by Emanuele De Sandre
translation by Chiara Martellossi
Who created him? Gordon Link represents the debut into the world of comics for Gianfranco Manfredi, the "dad" of Magico Vento. In August 1991, after years spent re-printing old titles (Blek Macigno, Capitan Miki and others), Dardo publishing company finally breaks through and publishes a new book, in the attempt of emulating the resounding Dylan Dog "boom" (in that same month, newsstands were retailing issue no. 51 of Dylan Dog, "Vanishing People", by Sclavi and Coppola). The experience with Gordon Link was positive enough to grant Manfredi a place at the Bonelli, for which he wrote Nick Raider and Dylan Dog stories.
The graphic creathor and author of the covers is Raffaele Della Monica, who had begun his career in the late eighties drawing Tex, and is still one of the pillars among the Zagor pencilers.
Gordon (for Flash Gordon, the symbol of fantastic adventure born from the mind and pencil of the great Alex Raymond) Link (to signify the bound between the hereby and the hereafter), whose features are the spitting image of Kyle MacLachlan, aka FBI agent Cooper from Twin Peaks, is the bizarre leader and co-ordinator of a veritable job lot of ghost-catchers: the Ghostfinder. Their headquarter and residence is a postmodern and post-atomic detached house in the suburbs of Hinterland, the capital of the United States of Europe. Gordon Link is a former policeman from the Weird Affairs Department (the X-files forerunner?); he smokes the pipe and bolsters quite a certain dandyness, especially in the choice of attire and mount (he drives a 270 Km/h Bugatti 110 with a L.I.N.K. license plate). Gordon is almost divorced from the police officer Jessica Pinkerton, with whom he nontheless keeps on having intercourses, in spite of the perpetual difficulties: she never takes off her bulletproof vest.
As Manfredi explains - quoting Jakovsky - in the first Readers Special, Gordon smokes a pipe, because this "has always been considered as something sacred, an almost magical object". Gordon Link's typical expressions are "ghosteria!" and "of course!"
Who are his friends?
The posse around Gordon Link is a hotchpotch of stereotypical characters indeed, although sketched with acute irony. They are:
Helga, secretary and medium: beautiful, punk and a kind of a slapper. She talks about how much she likes to "do it", but when push comes to shove she's more often seen denying herself, rather than yelding to somebody's flattery. She has a relation of great friendship with her boss, but every once in a while her thoughts and hormones stray in his direction...
Nick is the "Bud Spencer" (in his Bambino interpretation) of the gang. His brute force, his surreal craziness and his scatogological sense of humor mark him as the clown of the gang.
He likes bananas, gymn, motorbikes and he loves it when it comes to blows. His Italian is rather broken.
Arun Chuckraverty aka Chuck is the mad scientist, like a sort of Sigmund Baginov on speed or James Bond's Q with a nervous breakdown.
His most typical expression is "Bingo!"
Kalimba, a carnivorous plant which beam spans more than three metres in length and which wide open jaws boast an appalling cubage, protects the Ghostfinders' mansion from intruders. As a tribute to her qualities, the sign on the gate warns, in Latin, "Cave Plantam" (Beware of the plant).
Last is Puki, the group's mascotte. He's an elemental, a small creature inspired by the terrible Critters (fur balls with shark mouths), but absolutely harmless. He usually dwells as a funny transfer on Gordon's singlet, but when he's summoned he comes out of it, most often than not tearing open Gordon's expensive shirt. The cute, cuddly Puki loves cameras and generally making trouble. His battle cry, unsurprisingly, is "Pukiii!"
His encounter with Gordon was to be told in the unpublished special four-color issue.
Who are his enemies? Gordon Link had too short a life in the stands to make us able to single out a recurrent adversary. However, there's a villain we get to encounter in more than one issue: it's Jack Condor the cowboy, one Lee Van Cleef dead, resurrected and unbridled; an anticipation of that horror-western cocktail that Manfredi will recreate later in Magico Vento.
In their adventures, the Ghostfinder gang meet ghosts of all countries and consistences, monsters of assorted sizes and shapes, mad monks from all religions: all villains in line with the great tradition of Z-movies and 'fantahorrorpulp' genre fiction of the good old times.
Do you want to know more about Gordon Link? Click here!
Raffaele Della Monica
Raffaele Della Monica
Copyright (c) 1991