Watters (of Lumberjanes fame) and Dafna Pleban, and they asked me if I would be interested in working on a girl detective book. They wanted the tone to be a throwback to classics like Nancy Drew. They also had an artist in mind, Brittney Williams, and she was wonderful. Something about the whole thing instantly clicked for me and I ended up sending them a pitch within two hours!

I'd been wanting to do a story about a hotel or an apartment complex for a long time, and I love mysteries (Veronica MarsBrick). I'd been researching Florida for another pitch that didn't quite come together, so I had that at my fingertips, and I'm crazy for all things historical—the clothes, the slang, the sweet mid-century cars, and all the crazy political and scientific stuff, like the Space Race, that was happening in the early '60s. It's one of those projects I've been unknowingly laying the groundwork for, so when I got the call, everything fell into place.

The characters haven't changed much from that initial pitch, but they've become richer, and Brittney Williams has done an incredible amount to flesh the world out on a design level. She definitely knows Crossed Palms and St. Pascal better than I do. She's the Goldie to my Walter!

PREVIEWSworld: We'll give you the last word on this one. What would you like to say to readers that would make them want to put this on their monthly pull list?

Hope Larson: This is a fun, action-packed book with a tough, cool, energetic female lead. She may not be the best role model 100% of the time, but who wants to be a goodie-goodie? Goldie Vance is great for younger readers and new comics readers, and fans of Lumberjanes, Raina Telgemeier's Smile and DramaHellcat, and Archie. And because the arc wraps up in just four issues it's a low-commitment comic. We hope you'll come along for the ride, but buckle up, because I happen to know Goldie drives like a bat outta hell.

Click the images for a closer look!